The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence visits Orlando as all 50 states reopen

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump threatens to withhold Michigan, Nevada funding over mail-in voting | All 50 states begin reopening | Connecticut becomes the final state to ease restrictions | Trump, Pelosi relationship worsens after ‘morbidly obese’ comment | Trump calls Pelosi ‘a sick woman’ | Dems weigh in on Biden VP pick | Pence visits Orlando | Meets with tourism leaders | Socially distant Memorial Day plans



Oh, reaaaaally? You didn’t think calling the president ‘morbidly obese’ would bother him?:



House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKamala Harris makes history — as a Westerner On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks MORE (D-Calif.) defended calling President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE “morbidly obese” when expressing her worry about him taking a controversial, unproven coronavirus treatment, saying she didn’t think Trump would be “so sensitive” about his appearance. 

Pelosi said during an interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace: "I didn't know that he would be so sensitive. He's always talking about other people's ... weight, their pounds.”  

Pelosi also said: "I think he should recognize that his words weigh a ton. Instead of telling people to put Lysol into their lungs or taking a medication that has not been approved except under certain circumstances, he should be saying what your previous guest mentioned, things that would help people.”



When President Trump was first asked to respond he said, “I don’t respond to her. I think she’s a waste of time.”

But about five minutes later, in response to an unrelated question, Trump said: “Pelosi is a sick woman. She's got a lot of problems, a lot of mental problems.”


Trump started taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine that he has been touting as a coronavirus treatment, despite concerns over the unproven treatment.

Pelosi was then asked about Trump’s decision to take the drug: "I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say," Pelosi said. "So, I think that it's not a good idea."


President Trump’s declaration that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to guard against the coronavirus has drawn a swift backlash from health experts and stirred debate about how best to keep the president healthy amid the pandemic.”


Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos and Mike Lillis

It’s Wednesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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Join us at our virtual economy event!

On Thursday, May 21 The Hill hosts Advancing the American Economy, a national virtual summit to discuss a responsible reopening of the US economy. Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks Lawmakers of color urge Democratic leadership to protect underserved communities in coronavirus talks MORE joins Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence MORE for a headline interview followed by an afternoon of discussions with leading CEOs and national health experts. Additional speakers to be announced. 

Register Now!


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,532,212 

Deaths in the U.S.: 92,128 

Breakdown of the numbers

For context: A week ago now, 1,371,395 Americans tested positive for the virus and 82,461 Americans had died.

All 50 states have partially reopened:

As of this morning, all 50 states have begun reopening their economies.  

The last holdout: This morning, Connecticut became the 50th state to ease restrictions. 

Yes, but: States are moving at very different paces to reopen. Texas and Georgia, for example, are reopening quickly, while New York, California and Pennsylvania are moving at a slower pace. Details from CNN


Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel


Lol, meanwhile in New Jersey!:




Sooo, what does our new digital reality look like?:

The Hill is hosting a virtual event on the shift to all things digital and the infrastructure needs to make that possible. 

Accommodating the new normal means an increased reliance on telecommunication networks and an accelerated digitalization of industries. Yet, digital literacy is uneven, as is basic access to the internet. How should policymakers approach the goals of coverage, access, affordability and capacity? 

Who is speaking:

- Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneOcasio-Cortez, Tlaib propose amendment to defund administration of 'opportunity zone' program Overnight Health Care: Pfizer lands nearly b from Trump administration for COVID vaccine | FEMA head: 'We have a ways to go' on having enough PPE | Fauci on coronavirus: 'I don't really see us eradicating it' Democratic lawmakers launch 'Mean Girls'-inspired initiative to promote face masks MORE (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Women's High Tech Caucus

- Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, Federal Communications Commission

Michael Hinojosa, superintendent, Dallas Independent School District

Francella Ochillo, executive director, Next Century Cities

Jason Oxman, president and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council

Sign up for the livestream: It starts at 1 p.m. EDT.


The Hill is hosting “A National Virtual Summit on Advancing the American Economy.” 

Featured speaker: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Sign up for the virtual event


I’ll take away your funding, Michigan and Nevada! I’ll do it!:

President Trump threatened to withhold funding to Michigan and Nevada this morning over mail-in voting.

Trump’s reasoning: Trump suggested it would encourage voter fraud.


Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) announced that all registered voters in the state would receive an absentee ballot. 

Trump tweeted: “Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” 

^ Jocelyn Benson responded: “Hi!  I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia.”


The state is holding a mail-in primary election. 

Trump tweeted about Nevada: “State of Nevada ‘thinks’ that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, ‘I think’ I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections. @RussVought45 @USTreasury”

Congratulations, Tiffany Trump!:

President Trump congratulated his daughter this morning for graduating from Georgetown Law. 

He tweeted: “Congratulations to my daughter, Tiffany, on graduating from Georgetown Law. Great student, great school. Just what I need is a lawyer in the family. Proud of you Tiff!”






Fun fact: Did you know that Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism MORE (D-Vt.) has actually made several cameo appearances in Batman movies over the years? Watch


Democrats to Biden: ‘Aiiiight, so we have thoughts’:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, “Once bitterly divided over the crowded, raucous 2020 presidential primary, progressives and centrists, insurgents and establishment Democrats are now unified behind Biden, and they’re cheering his pledge to pick a woman as his running mate this summer.” 

Yeaaaah, but…: “They just can’t agree on who that woman should be.”


“Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelMatt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid Former cop Demings faces progressive pushback in veepstakes Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California MORE (D-Fla.), co-chairwoman of the Women’s Caucus, is pushing her home-state colleague, Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsKamala Harris: The conventional (and predictable) pick all along Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE, for vice president.

“Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayRyan Grim rejects claim that 'insurgent' Democratic movement is 'inherently racist' Progressive candidate Bush talks about her upset primary win over Rep. Clay HuffPost reporter discusses progressives' successful showing on Tuesday MORE (D-Mo.) wants ... Biden to select Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who Clay believes would help Democrats win the all-important swing state — and the White House.”

“Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden's latest plan on racial inequality Moped sharing company suspends operations in New York after second rider's death MORE (D-N.Y.), a Hispanic Caucus member, said it’s critical that Democrats have a strong woman of color on the ticket, someone like Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden's latest plan on racial inequality Democrats hope clash resonates with key bloc: Women MORE (D-Texas) or Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisNAACP seeks to boost Black voter turnout in six states Biden touts Trump saying Harris would be 'fine choice' for VP pick Kamala Harris: The conventional (and predictable) pick all along MORE (D-Calif.).”

Other examples and how this could play out


Busted, senator:





Lol, those refund descriptions:




The House is out. The Senate is in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Pence is in Orlando, Fla. 

9:25 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left for Orlando, Fla. 

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks with Westminster Baldwin Park Leadership about nursing home challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a conference call with the National Hispanic Community.

12:30 p.m. EDT: A roll call vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule today 

1:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence has lunch with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantis DeSantis rules out 2024 White House run: 'Total garbage' US surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election MORE (R) to discuss reopening. 

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D). 


10 a.m. EDT: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEngel: IG report shows Pompeo's 'sham' use of emergency declaration in arms sales Overnight Defense: Trump pushed to restore full National Guard funding | Watchdog faults Pompeo on civilian risk of Saudi arms sales Pelosi on 'disturbing situation' in Hong Kong: 'The world is watching' MORE held a press conference. Livestream 

11 a.m. EDT: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held her weekly news conference. Livestream

11:30 a.m. EDT: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCalifornia Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup New York may be undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: AP Cuomo calls on NYPD to 'step up' in enforcing coronavirus regulations at bars MORE (D) gives an update on his state’s coronavirus response. Livestream 

1 p.m. EDT: The Hill is hosting an event, "The Vir{tech}ual World Ahead." Livestream  

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a roundtable discussion with tourism industry leaders. Livestream 

3 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing. Livestream


Today is National Quiche Lorraine Day.

Cel-e-brate the holiday at home!:

Via Washingtonian’s Mimi Montgomery, here are a few ways to celebrate Memorial Day while social distancing:

And because you made it this far, here’s a kitten that found the perfect place to nap: