The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Fauci gives his COVID-19 vaccine estimate


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

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Fauci testifies | Says he’s ‘Cautiously optimistic’ about a vaccine by end of the year | Says 250+ have signed up for clinical trials | 6 MLB teams no longer playing today | $600 unemployment benefit expires at midnight | Duckworth in the running for Biden VP | National Avocado Day



Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTillis appears to reinforce question about COVID-19 death toll Overnight Health Care: Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit | White House puts off action on surprise medical bills | Rising coronavirus cases spark fears of harsh winter NY health officials to review any vaccine approved by Trump MORE, talk us down, please:



Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield are testifying today before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus.


Fauci on when we will have a vaccine: “The response that was induced [from one of the vaccine trials] was really quite favorable … There's never a guarantee that you're going to get a safe and effective vaccine, but from everything we've seen now in the animal data, as well as the early human data, we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021.”

Fauci on the rapid pace of the vaccine development: "I know to some people this seems like it is so fast that there might be compromising of safety and scientific integrity. I can tell you that is absolutely not the case.” (Via CQ’s Mary Ellen McIntire) 

Redfield on schools reopening: “It's in the public health best interest of K-12 students to get back in face-to-face learning.” More from Redfield on schools

Fauci on Americans’ willingness to help with the vaccine trials: “There is a website called where individuals can actually indicate their willingness to participate in the clinical trials and to make sure we have a diverse representation.” Wow: Fauci said as of last night, more than 250,000 people have signed up. 


Here’s the livestream:

Happy Friday! Today is the last day of July. Wow. 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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’ll be off Monday — Wednesday of next week, so the 12:30 Report will not publish. Don’t get into too much trouble without me — and feel free to send me any cute animal videos that you think I shouldn't miss ;)



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Another MLB game has been postponed today:

Via ESPN, “The St. Louis Cardinals have had two players test positive for COVID-19, resulting in Major League Baseball postponing Friday afternoon's game at the Milwaukee Brewers, a source told ESPN's Jeff Passan.” 

This is not a good sign — six teams are no longer playing today: “That brings the number of teams being held out of action on Friday to six. The Brewers and Cardinals will join the Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays in teams affected by the fallout from positive tests.”


At midnight tonight — the enhanced unemployment benefits expire:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, the $600 additional unemployment benefit passed by Congress in March is expiring tonight at midnight as lawmakers are in a standoff over the next coronavirus relief package.

Welp: “Lawmakers had hoped the deadline, which was known for months, would result in the kind of eleventh-hour agreement that was once commonplace in Washington. But in a sign of how far apart negotiators are, the Senate left town for the week on Thursday, ensuring Congress will careen over the fast-approaching unemployment cliff.” 

This is a pretty big deal: “The consequences of inaction are severe: After trending downward since March, unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row, according to Labor Department data released Thursday morning. Roughly 30 million Americans have filed jobless claims since the pandemic began.”  

“Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' Pelosi asks panels to draft new COVID-19 relief measure MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsAnxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid Pelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November MORE said on Thursday night that Democrats rejected a short-term deal as negotiators remain at loggerheads over the next coronavirus relief bill.”


Via The Hill’s Niv Elis

Soooo, what about August recess:

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid MORE (D-Md.) said his chamber will not leave Washington without a coronavirus deal. 

Hoyer said on the House floor this morning: "We will not start the August District work period until we pass appropriate COVID-19 relief to meet the current health and economic crisis confronting our people and our country."

He added: “Members are further advised as conversations surrounding [additional] coronavirus relief legislation continue, it is expected the House will meet during the month of August...No one should schedule themselves for next week or until such time as we adopt COVID-19 legislation."


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 4,496,737 

U.S. death toll: 152,074 

Breakdown of the numbers





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Duck, duck, Duckworth, duck, HARRIS:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Alexander Bolton, don’t count out Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies John Fogerty: 'Confounding' that Trump campaign played 'Fortunate Son' at rally MORE (D-Ill.) as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE’s running mate.

The other top contenders on Biden’s list: “Biden likes Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE’s (D-Mass.) ideas and proposals. He admires Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHundreds of lawyers from nation's oldest African American sorority join effort to fight voter suppression Biden picks up endorsement from progressive climate group 350 Action 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing MORE’s (D-Calif.) lawyerly straightforwardness and moxie. Susan Rice, President Obama’s former national security adviser, worked alongside him in the White House and Biden has seen her work ethic up close.” 

But what Duckworth: She “represents something close to Biden’s heart: She’s an American hero. The Illinois Democrat, a veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war and received the Purple Heart, is on Biden's shortlist. And some in Biden World who know the former vice president will say Duckworth is exactly the kind of partner who is well-suited to the former vice president.”


Um, seriously…?:

What, are they going to figure out Apple’s face recognition next? 






The House is in. The Senate is out. President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE is in Tampa, Fla. this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

10 a.m. EDT: First votes in the House.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with The National Association of Police Organizations Leadership in the Cabinet Room.

Noon ­– 2 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House. The House’s full schedule today

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Tampa, Fla.

2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a campaign coalitions event with Florida sheriffs.

3:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Belleair, Fla.

5 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters, followed by speaking at a fundraising dinner in Belleair. 

5 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence hosts a call with “Law Enforcement for Trump.” 

10:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the White House.


10:30 a.m. EDT: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a press briefing.  Livestream 

4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable on COVID-19 and storm preparedness. Livestream 

11 p.m. EDT Monday: Axios’s exclusive interview with President Trump airs on HBO. Preview


Today is National Avocado Day! And for weekend planning purposes, tomorrow is National Mustard Day and Sunday is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

And to get your weekend off on the right foot, here’s a baby deer chomping on some snacks: