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The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response

The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response
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Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo his starkest executive order yet in New York's response to COVID-19, also known as coronavirus on Friday. The mandate says that 100 percent of the New York workforce must stay home, except for those who work in essential services. "I accept full responsibility. If someone is unhappy, blame me," Cuomo told reporters.

Additionally, Cuomo ordered that those over the age of 70 and those with compromised immune systems remain indoors at all times. People in these groups should only venture out for solitary exercise, and that "all vulnerable persons should wear a mask in the company of others." 

The move and the coverage of the order is the latest example of how Cuomo, who was seen as a potential 2020 candidate before ruling out a bid, has become a national figure in the fight against coronavirus. Cuomo is 62, and last year said he intends to seek a fourth term in the governor's mansion in Albany.

Cuomo's daily briefings, which typically take place right before the White House briefings on the coronavirus, have become must-see television for New Yorkers and Americans across the U.S., looking to get more information on the crisis. 

"He [gives] people a place to tune into, to tune into for information, and that's if you're an American voter who has questions," Jon Reinish, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (D-N.Y.) said. "That's also though, if you're the media, you had a place to point your camera when you needed answers. And it was right at Gov. Cuomo." 

The governor has also received praise from a number of unexpected figures on the other side of the aisle, including former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiKrebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Trump campaign loses appeal over Pennsylvania race Krebs: I'm 'most upset' I didn't get to say goodbye to my team MORE (R). 

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE, who sparred with Cuomo earlier this week, praised him and California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomVaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put California, Texas shatter single-day nationwide record for new coronavirus cases MORE (D), on Friday, saying he applauded them for their latest actions on combating the virus. 

--Julia Manchester 

 

FROM THE TRAIL: 

Progressives are debating what should come next for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift In defense of incrementalism: A call for radical realism MORE (I-Vt.), whose once-promising second presidential bid has been all but snuffed out by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE. Sanders is publicly giving the appearance of winding down his campaign after a string of blowout losses that has pushed Biden to a near-insurmountable lead in delegates. Jonathan Easley reports.

 

PERSPECTIVES: 

Michael Brendan Dougherty: Bernie didn't have what it takes

Justin Ward: Biden can't beat Trump but Bernie can

Will Bunch: Warren lost but became president of ideas

 

FROM CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

Four senators sold stocks shortly after a January briefing in the Senate on the novel coronavirus outbreak, unloading shares that plummeted in value a month later as the stock market crashed in the face of a global pandemic. It's important to note here that there are different reasons around some of these sales.

But it is a growing controversy for two of the lawmakers, Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNorth Carolina — still purple but up for grabs North Carolina's Mark Walker expected to announce Senate bid Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report MORE (R-N.C.) and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout MORE (R-Ga.), both of whom were at a classified briefing on Jan. 24 and unloaded their equities shortly after. Loeffler was appointed to fill former Sen. Johnny Isaakson's (R-Ga.) seat only a few months ago, and she faces reelection in November. Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Majority say they want GOP in control of Senate: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans MORE (R-Ga.) will also be on the ballot in the jungle primary.

Loeffler maintains that she had no control over her portfolio, which she said is run by a third party.

Burr has denied wrongdoing, saying he did not use classified information in his decision to sell stocks. On Friday, he also asked for the Senate Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into his stock trading.

 

Read more

Four senators sold stocks before coronavirus threat crashed market, by Sylvan Lane

Burr requests ethics investigation into stock sale, denies wrongdoing, by J. Edward Moreno

 

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MONEY WATCH:

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE will transfer $18 million to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and plans to consolidate his massive campaign organization behind the national party in an effort to defeat President Trump in November. The gift of money and organization mark a huge windfall for the DNC, which has not been remotely competitive with the Republican National Committee (RNC) on either front in recent years. Jonathan Easley reports.

Republicans and some reporters pointed out that the gift appeared to be a questionable workaround of campaign finance laws.

 

The RNC raked in more than $26 million last month, giving the party its best February fundraising haul in history. Max Greenwood reports.

 

Costs for the federal government to make it safe for voters to participate in the general election could add up to $2 billion, should the coronavirus still be a concern in November, a new study by an independent think tank shows. Marty Johnson reports.

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POLL WATCH:

The majority of Americans now approve of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a reversal from just one week prior, according to a new Ipsos/ABC News poll.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

 

April 4:

Alaska Democratic primary

Hawaii Democratic primary

Wyoming Democratic caucuses

 

April 7:

Wisconsin Democratic primary

 

April 26:

Puerto Rico Democratic primary

 

April 28:

Delaware primaries

New York primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

 

ONE HOPEFUL THING:

SPREADING CHEER:  Americans are trying to make the best of a very stressful situation. The latest example of that can be seen in neighborhoods across the country in the form of Christmas lights. 

Here's some pictures we saw on Twitter of folks trying to spread some cheer in this moment of uncertainty

And, hey, if you're three months behind taking your decorations down, you're ahead of the game! 

We'll be back on Monday with all of the latest news in politics. Please stay safe and healthy!