Coronavirus Report

The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Debruyne Says Global Response Platform Needed; Navarro Saw It Coming

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Luc Debruyne Says Permanent Global Virus Research & Action Platform Needed 


“It’s very clear that this is an unprecedented challenge.  This kind of pandemic comes once in 100 years time, I would say. And what does that mean? That you absolutely need all the best people. The best experts, the best scientists, but also the political will and the financial support.  Two. We need to take this challenge on.”


Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Tuesday, April 7, and World Health Day.

There is a struggle between science and President Trump’s desire to quickly get through the dark tunnel of these times and into good news. The president’s belief in his own instincts over data and scientific evidence is consistent with his approach to public policy choices and regulation. But what is happening is that scientists are now emerging as politically enabled actors whether they want that power or not. Science is in the ring now, and like any contender competing for victory, it can win — or lose. The good news: There are signs that what the administration and governors are doing is working.


Your Coronavirus Report team today includes Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large of The Hill, and researcher Andrew Wargofchik. Follow us on Twitter at @SCClemons and @A_WargofchikCLICK HERE to subscribe to The Hill’s Coronavirus Special Report. To stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus, visit and SUBSCRIBE to our OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE newsletter for the latest developments from the daily White House coronavirus task force briefings. 

In coming weeks, we will share with you our new 3D journalism platform, The Hill Virtually Live, to take stock of what is happening around the nation – for instance, empathy and building resilience across generations, acts of heroism, the way learning and credentialing are being reinvented, and how health delivery is going even more digital. Follow @TheHillEvents to stay up to date on our upcoming virtual programs.


THE WORLD STANDS AT 1,381,014 REPORTED COVID-19 CASES. AMERICA HAS THE MOST CONFIRMED CASES IN THE WORLD with 378,298 cases11,830 people in America are confirmed dead. New York City has registered 3,485 deaths, but the growth in the infection rate has continued to decline.


A sampling of states cases: New York is at 138,836 cases. New Jersey at 41,090. Michigan at 17,221. California at 16,373. Louisiana 14,867. Florida 14,504. Indiana 5,507. Virginia 3,215. Utah 1,687. District of Columbia 1,211 Kansas 864. North Dakota 225.

292,973 people have fully recovered. 





WISCONSIN PRIMARY ELECTION A S— SHOW.  Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) called Tuesday’s primary election a “shit show” as reports of long lines were forming at polling locations after Democrats in the state fought to postpone the election amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Good morning and welcome to the Shit Show!,” Barnes tweeted Tuesday. “Today’s episode has been produced by the Supreme Court and directed by the incomparable Speaker and Senate Majority leader duo.” “Buckle up, this one’s sure to disappoint!,” he added. (The Hill)


KEY CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE MUST WORK REMOTELY. A critical White House unit that is getting, shipping and distributing goods to fight the spread of the coronavirus has been ordered to vacate its war room and begin working remotely after a “partner” of the group tested positive for COVID-19. (NBC News)





WASHINGTON HAS EYES ON U.K. PM BORIS JOHNSON British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “in good spirits” and was stable overnight after being moved to intensive care Monday with the coronavirus, the BBC reported. In a Tuesday statement, a Downing Street spokesperson said “the prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance.” (The Hill)


KAYLEIGH McENANY NAMED NEW WH PRESS SECRETARY. This development comes on the heels of an earlier announcement by the White House that Stephanie Grisham would depart the role and return to the first lady’s office in the East Wing. McEnany joins the White House after holding similar posts for the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee. (The Hill)


NAVARRO SAW IT COMING. President Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly warned his White House colleagues about the threat the novel coronavirus posed to the U.S. public in a memo in late January, when Trump was still publicly downplaying the risk. In memos written in January and February and reported by The New York Times and Axios, Navarro estimated up to 2 million Americans could die and appealed for $3 billion to support prevention, treatment, inoculation and diagnostics. He also called for an immediate travel ban on China. (The Hill)


CONGRESS FACES PRESSURE TO MOVE NEXT PHASE OF CORONAVIRUS RESCUE. Lawmakers are facing mounting pressure to move to the next phase of coronavirus legislation, less than two weeks after passing a historic $2.2 trillion economic relief bill. (The Hill


MEA CULPA! Navy chief apologizes to aircraft carrier crew, former captain after leaked speech. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized to crew members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its former commander Monday evening over remarks he made earlier in the day calling Capt. Brett Crozier “naive” or “stupid.” (The Hill) 


Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)
@sethmoulton The hardest decisions I ever made in the Marines were when I protested the commands of those above me. This is a time for courageous leadership. The troops are watching.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

@marcorubio With only 6 days to launch a massive emergency program for over 90% of companies,glitches will happen. But #PPP will get better as: 1. SBA portal adds capacity;& 2. New lenders enter the program Also, Congress already discussing how to add more funding.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

@SenBlumenthal I am calling on FTC to investigate@zoom_us. Zoom’s pattern of security failures & privacy infringements should have drawn the FTC’s attention & scrutiny long ago. Advertising privacy features that do not exist is clearly a deceptive act.


CUOMO NEWS. At his daily coronavirus press briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said that eventually his state (and the country) need to restart the economy — but not right away. Cuomo warned, “We’re not there yet … this is not a light switch that we can just flick one day and everything goes back to normal.” (MSNBC)

BLACK, LATINO COMMUNITIES SUFFERING DISPROPORTIONATELY. Emerging statistics show black and Latino communities are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to pressure from lawmakers and others that states release the racial breakdown of their cases and deaths. (The Hill)

AMERICANS WORRIED ABOUT JOBS, WAGES. Voters in pivotal 2020 election states are worrying about losing their jobs or wages, a poll released Tuesday found. More than a third of respondents in the six key states who have already lost income or employment said they could afford food, housing and other essential costs for less than a month, according to States of Play, a joint CNBC-Change Research survey of swing states. (CNBC)

BASEBALL IS ARIZONA’S SPORT? Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area this season and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association. (AP)


BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER DEPUTIZED, LEADING COUNTRY AS JOHNSON REMAINS IN ICU. U.K. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is deputizing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he remains in intensive care with persistent COVID-19 symptoms. Raab chaired the government’s Tuesday coronavirus meeting and says there is an “incredibly strong team spirit behind the PM.” (The Hill)

SPAIN DEATHS SURGE AGAIN, P.M. TO ANNOUNCE ECONOMIC AID. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is expected to seek cabinet approval on a new economic aid package Tuesday. This comes after the country saw a sharp rise in cases of the coronavirus and deaths Tuesday, after the numbers had slowed for days. (The Hill)  


JAPAN DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures Tuesday, as the nation works to stem the spread of COVID-19. (The Hill)

OPEN FOR BUSINESS, BUT SLOWLY. In Germany, where more than 100,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus and more than 1,800 have died, a group of economists, lawyers and medical experts are recommending a gradual revival of Europe’s biggest economy that would allow specific industries and workers to resume their activities while steps are taken to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus. (CNN)


PROMISING DRUG ON THE HORIZON. Scientists are reporting promising results for a new drug to treat COVID-19. The drug is known as EIDD-2801. It works by interfering with the coronavirus’s ability to make copies of itself once it infects a cell. Click here to read more about the promising research. (NPR)


HUMAN TESTING BEGINS ON SECOND VACCINE CANDIDATE. Human testing is beginning on a second coronavirus vaccine candidate after approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced Monday. Inovio said phase one of the clinical testing is set to begin this week after animal testing showed promising results. (The Hill)


A WHODUNNIT EVERYONE WOULD LIKE SOLVED. CNN spoke to more than a half-dozen virus experts about the origins of the outbreak and all of them say anyone who claims to know the source of COVID-19 is guessing. The scientists say there is zero evidence the Chinese or American governments purposefully introduced the novel coronavirus to the public. To date, one thing seems likely: It came from bats. (CNN)


DOW JUMPS 900 POINTS AS CORONAVIRUS DEATHS SLOW. Stock markets on Tuesday continued to rise for a second day in a row after the number of new daily coronavirus cases dropped from peak levels late last week. While the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. passed 10,000 on Monday, markets appeared to focus more on news that the daily number of confirmed cases has begun to drop. (The Hill)


GROCERY WORKER DEATHS SPARK NEW WORRY. Major supermarket chains are beginning to report their first coronavirus-related employee deaths, leading to store closures and increasing anxiety among grocery workers as the pandemic intensifies across the country. Industry experts say the rise of worker infections and deaths will likely have a ripple effect on grocers’ ability to retain and add new workers at a time when they’re looking to rapidly hire thousands of temporary employees. (Washington Post)


STAY AT HOME DISCOUNT. At least two auto insurance companies say they will refund Americans some of their monthly premiums as millions stay at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. The New York Times first reported that insurers Allstate and American Family Insurance say they plan to refund part of customers’ monthly fees, a response to savings the industry is reaping as a result of fewer cars being on the road. (The Hill)


WHILE THE WORLD BATTLES CORONAVIRUS, ADVERSARIES PLAN NEXT ATTACK. Every nation is engaged in fighting the coronavirus. The pandemic has caused tens of thousands of deaths, and many nations are using drastic measures to fight its spread. While we seek to make common cause with our allies in this effort, it is worth remembering that our adversaries often use crises to further their agendas. (Keith B. Alexander and Jamil N. Jaffer for The Hill)


WE NEED TO BE ONE AMERICA. Our political system remains almost as divided as ever. Two-thirds of the public believe that our politicians are up to partisan games as usual, instead of doing what is best for the country. (Mark Penn for The Hill)


SEND US YOUR OWN PICS – from your own walks or adventures – during this time of physical distancing but social connection. And SEND US YOUR STORIES of how teleworking is going, what you have learned from homeschooling, new ways to exercise, and special moments or standout heroism you want to share. What’s working for you? What’s comic in these dark days? 


Send to Our thoughts are with you, our readers, and we hope and trust that no matter the weight of burdens on you now — and it’s not a good story for everyone we know — that we all stand together, resilient and confident, on the other side of this. There will be another side.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to The Hill’s Coronavirus Special Report. To stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus, visit and SUBSCRIBE to our OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE newsletter for the latest developments from the daily White House coronavirus task force briefings.


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Tags Andrew Cuomo Boris Johnson Coronavirus Donald Trump Mandela Barnes Marco Rubio Mark Penn Seth Moulton Stephanie Grisham

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