The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Trump advisor Bossert says to test the well, not ill; Senate standoff on next relief bill




> Senate blocks dueling coronavirus relief plans

> Fed unleashes another $2.3 trillion to support collapsing economy 

> Attorney general calls stay-at-home measures “draconian,” urges reconsideration

> Scientists warn warmer weather will not eliminate COVID-19 

> Gottlieb says U.S. won’t be able to meet demand if vaccine is developed 

> U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves intensive care 


Mnuchin says U.S. businesses could reopen in May. 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 said Thursday that he thinks the U.S. could reopen the economy during the month of May. “I do,” Mnuchin told CNBC host Jim Cramer in a phone interview on Thursday morning in response to a question about whether the country could be “open for business” in the month of May. This comes on the heels of 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 saying he’d like to see the economy open with a “big bang.” (The Hill)


Senate blocks dueling coronavirus relief plans. The Senate on Thursday blocked dueling plans to provide hundreds of billions of dollars to help small businesses contend with the coronavirus-fueled economic meltdown amid a stalemate over the scope of the package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November 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 (R-Ky.) accused Senate Democrats of holding Americans “as political hostages.” Maryland Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (D) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats shy from leading court fight over Trump orders Exclusive: Democrats seek to increase racial diversity of pandemic relief oversight board Overnight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors MORE (D) fired back, accusing McConnell of trying to pull “a political stunt.” (The Hill


16 million jobless. Roughly 6.6 million American workers filed for unemployment last week. That means more than 16 million Americans are out of work since the start of the crisis. These figures were announced as the Fed said it could pump up to $2.3 trillion into the economy. With more people across the U.S. struggling to make ends meet, Washington is under greater pressure to speed up relief efforts as the pandemic tightens its grip on the nation’s economy. At this rate, unemployment is likely to reach its highest level since the Great Depression. (New York Times)


Pence vows U.S. will ask WHO ‘tough questions’ on being ‘so wrong’ on coronavirus. Vice President Pence told Fox News’s Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityQAnon supporter in Georgia heads into tight GOP runoff Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans MORE that the U.S. will ask "tough questions" of the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic after the global health agency's director warned President Trump and other world leaders against "politicizing" the outbreak. (Fox News)


Former Trump Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert Says To Reopen Country We Need To Test "The Well," NOT "The Ill"




On restarting the country, Bossert said: “ Here's the prescription for that. There are two forms of infectious people — those that know it and those that don’t.  Those that know it have symptoms, even if they're mild symptoms. And I think the public health community has moved to the state in which people have symptoms, even if they're miles are presumptively positive for Covid and isolate themselves accordingly and quarantine those that they've been in contact with. That's the contact tracing part that will help us slow the spread and maintain a slow spread until we get a vaccine. And then for those that are sick but don't know it. Those were “the well” right now. Those that feel well, they want to re-enter the workforce. We're going to have to prioritize the scarce, accurate diagnostic tests for them and start testing “the well.”


Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Thursday, April 9. 


Scientists tell WH warmer weather won’t expel virus. In a letter to the White House, members of a National Academy of Sciences committee said data is mixed on whether coronavirus spreads as easily in warm weather as it does in cold weather, but that it might not matter much given that so few people in the world are immune to coronavirus. (CNN


Your Coronavirus Report team includes Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large of The Hill, and researcher Andrew Wargofchik. Follow us on Twitter at @SCClemons and @a_wargofchik. 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. 

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.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored by AHIP


No one should hesitate to get tested or treated for COVID-19 because of concerns about costs. Health insurance providers have proactively eliminated patient cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment – no copay, no coinsurance required. Click here for a one-pager to learn how we’re protecting Americans. From expanding public health capacity, to ensuring access to testing, to taking action to mitigate the economic and societal impact, we know these are serious and significant times. Health insurance providers are taking decisive actions to help patients and curb the spread of COVID-19. See how health insurance providers are taking action.


Global coronavirus “confirmed” cases now stand at more than 1.5 million people but are thought to be much higher given inadequate and incomplete testing globally. More than 90,00 people have died around the world. But more than 340,000 people have recovered from the virus. 


The U.S. is home to nearly one-third of all officially recognized cases with 432,596 infected — and nearly 15,000 dead. Italy has reported 17,669 deaths. Spain 15,238. France 10,869. Germany 2,349. Turkey 812.


New York continues to lead in both infections and confirmed deaths with 151,079 cases and 7,067 deaths. A sampling of other U.S. states shows mortality levels for New Jersey at 1,504.  Michigan 959. California 507. Louisiana 652. Massachusetts 433. Pennsylvania 319. Georgia 370. Wyoming at 0 — for now.



AG Barr calls lockdown measures ‘draconian.’ Attorney General William BarrBill BarrKamala Harris: The right choice at the right time 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 Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris MORE said Wednesday that some of the government-imposed lockdown measures meant to control the spread of COVID-19 are “draconian” and suggested that they should be eased next month. “When this period of time, at the end of April, expires, I think we have to allow people to adapt more than we have, and not just tell people to go home and hide under their bed, but allow them to use other ways — social distancing and other means — to protect themselves,” Barr said. (Washington Post



Fauci thinks handshakes should become thing of the past. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci: 'I seriously doubt' Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Public health expert: 50 percent effective coronavirus vaccine would be 'better than what we have now' MORE is suggesting that Americans should, perhaps, never shake hands again. "I don't think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you. Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease; it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country,” the key member of the White House coronavirus task force told The Wall Street Journal's podcast. In a post-COVID-19 world, Americans may look to undertake other forms of greeting our peers, such as bowing or other hands-free greetings. (The Hill


Gottlieb says U.S. won’t be able to make enough treatment to meet demand. Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s former Food and Drug Administration chief, said Thursday that even if the U.S. has an effective therapy to treat COVID-19 by fall, “we’re not going to have the capacity to produce it at scale to give it to the millions of people who might be eligible for it, who might need it.” (CNBC)

Sixth Member of Congress tests positive. Florida Rep. Neal DunnNeal Patrick DunnMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R) announced Thursday he has tested positive for COVID-19. Dunn, a former surgeon, is self-quarantining at home and “expects a full recovery soon.” (The Hill)


Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump China sanctioning Rubio, Cruz in retaliatory move over Hong Kong The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead MORE (R-Ark.)

@SenTomCotton There will be more—much more—of this as the world turns against China. Japan set to pay its manufacturers to leave China. (South China Morning Post)

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE (D-R.I.)

@SenJackReed Let's focus on where Repubs & Dems agree: The #CARESAct aimed high, but not high enough. More help is needed. Congress should quickly deliver additional aid to families, hospitals & health centers, small businesses & employees, communities & states. Time is of the essence.


Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.)

@RepDonBeyer The US economy just lost nearly twice as many jobs in three weeks as it lost in the entirety of the Great Recession. This is a catastrophe and it won't stop until we stop the pandemic. Americans will need sustained support from their government to get through this crisis.


It’s an order! Masks mandatory in San Bernardino and DC.  San Bernardino County, California, residents cannot step out in public without a face covering. All religious services have to take place virtually and there’s no exemption for last-minute runs to pick up Easter eggs or candy. For those willing to defy these orders, violations are punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, imprisonment of up to 90 days, or both (San Bernardino Sun). Along the same lines, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser is directing all grocery stores and food markets in the city to require customers to wear face masks before entering. (The Hill)


Rural areas with vacation homes more susceptible to coronavirus. Rural communities with vacation homes are experiencing outbreaks of the coronavirus at a faster pace than rural areas without seasonal housing, according to a new study, suggesting residents of big cities who flee to the countryside are bringing the virus with them. (The Hill)


Washington, Oregon show promising coronavirus trends. Two states at the forefront of the coronavirus outbreak are beginning to see infection rates slow as strict social distancing requirements show early results of paying off. (The Hill)


West Virginia sees surge in coronavirus cases. In West Virginia, which was the last state to report a case of the virus, there is bad news. West Virginia added 71 new cases in the past 24 hours and, as more people get tested, the numbers will almost certainly continue to snowball. (WCHS/WVAH)


Virus spreading behind bars, Chicago prison emerges as big U.S. hot spot. Two inmates in Chicago’s Cook County jail tested positive for the coronavirus on March 23. They were isolated, but that didn’t help. The virus has now infected more than 350 people in the jail, making it the nation’s largest-known source of coronavirus infections, according to data compiled by The New York Times. (New York Times)


Pope adapts his own method of social distancing. The novel coronavirus has forced Pope FrancisPope FrancisFormer pope ill after trip to Germany: report Group says China hackers infiltrated Vatican ahead of expected talks McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue MORE to scrap his public appearances and postpone his first overseas trip of the year, to Malta. He now recites his Sunday Angelus not from a window overlooking St. Peter's Square, but from a Vatican library. This week, he'll conduct the ceremonies leading up to Easter largely via livestream. (Washington Post)


Virus returns to some recovered patients. Coronavirus patients in South Korea are now testing positive for the virus a second time, health officials are warning, following similar reports in other countries. Bloomberg reported Thursday that the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement announcing a formal investigation that dozens of patients have retested positive for the disease. (The Hill)


Sweden's lax approach to coronavirus. Unlike the rest of the world, life in Sweden — by design — has not been greatly disrupted by the virus. Only the vulnerable have been advised to isolate and some are working from home. But with 9,141 confirmed cases and 793 deaths, experts worry weaker measures may be leading to a more severe outbreak in the country of just 10 million residents. (Time)



Surge in Turkish cases concerning WHO. The World Health Organization said it’s concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in Turkey, after the country announced its biggest daily jump in new cases. (Bloomberg)


Pfizer and BioNTech working toward COVID-19 vaccine. The pharmaceutical companies provided more details today about their joint efforts to develop and produce a coronavirus vaccine. Clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe could begin as soon as the end of this month. 


New York coronavirus outbreak originated in Europe, studies show. “The majority is clearly European,” Harm van Bakel, a geneticist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and co-author of a study awaiting peer review, told The New York Times. (The Hill)


Federal Reserve unveils details of $2.3 trillion in programs to help support the economy. The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced new moves aimed at getting another $2.3 trillion of financing into businesses and revenue-pinched governments. Stock futures jumped after the announcement, which came moments after the government reported that 6.6 million new jobless claims were filed last week. (CNBC

Drizly, other delivery apps booming during pandemic. Drizly, an alcohol delivery company, is booming during the coronavirus pandemic as orders from Americans stuck at home surge and states temporarily relax their liquor laws to help companies meet that demand. (The Hill)


Migrants’ rights and health must be protected in the face of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic is a test of our common humanity. It has revealed our shared vulnerabilities, and only a coordinated response based on justice, solidarity and humanitarian principles can help us overcome it. (Zeid Raad Al Hussein for The Hill)

5 critical factors needed to flatten the anxiety curve. While the coronavirus crisis is nothing like an actual war, there are invisible battles being fought and not just against COVID-19. For many, this battle is in our minds and we need to have a plan of attack on anxiety. (Rob Fazio for The Hill)


103-year-old Italian woman says ‘courage, faith’ helped her beat virus. To recover from the coronavirus, as she did, Ada Zanusso recommends courage and faith, the same qualities that have served her well in her nearly 104 years. (Associated Press)

Bethenny Frankel’s foundation to exceed $15M in coronavirus aid. The Skinnygirl CEO and former “Shark Tank” and “Real Housewives of New York City” star has raised more than $15 million for her foundation, BStrong, that is working to get protective equipment in the hands of medical professionals who need it most. (Daily News)



Othman Guennoun from Manhattan’s Financial District shared this photo of an eerily empty Wall Street, normally one of the most crowded blocks in the country. He writes that he got “the chills” walking through the empty streets, but the flag hanging from the New York Stock Exchange was a “hopeful reminder that this, too, shall pass.” 


Thanks, Othman! Keep on keeping on. We’re all in this together.


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.