The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Moniz says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition and Manchin says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don't work for Main Street; Burr to step aside

The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Moniz says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition and Manchin says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don't work for Main Street; Burr to step aside


> Another 3 million Americans join jobless rolls, 36.5 million unemployed since pandemic 

> Burr to step down as Intel Chairman amid stock sale probe 

> Ousted vaccine official tells Congress US faces ‘darkest winter in modern history’ without coordinated response to coronavirus; Trump calls him ‘disgruntled employee’ 

> WHO warns COVID-19 ‘may never go away’ 

> Trump says he was ‘surprised’ by Fauci testimony 

> ‘Wild West’ in Wisconsin: State Supreme Court strikes down governor’s stay-at-home order 

> BIO names Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath as new CEO

> Former Energy Secretary Moniz says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition 

> Sen. Manchin says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don’t work for Main Street





Remember Rick Bright? The former top U.S. vaccine official who alleged in a recent whistleblower complaint that he was demoted for prioritizing science over political favors testified before Congress Thursday morning about the need for a national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Bright said in prepared testimony that the United States faces the “darkest winter in modern history” — with “unprecedented illness and fatalities” — if federal officials don’t develop a more coordinated strategy before an expected resurgence of the virus later this year, according to The Washington Post. 

As to be expected, President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE took to Twitter to disavow Bright’s whistleblower complaint ahead of his congressional testimony, saying Bright should “no longer” be working for the federal government.




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Former Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizLobbying from the center Granholm: Biden wants to take advantage of 'economic opportunity' in fighting climate change Biden to select Granholm as Energy secretary: reports MORE says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition in the same spirit as from the 1930s. 





Watch the full interview here.



Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Klain says Harris would not overrule parliamentarian on minimum wage increase On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (D-W.Va.) says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don’t work for Main Street, says we need to invest more in health programs to protect Americans from next pandemic, says President Trump is flat out wrong on testing availability





Watch the full interview here.

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Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Wednesday, May 13

Editor’s Note.


Many folks have commented that in this unusual time, they are having vivid and frequent nightmares. One only wonders what the warnings of former top U.S. vaccine official Rick Bright, who testified Thursday before Congress, will do to the toxicity and intensity of those dreams. Bright stuck a knife of reality into the likelihood that a vaccine could be generated in the next 12 to 18 months. He said that only under the best of circumstances would that be possible; and with a national leadership team and president that elevate “political expediency” over science, in his view, he indicated the chances of a best of circumstance path to a cure for the virus in that time period is very low.


Add to the mix the new unemployment report in which just about 3 million more filed claims, kicking the official number of unemployed-benefits seekers to 36.5 million people. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told me in my interview Thursday that he wants all of his constituents to be tested for the virus if they want, and to be tested again, but he said the assertion that people could get a test if they want one — an assertion by President Trump — is totally false. Manchin also stated that the trillions of dollars in stimulus are being written to work for Wall Street types, not those in rural areas and not those on Main Street. Manchin tells the world as it is, in my view, and not the world as we’d like to imagine it to be.


But imagining a better world is important too. That might help the content of our dreams, if our aspirations are given a path and some lift. That is why I asked former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to speak about his “Energy Jobs Coalition” idea — a sort of Tennessee Valley Authority-type of big idea for this era and as a way to create jobs and a better energy infrastructure as part of the path out of today’s major economic crisis. Moniz wrote about this idea for The Hill and his piece can be read here


The CEO of General Electric, Larry Culp, has said “there will be another side” to all this, and I agree with him, but like Bright said, to get to that other side, to get to a new energy jobs coalition, to think about advancing the economy and American society rather than just “recovering,” we will still possibly experience our “darkest winter in modern history.”


We are producing this report to offer the best information we can — and sometimes that comes packaged in hope and aspiration,  and other times in a vividly grim assessment. The best way to the other side is making smart decisions, being resilient where possible, innovating, and not getting seduced into fairy tales or fantasy. The nightmares are necessary.


— Steve Clemons



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 Report


Join us! The Vir-Tech-Tual World Ahead | Wednesday, May 20




Join us for our upcoming virtual event ‘The Vir-tech-tual World Ahead’, that focuses on our dramatic shift to a digital ecosystem at a time when digital literacy continues to be uneven, much as basic access to the internet. 


Steve Clemons, The Hill’s editor-at-large, will be speaking with: 


> FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly 

> Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneHillicon Valley: Chip order inbound | Biden asks for more time on WeChat | New IoT bill introduced Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to allow for increased use of internet-connected devices New state privacy initiatives turn up heat on Congress MORE (D-Wash.) 

> Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District Michael Hinojosa

> Next Century Cities Executive Director Francella Ochillo 

> Information Technology Industry Council President and CEO Jason Oxman 

> *Additional speakers to be announced

REGISTER HERE. And join the conversation using #TheHillVirtuallyLive.


There are 4,399,550 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and the virus has claimed 299,333 lives. 


The U.S. is reporting 1,398,393 cases and 84,575 deaths as of the time of this newsletter. Russia accounts for the second most global cases with a reported total of 252,245. There are 234,431 cases in the U.K., 228,691 in Spain and 223,096 in Italy. Brazil saw a record increase in cases on Wednesday and has overtaken France as the sixth hardest-hit nation with a total of 196,158 reported cases. 178,184 cases in France. 174,284 in Germany. 81,705 in India. Japan — which is set to lift its state of emergency in 39 of its 47 prefectures — is reporting 16,049 cases. 16,006 in Indonesia. 12,074 in South Africa. 6,819 in Malaysia. 6,593 in Morocco. 6,145 in Finland. 3,380 in Hungary. 3,134 in Iraq. 654 in Zambia. 


New York is reporting 340,661 cases. New Jersey 142,389. Illinois 84,694. 73,144 in California. 62,791 in Pennsylvania. 48,391 in Michigan. 43,075 in Texas. 43,210 in Florida. 35,903 in Maryland. 34,855 in Connecticut. 33,489 in Louisiana. 27,813 in Virginia. 16,370 in Tennessee. 10,902 in Wisconsin. 7,542 in Kansas. 1,565 in Maine. 


9,974,831 COVID-19 tests have been conducted and 243,430 people have reported full recoveries from the virus in the U.S.


Burr to step down from Senate Intel panel amid stock sale probe. Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive supply increase | Biden health nominee faces first Senate test | White House defends reopening of facility for migrant kids MORE (R-N.C.) will temporarily step aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee amid an investigation into his stock sales, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Ky.) announced Thursday. McConnell’s announcement comes after federal investigators seized Burr’s cellphone on Wednesday night as part of an investigation into alleged insider trading. (The Hill


Trump calls Fauci's caution on schools reopening “not an acceptable answer.” President Trump voiced frustration Wednesday at the nation's top infectious disease specialist after he warned a day earlier against reopening schools and businesses too quickly. "I was surprised by his answer, actually," Trump said when asked about Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNew data suggest 'long COVID' symptoms last up to 9 months: Fauci The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive supply increase | Biden health nominee faces first Senate test | White House defends reopening of facility for migrant kids MORE’s warnings during televised congressional testimony that reopening states too quickly could have dire consequences. (CNN)


Trump names ex-pharmaceutical executive, general to lead vaccine push. President Trump plans to tap a former pharmaceutical executive and an Army general to lead Operation Warp Speed, the administration's program aimed at speeding the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Moncef Slaoui will serve as chief adviser to the project, while Gen. Gustave Perna serves as chief operation officer, according to an administration official. (The Hill)


Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeSanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary Biden's infrastructure plan needs input from cities and regions MORE (D-Ohio)

@RepMarciaFudge Unemployment is at its worst point since the Great Depression. Meanwhile, the Administration is fighting a ruling that prevented it from stripping food benefits from hungry Americans in the middle of a pandemic. THE CRUELTY IS THE POINT. #HandsOffSNAP


Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessSix ways to visualize a divided America Capitol Police tribute turns political K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE (R-Texas) 

@michaelcburgess @HouseCommerce Subcmtee on Health is the premier health subcmtee in Congress. So why have we waited until TODAY to have the first official #COVID19 hearing?


Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKlain says Harris would not overrule parliamentarian on minimum wage increase Romney-Cotton, a Cancun cabbie and the minimum wage debate On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (I-Vt.) 

@SenSanders In just eight weeks, 36 million Americans lost their jobs. 27 million lost their health insurance. During the worst public-health crisis in a century, we cannot continue to tie health care to employment. Medicare must guarantee health care to all.


WIsconsin governor: Republicans, state Supreme Court decided “facts don’t matter” in move to reopen state. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) late Wednesday denounced the state Supreme Court's decision to side with Republican legislators and strike down the extension of his stay-at-home order, saying the ruling would throw the state into "chaos" and lead to a spike in coronavirus cases. Following the court’s ruling, several bars across the state opened at midnight Thursday to welcome their first patrons in months. (The Hill


Politics, Pennsylvania and re-opening drama. President Trump is in the prominent presidential battleground of Pennsylvania, further submerging himself in a politically charged debate over whether states are opening too quickly or slowly amid the coronavirus pandemic. Scores of protesters descended on the state capital last month to protest Gov. Tom Wolf's (D) stay-at-home directive, and Trump amped them on, tweeting Monday that Pennsylvanians “want their freedom now.” (The Hill)


18 counties in California set to further relax coronavirus restrictions. Eighteen of California's 58 counties have received state approval to further ease coronavirus restrictions, but major population centers such as the San Francisco Bay Area are choosing not to relax stay-at-home orders for now. (NPR)


Bartlesville, Okla., hospital taking part in plasma treatment study. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips in Bartlesville began treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma therapy last week. The process involves an injection of plasma from a person who has recovered from the novel coronavirus into someone that has a severe case of COVID-19. (Examiner-Enterprise)


WHO: Coronavirus may never go away. The coronavirus "may never go away", the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday, WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear. He added that even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require a "massive effort.” (BBC


Japan has its own Trump-vs.-Cuomo divide. And it’s just as tense. It's a struggle that Americans will recognize — a national leader desperately focused on the economy against a governor whose popularity has soared with attempts to bring the coronavirus under control. Japan has its own version. Playing the role of President Trump is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom critics accuse of dithering in the face of the virus threat in a mistaken attempt to evade economic pain.The part of New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFormer Cuomo aide says governor kissed her without consent Cuomo job approval drops 6 points amid nursing home controversy: poll Cruz blames criticism of Cancun trip on media 'Trump withdrawal' MORE (D) is played by Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, who has battled for a much more resolute response to the threat of COVID-19. Koike’s daily video briefings, clear messaging and approachable style have enhanced her reputation. (Washington Post


France resists idea of U.S. getting vaccine first. Deputy Finance Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher was responding to comments by Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson, who said "the U.S. government has the right to the largest pre-order because it's invested in taking the risk.” Many labs worldwide are involved in research to find a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines usually take years to develop. "For us, it would be unacceptable for there to be privileged access to such and such a country for financial reasons," Pannier-Runacher told France's Sud Radio. (BBC)


Why vaccine “nationalism” could slow coronavirus fight. When the swine flu pandemic struck in 2009, some of the world’s richest countries scrambled to get their hands on vaccines however they could. Poorer countries — among the worst affected — were pushed to the back of the queue, as western nations signed deals with drugmakers to guarantee access to vaccines. (Financial Times


Emissions drop during pandemic creates unexpected challenge. Stay-at-home orders around the world have set the stage for an unintentional experiment: What happens to the planet when some of the most polluting activities grind to a halt? Carbon emissions have plummeted as people stick close to home, leading to drastic declines in the use of cars and planes. (The Hill)


BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, names Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath as new CEO.  McMurry-Heath, an immunologist, is a former FDA official and a former vice president of external innovation and global leader for regulatory science at Johnson & Johnson. Watch her welcome video message.


3M more Americans file for unemployment benefits as pandemic expands its impact. Just under 3 million people submitted initial unemployment claims in the week ending May 9, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. The seasonally adjusted figures bring the total number of newly unemployed Americans since the start of the pandemic to roughly 36.5 million. (The Hill


Cisco CEO: security, collaboration big areas of future opportunity as COVID-19 impacts Q3 results. Cisco Systems customers and partners were under enormous pressure as they transitioned entire teams to a remote working environment. That's why security and collaboration have become even more strategic as businesses all over the globe move to remote working and demand remote-access solutions, according to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. Robbins called the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic the "greatest financial crisis of our lifetime." (CRN)


United Airlines catering workers demand cleaner, safer conditions after four die of coronavirus. United Airlines workers demanded on Wednesday that the company close and clean its catering facility at Newark Liberty International Airport after four workers died from coronavirus. About 60 workers from Unite Here Local 100 rallied outside of the facility, calling for more protocols to protect catering employees from COVID-19. (NY Daily News)


Amtrak’s Acela to make comeback, riders or not. Amtrak plans to restart its Acela express service between Washington and Boston on June 1, a first step in the national railroad’s return from a near-shutdown after the coronavirus crushed rider demand nationwide. (Wall Street Journal)


The New Deal's lessons can guide into a post-pandemic economy. History has given us a roadmap for how to be ambitious in the face of an economic crisis. But transforming the idea of a “Citizens Energy and Environmental Corps” (CEEC) into action will take more than historical perspective; it will take clarity of vision, practical lines of operation, and lots of resources. We urge Congress to take the first steps toward making this new CEEC “army” a reality by enacting legislation in the next phase of COVID-19 economic stimulus. (Sherri Goodman and Greg Douquet for The Hill


In defense of Big Pharma, the innovation engine we love to hate. It’s easy to hate Big Pharma. Drug prices are absurdly high compared to the rest of the world. Executive salaries can be stomach-churning. Lobbyists treat Washington like it’s their own personal client state. To any sentient observer, it appears the biomedical industry has gotten greedy. (Bradley Tusk for Fast Company

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UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba hosts “Virtual Interfaith Ramadan Gathering” on Zoom. Yesterday, to mark the holy month of Ramadan, leaders in Washington and the UAE heard the Tarawih (evening) call to prayer from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi. 


Donation from Twitter CEO more than doubled SF's coronavirus relief fund in a single day. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has donated $15 million to the city’s Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, more than doubling the total of contributions raised in support of the emergency relief program, Mayor London Breed announced Tuesday. (SF Gate)


> Steve interviews Rep. ROSA DELAURO (D-Conn.)

> Steve interviews BIO President and CEO JIM GREENWOOD 

> Steve interviews former Surgeon General VIVEK MURTHY 

> Steve interviews World Central Kitchen founder chef JOSE ANDRES 

> Steve interviews Rep. WILL HURD (R-Texas) 

> Steve interviews Sen. JOHN BARRASSO (R-Wyo.) 

> Steve interviews Rep. LEE ZELDIN (R-N.Y.) 

> Steve interviews former Maryland Lt. Gov. and ex-RNC Chair MICHAEL STEELE 

Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.


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 YourStories@TheHill.com. 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 Report.