The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dr. Tom Inglesby says society will have to learn to live with virus until vaccine emerges; Good news on vaccine trial propels stocks

The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dr. Tom Inglesby says society will have to learn to live with virus until vaccine emerges; Good news on vaccine trial propels stocks


> US stocks jump after Moderna reports ‘positive’ results from early data on vaccine

> WHO holds first global assembly since outbreak, China insists it acted transparently 

> Trump officials deflect blame for US death toll, escalate push to reopen country 

> Fed chair says full economic recovery may not happen without a vaccine 

> Brazil emerges as new virus hotspot amid political turmoil

> Dr. Tom Inglesby says society will have to learn to live with virus until vaccine emerges, calls on US to invest now in vaccine preparedness for ‘next pandemic’ and applauds Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) for listening to scientists and hospitals and demonstrating himself importance of wearing a mask





The World Health Organization (WHO) held its annual assembly virtually Monday, the first large gathering of the body since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid growing calls for an independent investigation into the novel coronavirus pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the annual assembly via video that he supports an international review led by the WHO — once the health emergency ends. President Xi also called on the world to rally behind the WHO and support developing countries. Xi’s speech, delivered over video at the invitation of WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, signaled a growing sense of assuredness from China. (Washington Post


US, China tensions threaten to dominate Monday’s meeting as President Xi double downs on China’s handling of the pandemic. “We have done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need,” he said. The meeting — which  WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said was perhaps the most important for the world since the organization was founded in 1948 — comes amid rising tension between the U.S. and China over the origin of the coronavirus and China’s alleged delay in alerting the WHO of the severity of the Wuhan outbreak. (New York Times



Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Health & Security

Johns Hopkins’s Dr. Tom Inglesby says society will have to learn to ‘live with virus’ until vaccine achieved, says US should be investing now in vaccine preparedness for ‘next pandemic,’ says it’s unacceptable to have to wait 12-18 months to react to virus, says supply chain can’t have just a few nations providing gloves, masks, gowns, and eye protection; applauds Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for listening to scientists and hospitals and demonstrating himself importance of wearing a mask





Watch the full interview here


Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Monday, May 18. 

Editor’s Note. 


One book that has sat far too long on my pile of procrastinated must read books is Michael Lewis’s “The Fifth Risk” It was published in 2018, but at the time I got it I had every intention of jumping into it, like so many other things. As Carlos Lozada wrote about the book in The Washington Post, “The Fifth Risk” is Michael Lewis’s love letter to federal workers, an appreciation for the vital work of countless, mostly anonymous, citizens. It highlights what they do to advance the nation’s interests and to keep unbelievable calamities from happening — from safeguarding the nation’s nuclear stockpile and warheads, to managing an incredible array of national assets like federal lands, inspecting meat packing and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and so much more.


One of the interview subjects of Lewis’s book laid out a series of risks he had hoped to outline for his Trump administration successors, but they never showed up for any of the briefings.  They never got the outline of high consequence events that could rock the nation. This willful disinterest is relevant today amid reports that the Trump administration never seriously looked at the global pandemic playbook that the Obama administration had drafted for the incoming president and his team. Lewis illustrates time after time — at the Department of Energy, the Department of State, the Department of Agriculture — how federal employees in departments throughout the government expected Trump personnel to show up the day after he was elected and begin the process of government transfer to a new team. But they didn’t show up.


Not to ruin the book for those of you who should get it on your own must read pile, but “The Fifth Risk” is “project management.” It’s when low-level malfunctions can have enormous consequences. When the CIA and FBI failed to communicate key information to each other in a regularized way, terrorists were able to exploit the dysfunction and attack America by turning its own airplanes on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It’s sort of like if Boeing, which makes one of the most complex products in the world, were to get an element in their systems integration wrong and compound the issue with a sales department that put a price tag on safety. That’s a project management foul.


And what Lewis documents is that the Trump administration brought in a number of people into government positions who had high marks in Trump loyalty but not as high marks in knowing much about the positions they would be occupying, nor interest in learning from their predecessors. This is not a partisan statement — it’s one of observations that rings mostly true with what we have seen unfold in Washington. There are exceptions to this. There are outstanding personnel whom the Trump administration has brought in and who have worked hard to get to know their buildings and teams and to steer policy in a direction consistent with what the president has outlined. That’s the way it should happen. But there are gaps — and today the issue of project management of the world’s most complex organization is being tested in a defining manner.


Time will tell how the administration does. If a vaccine is quickly secured, much of the memory of missteps and slowness to act may fade away — but if the numbers of dead surge from the current 90,000 to 200,000 or 500,000 over time — then “The Fifth Risk” of project management challenges will be identified as one of the villains of this time.


– 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. To stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus, visit and SUBSCRIBE to our Overnight Healthcare. 


Thursday, 11 a.m. EDT | Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Schumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' MORE to join The Hill’s Editor in Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead On The Money: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of needing another COVID-19 relief bill | 2.4 million more Americans file new jobless claims | Top bank regulator abruptly announces resignation Overnight Health Care: Trump says US won't close over second COVID-19 wave | Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of needing another COVID-19 relief bill | Why the US has the most reported coronavirus cases in the world MORE






On Thursday, May 21, The Hill will host “A National Virtual Summit on Advancing America's Economy,” a forum to discuss a responsible reopening of the U.S. economy. The summit will feature three one-hour segments, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT. 

> Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joins The Hill’s Editor in Chief Bob Cusack for a keynote interview followed by an afternoon of discussion with leading CEOs and national health experts.

> U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams 

> Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Trump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections On The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions MORE (D-Va.)

> Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks MORE (D-Md.) 

> Mayor Michelle De La Isla, City of Topeka, Kansas 

> Gramercy Tavern co-founder and master chef Tom Colicchio

> AOL Founder and Revolution Chairman Steve Case

> Siemens North America CEO Barbara Humpton

> Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf


*Additional speakers to be announced 

REGISTER HERE! And join the conversation using #TheHillVirtuallyLive.






Wednesday, May 20 at 1 p.m. EDT, The Hill will host “The Vir [tech] tual World Ahead,” a virtual program focusing 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 can be. 


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


> FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly 

> Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments Hillicon Valley: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting | Officials call for broadband expansion during pandemic | Democrats call for investigation into Uber-Grubhub deal The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve 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 

REGISTER HERE! And join the conversation using #TheHillVirtuallyLive.


There are 4,758,937 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and the virus has claimed 316,898 lives. 


The U.S. is reporting 1,496,509 reported cases and 89,874 deaths. Russia’s cases continue to skyrocket and the country is now reporting 290,678 cases with most experts in agreement that Russia’s caseload is likely being underreported. The U.K. is reporting 247,706 cases. 245,595 in Brazil where the resignation of yet another health minister is muddying the waters for the government’s response to the pandemic. 231,606 cases in Spain. 225,886 in Italy. 179,693 in France, 176,551 in Germany. 150,593 in Turkey. 122,492 in Iran. 100,340 in India. 92,273 in Peru. 16,643 in Israel. 16,285 in Japan. Kuwait 15,691. South Africa 15,515. 12,764 in Egypt. 12,725 in the Dominican Republic. 912 in Kenya. 


New York is reporting 351,371 cases as of the time of this newsletter. 148,128 reported cases in New Jersey. 94,191 in illinois. 86,010 in Massachusetts. 80,314 in California. 65,700 in Pennsylvania. 51,142 in Michigan. Texas 48,416. Maryland 39,762. 21,938 in Colorado. 18,433 in Washington. 12,543 in Wisconsin. 12,052 in Alabama. 11,439 in Mississippi. 7,270 in the District of Columbia. 5,938 in New Mexico. Oklahoma 5,398. 4,027 in South Dakota. 2,710 in Puerto Rico. 940 in Vermont. 754 in Wyoming. 


11,499,203 COVID-19 test results have been recorded and 272,265 have reported full recoveries from the coronavirus in the U.S.


Top official: Navarro is criticizing Trump with shots at CDC. A senior official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s criticism of the agency's initial coronavirus testing response is actually a denunciation of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE. "We should remind Mr. Navarro that the CDC is a federal agency part of the administration. The CDC director is an appointed position, and Dr. [Robert] Redfield was appointed by President  Trump," the unidentified CDC official told CNN on Sunday. (The Hill


Trump officials deflect blame for U.S. death to escalate reopening push. Two of President Trump's top officials are now pointing the finger at the administration's own scientists and Americans' pre-existing health conditions to explain the country's world-leading COVID-19 death toll. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar suggested Sunday that underlying health conditions, including among minorities, were one reason for the high American death toll — nearly 90,000 as of Sunday evening. And Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro added the government's own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to its list of scapegoats alongside China and the Obama administration. (CNN report)


Critics say Trump, Congress fumbling economic response to COVID-19. Ten weeks after President Trump signed the first coronavirus relief bill into law, many economists, business groups, lawmakers and labor advocates contend the multitrillion-dollar response has been insufficient, misguided or both. (The Hill


Gottlieb calls for CDC to have “elevated” role in coronavirus fight. Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called on the Trump administration to avoid sidelining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal published Sunday evening. Gottlieb wrote in his column that the CDC has released less information than is customary during public health emergencies and argued that information about the coronavirus is not being shared with the public in an adequate fashion. (The Hill)


Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsGun control group rolls out House endorsements Minority lawmakers gain unprecedented clout amid pandemic The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dr. Tom Inglesby says society will have to learn to live with virus until vaccine emerges; Good news on vaccine trial propels stocks MORE (D-Kan.) 

@RepDavids I have championed the need for state and local aid. I think it MUST be included in any deal made. But the 1800 page bill passed on Friday included things that had very little to do with the crisis at hand. Kansas needs real help and both parties need to work together on that now.


Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.)

@SenJohnKennedy Despite Speaker Pelosi’s $3 TRILLION gambit, Congress can't appropriate enough money to buy the U.S. economy. Only 1 thing is going to lift us out of the #coronavirus economy: the American people and private sector. We have to open up safely and soon.


Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight MORE (D-Ill) 

@SenatorDurbin Our hospitals & health care workers could use all the help we can give them. That’s why @SenBrianSchatz, @SenatorBaldwin, @ChrisVanHollen, @SenatorTester, & I are urging President Trump to finally do what he should have months ago & fully invoke the DPA.


“Hang Fauci, Hang Gates” sign held at Open New York protest. A protestor at an Open New York rally last week that was praised by President Trump held up a sign reading “Hang Fauci, Hang Gates.” The sign seemingly refers to the nation’s top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Defense: Trump extends deployment of National Guard troops to aid with coronavirus response | Pentagon considers reducing quarantine to 10 days | Lawmakers push for removal of Nazi headstones from VA cemeteries Don't move the COVID-19 goalpost Overnight Health Care: Sewage testing gives clues of coronavirus | White House says Trump would take hydroxychloroquine again | Trump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K virus deaths MORE, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, and Bill Gates, a billionaire philanthropist donating funds to aid coronavirus research and issuing warnings about the global pandemic. (The Hill)


“This feels great.” A preview from Georgia about how America might reemerge from the coronavirus. In this grand gamble, Georgia has gone first, with Gov. Brian Kemp (R) dismissing public health experts who’ve warned that opening too soon could cause a catastrophic surge of deaths, placing his faith instead in the residents of Georgia to make up their own minds about what risks and sacrifices they were willing to accept. (Washington Post

Illinois business owners could face fine, jail time for reopening. Business owners in Illinois could now face a Class A misdemeanor charge for opening their establishments in defiance of the state's stay-at-home order. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Friday filed an emergency rule that would penalize owners of restaurants, bars, gyms, barbershops and other businesses for reopening before coronavirus restrictions are lifted, according to The New York Times. (The Hill)


Brazil, once a leader, struggles to contain virus amid political turmoil. Brazil’s national confusion — compounded by the resignation of the second health minister since the pandemic began — has helped fuel the spread of the disease and contributed to making Brazil an emerging center of the pandemic, with a daily death rate second only to that of the United States. Public health experts say the disorderly approach has further saturated intensive care units and morgues and contributed to the deaths of scores of medical professionals as Latin America’s largest economy plunges into what may be its steepest recession in history. (New York Times)

Lessons from Slovakia — where leaders wear masks. Within 10 days of identifying its first case, Slovakia went into lockdown: Its borders were sealed, schools and restaurants were closed, and face masks were made mandatory in public places, with some of the country’s most visible public figures, including its president and prime minister, sporting them to set an example. Today, life in Slovakia is slowly returning to its usual rhythm. (The Atlantic)


Moderna reports “positive” results from early data on coronavirus vaccine. The biotech company Moderna on Monday reported “positive” data on its potential coronavirus vaccine from an early clinical trial, raising hopes about the effort. The company said early data from a phase one clinical trial showed that people given the potential vaccine generated an immune response similar to that in people who had recovered from the disease. (The Hill


And some more promising news on the vaccine front . . . 

Large-scale vaccine testing expected by July, NIH director says. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said at least four to five COVID-19 vaccines “look pretty promising” and wide-scale testing could begin with one or two by July, according to The Associated Press. (The Hill)


U.S. stocks jump amid vaccine, reopening optimism. Stocks jumped to the highest levels in almost three weeks after promising early results for an experimental vaccine sparked speculation economies could snap back quickly. Crude oil advanced and yields on Treasuries rose. The S&P 500 surged more than 2.5 percent after Moderna Inc. said its vaccine tests yielded signs it can create an immune-system response in the body. (CNBC

Powell says a full economic recovery may not happen without a vaccine. The U.S. economy will claw its way back from the current downturn but may need a coronavirus vaccine before that is complete, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said. “In the long run and even in the medium run, you wouldn’t want to bet against the American economy. The American economy will recover,” Powell said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.” (CNBC)


Judd Gregg: The world’s hope is America. Even if our leaders do not seem to be capable of getting past their own personal prejudices, it is clear the world expects our people to excel, to take on this crisis and handle it with strength and purpose. The world is betting on America. They are betting that we the people will pull ourselves through and bring much of the world with us. It is a good bet. (Judd Gregg for The Hill


Adding to Fauci’s diagnosis: The critical case for ending our shutdown. The total lockdown may have been justified at the start of this pandemic, but it must now end — smartly, without irrational, unnecessary requirements contrary to medical science, common sense and logic. (Dr. Scott W. Atlas for The Hill)


Bon Jovi launches Long Island food bank amid coronavirus shutdowns. Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, are launching a food bank on Long Island amid the spike in unemployment that has come with the coronavirus pandemic. The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation says it started distributing food Monday to help organizations combat food insecurity throughout the summer. (The Hill)


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

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

> Steve interviews former U.S. Energy Secretary ERNEST MONIZ 

> Steve interviews Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) 

> Steve interviews Mylan CEO HEATHER BRESCH 

> Steve interviews Wilson Center President and CEO JANE HARMAN 


Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.


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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 Report. To stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus, visit and SUBSCRIBE to our Overnight Healthcare newsletter.