Coronavirus Report

Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings



> CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings, ‘strongly encourages’ use of face masks 

> COVID-19 spikes, but most governors signal they’re staying the course 

> Study finds wearing masks could prevent a second wave of virus 

> Trump campaign says attendees can’t sue if they contract virus at rallies 

> Oregon, Utah pause reopening plans after cases jump

> Surgeons perform first known US lung transplant for COVID-19 patient 

> Education Secretary DeVos issues emergency rule barring colleges from granting virus relief funds to ‘dreamers’

> Surgeon general urges protesters to take coronavirus precautions

> WHO says African cases have doubled in just 18 days

> Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO, predicts ‘major’ economic crisis brewing in middle-income countries





To mask or not to mask? By now, many Americans know to wear masks in public, especially in enclosed spaces. A new study by Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich universities found communitywide use of face masks combined with social distancing could prevent second waves of the coronavirus, Reuters reports. (The Hill


And, just in today, the CDC is now advising organizers of large gatherings to ‘strongly encourage’ the use of face coverings. Federal health officials on Friday urged organizers of large gatherings that involve shouting, chanting or singing to “strongly encourage” the use of cloth face coverings to lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said its guidance does not directly apply to national protests against police brutality or the upcoming Republican National Convention, but said the guidelines speak for themselves. (Washington Post

  Read the full list of CDC recommendations here.


Ian Bremmer, Time magazine foreign affairs columnist and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media

Eurasia Group founder and President Ian Bremmer says Trump is right on China but wrong on WHO; predicts “major” economic crisis brewing in middle-income countries.





Watch the full interview here


Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Friday, June 12.

Editor’s Note.


Today, I had one of the most intriguing and mind-stretching interviews yet in my series for The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. Time magazine editor-at-large and Eurasia Group President and founder Ian Bremmer has a disruptive mind and frames things in ways that end up haunting me for a while. He said the U.S. and global economy may see stock markets fleetingly rise, but economies will not “really be back” until there is a vaccine. He described how this is America’s first depression since the Great Depression. And he argued there is absolutely no global leadership or coordination around the virus.


I asked him if America, given the president’s threat to deploy troops to U.S. cities to quell protests, was becoming more like China, when for decades people had been hoping China would become more like the U.S. Bremmer argued that Washington, with the help of Silicon Valley, is becoming more like Beijing because so much of the U.S. tech sector has become less about communications and more about surveillance. But when it comes to U.S.-China relations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the pandemic, Bremmer said, “Trump is absolutely right in his critique on China and absolutely wrong in his take on the WHO.”


He went on to say that we need to rethink the international order — and that today, we would not create a NATO, WTO or U.N. Security Council — at least not in the way they exist now. He also said there was a major global economic crisis brewing “that no one is paying attention to.” He said that there is enormous vulnerability of middle-income markets and that a major market collapse of these countries, akin to what happened to developing countries in the 1980s could unfold, creating global contagion.


I share all of this because global systems, when they flinch or change course, create staggeringly broad and sometimes unforeseen changes. I liked Bremmer’s comments for linking what few others are talking about. There are shocks out there that aren’t being considered fully — and his thoughts give us a way to think about some of the systemic impacts COVID-19 has unleashed or sped up.


– 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

Click here to subscribe to our Overnight Healthcare Newsletter to stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus

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ICYMI: Catch up on last month’s programs




On May 21, The Hill hosted “A National Virtual Summit on Advancing America’s Economy,” a forum to discuss a responsible reopening of the U.S. economy anchored by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.   Watch the full program video here


On May 20, The Hill hosted “The Vir[Tech]tual World of Tomorrow.”    Watch the full program video here

We want to hear from you! Follow us @TheHillEvents and keep the conversation going using #TheHillVirtuallyLive


There are 7,570,801 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 422,981 global deaths as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 2,031,173 cases and 114,066 deaths. Brazil 802,828 cases. Russia 510,761. India 297,535. U.K. 294,401. Spain 243,209. Italy 236,305. Peru 214,788. France 192,493. Germany 187,226. Iran 182,525. Turkey 175,218. Chile 160,843. 


Elsewhere around the world:


> Saudi Arabia is weighing the possibility of canceling this year’s hajj pilgrimage amid virus concerns.

> India saw its biggest single-day rise in new cases Friday. 

> Indonesia is experiencing a sustained increase in new cases.

> The European Union is recommending that all member states open their borders to one another by Monday.


New York is reporting 381,714 cases. New Jersey 165,816. California 143,646. Illinois 130,603. Massachusetts 104,667. Texas 82,658. Pennsylvania 82,361. Florida – the new home of the Republican National Convention – is reporting 70,971 cases. Michigan 65,449. Maryland 60,613. Georgia 54,973. Virginia 53,211. Louisiana 44,995. Connecticut 44,461. North Carolina 40,217. Ohio 40,004. Indiana 39,151. Arizona 31,267. 


More from around the country: 


> Utah is pausing its reopening amid coronavirus spikes.

> Florida cases have spiked in recent days, but Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is promising a packed house at the convention. 

> Texas is seeing a continuous rise in new cases and hospitalizations. 

> Puerto Rico has announced plans to reopen its economy, including tourism.


The U.S. is reporting the results of 21,933,301 COVID-19 tests and 540,292 have reported full recoveries from the virus.



‘Trumpers’ cannot sue if they contract coronavirus at rallies, campaign says. As President Trump moves to resume indoor campaign rallies, his campaign has added a twist to his optimistic push to return to life as it was before the pandemic: Attendees cannot sue the campaign or the venue if they contract the virus at the event. The full disclosure to RSVP for the rally is pictured above. (New York Times)


DeVos makes it official: No virus relief for ‘dreamers.’ Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday issued an emergency rule barring colleges from granting virus relief funds to foreign and undocumented students, including tens of thousands protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. (New York Times


White House officials downplay chance of COVID-19 ‘second spike.’ White House economic officials on Friday downplayed concerns about recent spikes in cases of the novel coronavirus in several U.S. states amid fears on Wall Street about a new wave of the COVID-19 disease. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on “Fox & Friends” that the developments did not signify a “second spike” nationally of COVID-19, citing conversations with White House health experts the evening prior. (The Hill)


US surgeon general urges protesters to take coronavirus precautions. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said he wants people who decide to protest against racial injustice to do so as safely as possible during the pandemic — and he said he understands why the protests are being prioritized. Adams also advised bringing as little with you as possible, because if you are carrying a backpack or multiple layers of clothing, for instance, those items would need to be disinfected. (CNN)


Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) 

@SenatorCollins COVID-19 is placing an increasingly heavy financial burden on our communities. I spoke with @GPCOG207 about the SMART Act, a bipartisan bill I cosponsored to provide direct financial assistance to help keep our communities strong.


Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) 

@FrankPallone We have heard reports that many health care providers are facing issues obtaining funds, particularly those serving tribal lands.Native Americans have been hit especially hard by the #COVID19 pandemic. We must ensure they get the necessary funding.


Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.)

@RodneyDavis I’m working to make sure furloughed and laid off employees can keep their health insurance during these challenging times. My bipartisan bill would cover the employer contribution for COBRA plans and allow people to keep their providers. More from @WGEM. 


COVID-19 spiking, but most governors signal they’re staying the course. The coronavirus is spiking across more than a dozen states, but many governors are signaling they have no interest in bringing back restrictive stay-at-home orders almost regardless of what happens. Even governors with detailed metrics for reopening have shown little appetite to plan for the inevitable virus surges. (The Hill)  

Oregon pauses its reopening plans for one week after coronavirus cases hit new high. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced a one-week “pause” to reopening plans, calling for “a statewide yellow light” after the state reported 177 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths on Thursday. The plan halts new applications for reopening in the Portland area, which had been expected to enter the first phase. (Washington Post)


Michigan Gov. Whitmer extends residential eviction freeze through June 30. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Thursday extended the state’s ban on housing evictions until June 30. The extension guarantees that “COVID-19-infected individuals and vulnerable populations can isolate in the safety of their homes while continuing to protect incarcerated persons in our prisons, jails and juvenile detention centers,” Whitmer said in a statement, the Detroit Free Press reported. (The Hill


WHO says Africa’s cases have doubled in the past 18 days to more than 200,000. The virus took 98 days to reach 100,000 cases in Africa — but only 18 days to double from that figure, the World Health Organization announced Thursday. While the numbers may have risen so significantly in part because of increased testing, the agency said in a statement that more than half of the 54 countries on the continent were experiencing community transmission. (New York Times

Moscow mayor urges residents to stay home during official holiday celebrations. Despite suddenly lifting Moscow’s strict lockdown on Tuesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin urged residents not to attend events scheduled for two upcoming national holidays. Despite this ban on public events, the government has organized a concert on Red Square on Friday for the June 12 Russia Day holiday, and it plans to hold a massive military parade on June 24. (NBC News)


Surgeons perform first known US lung transplant for COVID-19 patient. A former COVID-19 patient has received a double-lung transplant, a surgery believed to be the first of its kind in the United States since the pandemic began, medical officials announced Thursday. Northwestern Medicine in Chicago said the recipient, a woman in her 20s who would not have survived without the transplant, is in intensive care recovering from the operation and from two previous months on lung and heart assistance devices. (Washington Post


42,000 people to participate in the next phase of this COVID-19 vaccine trial. The phase three trial of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by University of Oxford is underway, and is expected to include 42,000 people when the Oxford-led trial is combined with a phase three trial led by its partner, AstraZeneca. In phase three, Oxford is enrolling 10,000 people in the U.K., and AstraZeneca is enrolling 30,000 in the U.S. (CNN)

Coronavirus mutations not expected to influence vaccine efficacy, WHO chief scientist says. All viruses mutate — including the novel coronavirus. But as the world now races to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the coronavirus mutations are not expected to alter vaccine efficacy during this race, said WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. (CNN)

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Stocks bounce back following worst day since March. Stock markets on Friday attempted to recover ground after huge losses made Thursday the worst trading day since March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up early Friday after having fallen 1,861 points the day before. (The Hill


New rental leases in Manhattan fell 62 percent in May: report. Manhattan saw a sharp decrease last month in the number of new leases issued, dropping 62 percent amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNBC. It was the worst May in the borough for new rental leases in a decade. (The Hill

Twitter removes fake accounts that discussed China’s response to the virus. Twitter said Thursday that China has stepped up its effort to spread misinformation on the platform by creating tens of thousands of fake accounts that discussed the Communist Party’s response to the virus and the Hong Kong protests. Twitter said it had discovered and removed 23,750 accounts that were “highly engaged” in a coordinated effort to spread misinformation, and 150,000 others that were dedicated to amplifying China’s messages through likes and retweets. (New York Times)


America’s mental health is under siege — Congress can help now. For years now, the American psyche has been under siege. Well before COVID-19 arrived, the U.S. suicide rate was the highest it had been since World War II and drug overdoses were killing more people than car accidents. Now, though, we must also contend with a deadly virus, the worst unemployment since the Great Depression and isolating lockdown measures, as well as the national trauma of George Floyd’s horrific death at the hands of police. (Brian Barnett, Andrew Carlo and Bruce Schwartz for The Hill

An intelligence perspective: Stop predicting and start “living the questions.” In the face of disruptions that are not likely but very consequential, it is tempting — but mistaken — to try to predict the future. Rather, the challenge is to seize the opportunity, to “live the questions,” as Rainer Maria Rilke put it in “Letters to a Young Poet.” (Gregory F. Treverton for The Hill)


Mighty Rebekah: Meet the 12-year-old girl who’s changing how others see themselves in the world. “You are perfect, you are whole and holy. God doesn’t make mistakes.” A statement of purpose, it’s also an infectious anthem for one 12-year-old named Rebekah. She’s on a mission to protect others from hate and make the world a more loving and safer place. And it’s for this reason she’s been initiated into a small group of extraordinary kids: “Marvel’s Hero Project.” Her story is being highlighted in an episode in a new docu-series, “Marvel’s Hero Project,” on Disney+. (Good Morning America)

For any Bachelor Nation fans, the show has casted Matt James as its first black male lead. Matt James has been announced as the new star of “The Bachelor.” The ABC series shared the news with fans Friday, making James the first black male lead on the series. (E! News)


> Steve interviews former Rep. JOHN DELANEY (D-Md.)

> Steve interviews Johns Hopkins Center for Healthy Security’s JENNIFER NUZZO 

> Steve interviews Rep. VAL DEMINGS (D-Fla.)  

> Steve interviews BIO President and CEO MICHELLE MCMURRY-HEATH 

> Steve interviews Association of American Railroads President and CEO IAN JEFFERIES 

> Steve interviews New American CEO ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER 

> Steve interviews Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN 

> Steve interviews MInnesota Attorney General KEITH ELLISON  

> Steve interviews Kansas City, Mo., Mayor QUINTON LUCAS 

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 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.

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Tags Betsy DeVos Coronavirus Coronavirus Report Donald Trump Ian Bremmer John Delaney Keith Ellison Larry Kudlow Rodney Davis Ronna McDaniel Steven Mnuchin Susan Collins Val Demings

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