Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify

Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify


> As new outbreaks emerge and social distancing is ignored, leaders are threatening more lockdowns 

> Trump accuses media of trying to ‘shame’ him over holding Tulsa rally amid coronavirus

> FDA withdraws emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine

> China embarks on mass-scale testing of Beijing residents in attempt to curb new outbreak 

> Some landlords have turned to harassment, threats to evict tenants 

> Stocks open down Monday as fears of virus reemergence grow 

> Restaurant industry lost $120 billion in sales 

> Wealthy charter schools have quietly accepted millions of dollars in virus aid meant for small businesses 

> Red Cross to test all donations for COVID-19 antibodies 

> Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House’s bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19





Ron Klain, former Ebola czar under President Obama

Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House’s bad decisions have put the U.S. behind many other nations on COVID-19; expresses confidence in vaccine development because of Anthony FauciAnthony FauciIowa governor touts receiving Johnson & Johnson vaccine amid pause: 'I would do it again' Jill Biden to appear in 'Sesame Street' documentary Despite July 4 timeline, the US is a long way from herd immunity MORE’s oversight; claims Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump alumni launch America First Policy Institute Fauci fatigue sets in as top doc sows doubt in vaccine effectiveness The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE and Vice President Pence worked at cross-purposes in preparing America for COVID-19 fight.





Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill's Coronavirus Report. It's Monday, June 15.

Editor’s Note.  


The global scramble to lock in vaccine supplies once they are available is well underway. Israel is in talks with Moderna to buy its vaccine, and Japan is now talking to AstraZeneca and Moderna about large-scale purchases of eventual vaccines. The rich countries are moving forward, and presumably the U.S. is locking in its supply agreements with firms like Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and AstraZeneca because of manufacturing support resources it is already providing.


It’s not surprising that rich and powerful states are trying to lock in deals, but who will advocate for Sri Lanka, Burma, Djibouti or Croatia? Or even more powerful but important mid-level countries such as Iraq, Ecuador and Lebanon — that Ian Bremmer told me may be on the verge of economic meltdowns akin to the developing nation's financial crisis we saw in the 1980s.


Bremmer commented that we are in a G-Zero world where there is no single engine, nor even two, driving the global system, and that what we have instead is a cacophony of lack of coordination and collectively pursued goals. The world is not working together, and what the rich, powerful nations locking down their supplies of COVID-19 vaccines don’t understand is that the world needs to be thought of as a whole. Developing countries will need options to vaccinate their own populations and if we don’t think of a worldwide response, the virus will come back and it will attack — even a society that thinks that a vaccine in hand is enough.  


With vaccine rates in the U.S. today less than 50 percent, there is huge population vulnerability even when a vaccine is finally secured. We have to fight for those without the resources of the rich because the health of people in poorer nations connects directly to those in more well-off corners of the world.


– 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


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 MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE.   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 7,960,856 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 434,388 have died from the virus as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 2,100,749 cases and 115,827 deaths. Brazil 867,624. Russia 536,484. India 332,424. U.K. 298,310. Spain 244,109. Italy 237,920. Peru 229,736. France 194,153. Iran 189,876. Germany 187,682. Turkey 178,239. Chile 179,436. Mexico 146,837. Pakistan 144,478. 


Elsewhere around the globe: 

> Beijing has set about testing hundreds of thousands of people for the virus in an exhaustive effort to stamp out a new eruption of the disease in the Chinese capital. 

> France’s health minister said the worst of the epidemic is behind the country.

> Saudi Arabia is blaming a new surge in cases on young people ignoring social distancing guidelines.

> Pakistan records 100,000 new cases in the month since reopening. 

> Greece has reopened to some foreign visitors in a bid to kick-start tourism.


New U.S. hot spots are continuing emerge on the heels of states’ reopening. Between the nationwide protests that continue to draw huge crowds in major cities and Trump’s scheduled rally this weekend that has garnered over 100,000 RSVPs, the virus is bound to continue its spread across the U.S.


Observations on up-cropping U.S. outbreaks from The Hill’s Reid Wilson: 


Week-over-week increases: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, HI, KS, LA, MS, MT, NV, NC, OK, OR, SC, SD, TX, WY


Two straight weeks of decline: CO, DE, DC, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MN, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, WI


> Alabama is in the midst of a serious outbreak, with its four worst days all happening since Thursday. On Sunday, it recorded a record 1,014 cases. The state is up to 25,615 cases and 773 deaths. 

> Alaska reported its worst day yet on Saturday, +34 cases. Up to 734, with 10 deaths.

> Arizona's two worst days so far came Friday and Saturday, +1,600 each day. The state is up to 35,953 cases and 1,194 deaths.

> Arkansas's worst day yet came Friday, +731 cases. Up to 12,501 and 179 deaths.

> California cases are spiking, they've had two of their worst days yet on Thursday and Friday. Total cases at 152,937 and 5,089 deaths.

> Florida had its worst two days Saturday and Sunday, topping 2,000 cases both days. Up to 75,560 cases and 2,930 deaths. Week-over-week count has doubled in two weeks.

> Georgia had its worst day Saturday (+977) since the end of April.

> Hawaii's long streak of single-digit case increases is over. The state reported 36 cases in the past three days.

> Louisiana had its worst day on Saturday since early April. It reported 1,288 new cases, up to 46,732, and 3,014 deaths.

> Massachusetts is showing real progress, after last week's blip in new probable cases. Up just 2,167 last week, half the growth of two weeks prior.

> Michigan is making similar progress despite the blip last week, up 1,631 cases, which is 1,000 fewer than two weeks before. Daily case growth rates are about one-third of a percent.

> Mississippi had its worst day yet on Friday, +608 cases. Up to 19,516 cases and 891 deaths.

> New Jersey's week-over-week case growth is down to about one-tenth of what it was at its peak. Still a lot, +2,717, but progress. New York, too, down to one-tenth of its peak.

> Oklahoma's two worst days yet have been Friday and Saturday, up 220+ each day. Total cases 8,231, and 359 have died.

> Oregon has reported more than 100 new cases on seven of the last 10 days, after only topping 100 cases once before. Total of 5,644 cases and 176 deaths.

> South Carolina had its worst day yet on Sunday, +840 cases. Seeing a real spike here. Up to 18,795 cases and 600 deaths.

> Texas has had its worst days yet on four of the past five days, north of 2,000 new cases a day. Total stands at 89,542 cases and 1,995 deaths.

The U.S. is reporting 23,535,104 COVID-19 test results and 561,816 full recoveries from the coronavirus.


Trump accuses media of trying to “shame” him over holding Tulsa rally amid coronavirus. President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE on Monday accused the news media of attempting to “shame” his reelection campaign over plans to hold a rally during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing them of having “no Covid problem” in their coverage of nationwide protests against police brutality. (The Hill

Fauci: Ban on U.K. travelers likely to last months. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., said that the ban on British travelers entering the U.S. is likely to last months. Fauci told The Telegraph that the U.K. travel ban is expected to be lifted in “more likely months than weeks.” The infectious disease expert said the travel restrictions could last until a vaccine is ready, adding that it’s possible they are lifted sooner. (The Hill)


Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsTrump hands Rubio coveted reelection endorsement in Florida Democrats urge Biden to take executive action on assault-style firearms Vanita Gupta will fight for all as associate attorney general MORE (D-Fla.) 

@RepValDemings Today would be a good day for the president to announce a comprehensive national testing plan. 


Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) 

@SenHydeSmith The @SBAgov  loan forgiveness application is three times longer than the original #PPP application. @SenatorWicker & I signed a letter saying the process should be streamlined from 11 pages to 1 page. We need small businesses to be a big part of our road to economic recovery.


Rep. Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterLawmakers say manufacturers are in better position to handle future pandemics Lawmakers grill NSA on years-old breach in the wake of massive Russian hack Hillicon Valley: WhatsApp delays controversial privacy update | Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit alleging e-book price fixing | Biden launches new Twitter account ahead of inauguration MORE (D-Ill.) 

@RepBillFoster #COVID19 is disproportionately affecting #LGBTQ, #Black, and #Latino communities. We should be doing everything we can to provide treatment to whoever needs it, not escalating fear and confusion. We must #ProtectTransHealth


Masks now seen as vital tool in coronavirus fight. Evidence is mounting that widespread mask-wearing can significantly slow the spread of the coronavirus and help reduce the need for future lockdowns. Public health authorities did not initially put an emphasis on masks, but that's changed and there is now increasing consensus that they play an important role in hindering transmission of the virus at a time when wearing one has become politicized as some states and businesses have made them a requirement for certain activities. (The Hill


More lockdowns? Disease experts are warning the virus isn't going anywhere. Leading infectious disease experts in the United States are warning that the coronavirus will be making life difficult for the foreseeable future. And as strict social distancing wanes, some leaders in New York and Texas are threatening renewed lockdowns in an effort to get people to take the persistent threat of the virus seriously. (New York Times


Charter schools have accepted at least $50 million in virus aid meant for small businesses. Charter schools, including some with healthy cash balances and billionaire backers like Michael BloombergMichael BloombergHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ The truth behind companies' 'net zero' climate commitments The strategy Biden needs to pass his infrastructure plan MORE and Bill Gates, have quietly accepted millions of dollars in emergency coronavirus relief from a fund created to help struggling small businesses stay afloat. Since their inception, charter schools have straddled the line between public schools and private entities. The coronavirus has forced them to choose. (New York Times


Some landlords are using harassment, threats to force out tenants during crisis. Despite efforts by many jurisdictions to halt evictions either through formal moratoriums or court closures, some landlords have taken matters into their own hands with illegal “self-help” evictions and have been harassing and intimidating tenants who are unable to pay rent — many because of pandemic-related job loss — in an effort to get them out. (NBC News


Beijing carries out mass testing as coronavirus spreads in the Chinese capital. Beijing has set about testing hundreds of thousands of people for the coronavirus in an exhaustive effort to stamp out a new eruption of COVID-19 in the Chinese capital. After dozens of new cases were reported over the weekend, continuing into Monday, Chinese authorities mobilized almost 100,000 community workers to carry out tests on everyone who has worked in or visited the Xinfadi market in the southwest of Beijing. (Washington Post


European nations to pay $843 million for vaccine doses. Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France have agreed to pay an initial 750 million euros ($843.2 million) for 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine against the coronavirus, a spokesperson for Italy’s health ministry said according to a Reuters report. The countries will have the option to buy a further 100 million doses, the health ministry said, according to the news agency. (CNBC

A month after reopening, Pakistan records 100,000 new virus cases, and panic is rising. When Pakistan’s government lifted its lockdown on May 9, it warned that the already impoverished country could no longer withstand the shutdown needed to mitigate the pandemic’s spread. But now left unshackled, the virus is meting out devastation in other ways, and panic is rising. (New York Times)


FDA withdraws emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine. The Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn the emergency use authorization for two controversial coronavirus treatment drugs promoted by President Trump because of serious safety issues. The agency said recent clinical trial failures mean chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may not be effective at treating COVID-19 or preventing it in people who have been exposed, and that their potential benefits do not outweigh the risks. (The Hill)

Red Cross to test all donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The American Red Cross will test all donated blood, plasma and platelets for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time. The blood bank is not testing for COVID-19 itself and said people who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should not offer to donate until they are symptom-free for 28 days and are feeling well and healthy. (CNBC)


Stocks open down amid coronavirus concerns. Stock indexes on Monday fell as markets opened for the week, amid traders' concerns about an increase in coronavirus cases in parts of the country. (The Hill)


Restaurant industry lost $120 billion in sales due to pandemic. From March through May, the restaurant industry lost $120 billion in revenue, according to the National Restaurant Association. The latest sales data from the trade group paints a bleak picture of the industry, which is expected to lose $240 billion by the end of the year. Restaurants across the country are reopening, but capacity limits and new rules to maintain social distancing constrain dining room sales. (CNBC

Ohio State football players sign coronavirus pledge acknowledging risk involved. Ohio State is asking its football players and their parents to sign a two-page document that acknowledges the risks involved with playing the sport amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Columbus Dispatch’s Joey Kaufman reported Sunday. (Washington Post)


The World Health Organization’s truth-cleansing pandemic. You thought the World Health Organization’s job was to direct and coordinate authority on global pandemics? Forget it. Last month, the WHO produced its "Manifesto for a healthy recovery from COVID-19." Far from addressing its own lamentable failure to halt the spread of the virus, the document is little more than a demand for a global Green New Deal dolled up in the garb of public health. (Rupert Darwall for The Hill)


There will be no “new normal.” While we never know what will happen next, we now know that the challenge of our times is how we adapt to what happens next. We will be surprised, maybe even shocked. The business studies about change management will have to be reimagined to focus not on organizations changing themselves, but how change affects organizations. Brain science, motivational psychology and behavioral economics will need to focus more on how people adapt to change. (Joe Andrew for The Hill

The ultimate parents’ guide to summer activity resources. But here’s the good news: Museums, libraries, arts organizations, private companies, celebrities and many others are creating online content for kids or offering free access to existing resources. Many more online portals and entertaining apps have been with us all along but never seemed more relevant. Read more here.


Barbra StreisandBarbara (Barbra) Joan StreisandSpielberg donates money from Israel's prestigious Genesis Prize to nonprofits Chloé Zhao becomes second woman to win Golden Globe as best director The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run MORE gives Disney stock to George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter. Barbra Streisand gave a special gift to George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd. Streisand helped Gianna become a shareholder in Disney, sending her an envelope of what appears to be a Disney stock certificate and a signed letter from the legendary singer herself. (TODAY

A tear-jerking reunion. Watch this heartwarming video of a mother reuniting with her daughter after she recovered from the coronavirus.


> 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 

> Steve interviews Eurasia Group President IAN BREMMER 

Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.  



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