The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress must extend worker benefits expiring in July; WHO reports record spike in global cases

The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress must extend worker benefits expiring in July; WHO reports record spike in global cases


> WHO reports record spike in global cases, with most new cases in the Americas 

> Trump doubles down on rally claim that ‘greater,’ ‘much more advanced testing’ is why US cases are highest in the world

> White House official indicates administration is bracing for an autumn wave

> Top Democrats say Trump sitting on $14 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing 

> ‘Tiger to wild cat:’ Italian disease specialist says coronavirus may die out before a vaccine is developed

> Hundreds of employees test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas 

> India’s fragile health care system, flooded with COVID-19 patients, is turning others away

> South Korea says it is battling ‘second wave’ that began in May 

> Rep. Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoOvernight Defense: National Guard says no federal requests for election security help | Dems accuse VA head of misusing resources | Army official links COVID-19 to troop suicides Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Democrats accuse VA head of misusing resources to stump for Trump, vulnerable GOP senators MORE says Congress must pass HEROES Act and extend worker benefits expiring in July


Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)

Rep. Mark Takano lays responsibility for COVID-19 spread on President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE’s shoulders, says Congress must pass HEROES Act and extend worker benefits expiring in July, claims Hawaii’s COVID-19 policies are working. 





Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill's Coronavirus Report. It's Monday, June 22.

Editor’s Note.


As part of our thinking about the daily interviews we do as part of the Coronavirus Report, we are inviting some nontraditional voices to suggest ways in which society and the systems and institutions we have built may change to adapt to living with the virus, and which may become hardened fixtures in our futures. One well-traveled theme of late is “working at home/working online.” As I myself sit in my Washington office a few times a week, I look at a new glut of corporate offices. Most businesses I know are going to keep the “work at home” practices going even after COVID-19 has been checked. That will be an interesting arena of discussion.  


After watching President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., and the lower than expected turnout there on site, it’s important to note that more than 500,000 people watched that rally and the president’s speech online through Facebook, YouTube, the White House website and more. People are piling on that Trump didn’t pull the 100,000 onsite folks they predicted, but they got five times that online. Will that be the future for all group events — for concerts of choirs, orchestras or bands? That will be something we will explore this week.


We are seeing our society struggle with the analog version of elections — and more primary races are about to take place tomorrow in Kentucky, New York and Virginia. There are paper ballots at polling stations and some absentee ballots. But no standard around the country for mailing in one’s votes (still analog) or even moving safely to fully digital platforms. But when it comes to the evolution of systems, how long is that anachronistic form of lining up at ballot places likely to endure?


What is interesting about this pandemic is that it is moving society’s evolution into new patterns fast enough that we can realize them and witness them in real time. Some of this evolution may seem healthier for society, while other new habits and structures will feel alienating and isolating. But it is all happening, and that will be increasingly a key arena of interest for the Coronavirus Report.


– 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


America's Unfinished Business: An LGBTQ+ Summit | June 30, 2020


There has been monumental progress on LGBTQ+ rights in recent decades as mainstream cultural shifts drove wider acceptance and committed allies won long-fought battles at the local, state and federal levels.


Yet, as we write this, many in America continue to suffer daily discrimination, marginalization and violence in their homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces, in acts seen and unseen, big and small.


Join The Hill for a Pride month summit to discuss the fragility of civil rights in America today with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community. The forum will focus on constructive paths forward, lessons learned from civil rights advances, and will recognize that there are an array of perspectives of how to prioritize effort and focus when it comes to securing and making civil rights a reality in our daily lives.

  CLICK HERE to register and see our full lineup of speakers.


The coronavirus is here to stay. Global coronavirus cases are continuing to soar and the World Health Organization on Sunday reported more than 183,00 new cases globally in the past 24 hours, which is the largest single-day increase in cases to date. The most new cases were recorded in the Americas, making up 116,041 of the new cases, according to the WHO report. Overall, WHO reported a total of 8,708,008 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 461,715 deaths globally. 


There are 9,0036,042 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 469,122 have died from the virus as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 2,289,168 coronavirus cases and 120,044 deaths. Brazil has surpassed 1 million cases and is now reporting 1,083,341. Russia 591,465. India 425,282. U.K. 306,761. Peru 251,338. Chile 246,963. Spain 246,504. Italy 238,720. Iran 207,525. France 197,008. Germany 191,768. 


Elsewhere throughout the world: 

> India is reporting more infections a day than any other country besides the U.S. and Brazil.

> South Korea said Monday that it has been battling a “second wave” of the virus since May. 

> Spain reopened to most European tourists on Sunday.

> In China, a PepsiCo is halting production at its Beijing factory after an employee tested positive. 


New York is reporting 388,488 cases. California 178,224. New Jersey 169,142. Illinois 136,762. Texas 112,944. Massachusetts 107,061. Florida 100,217. Pennsylvania 86,300. Michigan 67,711. Georgia 64,701. Maryland 64,603. Virginia 58,465. Arizona 54,599. North Carolina 52,802. Louisiana 49,778. Connecticut 45,755. 


Here at home: 

> New York is entering phase two and will allow thousands of employees to return to their offices for the first time in months. 

> New York, New Jersey and other northeastern states are continuing to see daily declines in new cases. 

> In Alabama, North Carolina and the territory of Puerto Rico, the number of new cases in the past four weeks are up more than 80 percent compared with the four weeks before. 

> In Montana, daily cases are up more than 300 percent.

The U.S. is reporting the results of 27,084,900 COVID-19 tests and 622,133 full recoveries from the virus.


Trump: “Greater,” “advanced” testing “makes us look like we have more cases ... than other countries.” President Trump  in an early morning tweet on Monday repeated his claim that the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases because of the country’s level of advanced testing after saying during a Saturday night campaign rally that he had directed testing to be slowed. “Our Coronavirus testing is so much greater (25 million tests) and so much more advanced, that it makes us look like we have more cases, especially proportionally, than other countries," Trump tweeted. "My message on that is very clear!” (The Hill)  


White House official indicates administration is bracing for an autumn wave. The new infection figures were released after a top White House official said that the federal government was working to replenish the national stockpile of medical equipment and supplies in preparation for another surge of the virus this fall. The official, Peter Navarro, the White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, told CNN that the effort wasn’t necessarily an indication that the wave would come. (New York Times


Kudlow says “no second wave” of coronavirus coming. White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE on Monday minimized new spikes in coronavirus cases in states across the country and said there is “no second wave coming.” “There are some hot spots. We’re on it. We know how to deal with this stuff now, we’ve come a long way since last winter and there is no second wave coming,” Kudlow said in a Monday appearance on CNBC. (The Hill


Top Democrats say Trump sitting on $14 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing. The Trump administration has been sitting on nearly $14 billion in funding that Congress passed for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, according to Democratic Sens. Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' MORE of New York and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayWorking together to effectively address patient identification during COVID-19 Plaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges unite to oppose Barrett's confirmation Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE of Washington. The top Democrats said in a letter Sunday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the Trump administration has "still failed" to distribute more than $8 billion out of $25 billion appropriated by Congress to expand testing and contact tracing. (NBC News


Sen. Rick Scott says RNC attendees should wear masks, physically distance. In a sharp departure from President Trump’s approach, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said Monday the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Fla., must implement safety measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. “You have to do this safely. People need to wear masks. They need to social distance. You need to do this in a manner no one gets sick,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” (Washington Post)


Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats allege EPA plans to withhold funding from 'anarchist' cities | Montana asks court to throw out major public lands decisions after ousting BLM director | It's unknown if fee reductions given to oil producers prevented shutdowns Democrats allege EPA plans to withhold funding from 'anarchist' cities Energy innovation bill can deliver jobs and climate progress MORE (D-Del.) 

@SenatorCarper A recap of the weekend: The President fires a U.S. attorney without reason; The President admits to "slowing down" #COVID19 testing at a rally experts warned against; and John BoltonJohn BoltonJohn Bolton in heated exchange with BBC anchor over lack of impeachment testimony President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him Obama highlights Biden's tweet from a year ago warning Trump wasn't ready for pandemic MORE calls him "dangerous for the Republic." I wonder why he's concerned about more Americans voting?


Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Trump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in MORE (R-Colo.) 

@SenCoryGardner Telehealth has helped Coloradans across all four corners of our state access healthcare during #COVID19, and I’m calling on Congress to make these services available permanently to all Medicare beneficiaries.


Rep. Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettCongress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Trump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line MORE (D-Texas) 

@RepLloydDoggett Taking the Trump approach, the only strong support for social distancing from Gov. Abbott is when it provides a pretense to keeping reporters out of the room, preventing them from asking about huge #COVID19 spikes, I say #GetABiggerRoom.


Hundreds test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas. Tyson Foods is looking into reports that China’s customs agency has suspended poultry imports from a Tyson facility in the United States after coronavirus cases were confirmed among its employees. A Tyson spokesman said Sunday that the plant in question is in Springdale, Ark. Spokesman Gary Mickelson also noted that all global and U.S. health organizations, in addition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, agree that there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. (Washington Post


Native American tribal nations take tougher line on COVID-19 as states reopen. Native American tribal nations are imposing stricter lockdown and social distancing measures than their neighboring states, creating tensions with both governors and the federal government. Many Native American leaders are worried that the recent surge in cases could disproportionately impact tribal members, just as they did in April and May. In response, some tribal governments have exercised their sovereignty to reinstate lockdowns and travel bans as neighboring states move in the opposite direction. (The Hill)  



South Korea fears it is battling a ‘second wave.’  Health authorities in South Korea said for the first time on Monday that the country is experiencing a “second wave” of coronavirus infections around the capital, Seoul. On Monday, the director of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jeong Eun-kyeong said a holiday in early May marked the beginning of a “second wave” of cases in the greater Seoul area. (Reuters

India’s hospitals, crammed with COVID-19 patients, turn others away. The country’s already strained and underfunded health care system has begun to buckle: A database of recent deaths reveals that scores of people have died in the streets or in the back of ambulances, denied critical care. Indian government rules explicitly call for emergency services to be rendered, yet people in desperate need of treatment are being turned away, especially in New Delhi. (New York Times)


Italian disease specialist says coronavirus may die out before a vaccine is developed. An Italian infectious disease specialist said coronavirus was losing its strength and may die out before a vaccine is developed, but fellow epidemiologists disagree. Professor Matteo Bassetti, the chief of infectious diseases at San Martino General Hospital in Genoa, Italy, said the virus had changed since earlier in the spring and become much less virulent, with more patients in Italy recovering from severe symptoms. (Daily News


Gilead to test easier-to-administer form of coronavirus drug. Gilead Sciences announced it is looking to test an inhaled version of remdesivir, the antiviral drug that has shown to be modestly beneficial for people hospitalized with COVID-19. Remdesivir is administered intravenously. The company told investors earlier this year that it was looking to develop easier-to-administer versions of the drug, including an inhaled version. (CNBC


Efforts at coronavirus vaccines and treatments abound in Bay Area. The frenetic search for the miracle that will rid the world of COVID-19 is branching out in a thousand directions, and a large part of the microbial treasure hunt is going on in the Bay Area, where major progress has been made in the 100 days since residents were ordered to shelter in place. (San Francisco Chronicle) 

Thai trials of COVID-19 vaccine reach make-or-break stage. Thai scientists administered a second dose of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine to monkeys on Monday, looking for another positive response to enable clinical trials in humans as early as October. Thirteen monkeys were immunized on Monday and the next two weeks will be critical in determining whether researchers can proceed with further tests. (Reuters)


Grocery stores look to robots, salad kiosks and more to revive prepared food. The idea of sharing a serving spoon with strangers at a salad bar or hot bar has quickly fallen from favor during the pandemic, and grocers are looking for new ways to revive prepared food. For some companies, the decline of the salad bar has created new opportunities. California-based Chowbotics is selling its foodservice robot, which can hold up to 22 ingredients, to grocers. Restaurant franchise Saladworks recently signed a deal to open staffed salad kiosks inside of more grocery stores. (CNBC

The once stable cheese market in the U.S. takes a volatile turn. The wholesale market for cheddar is typically a mild one. But the vagaries of supply and demand during the pandemic have caused sharp swings in cheese prices, which rose to record highs this month — just weeks after plummeting to nearly 20-year lows. (New York Times)


Racism’s plague on public health. COVID-19’s devastating impact on the Black community has been widely known since the very early stages of the pandemic. Yet in a spectacular display of federal foot-dragging, the Department of Health and Human Services waited until June 4 to require the collection of anonymized data regarding the race and ethnicity of those who test positive for the coronavirus (which won’t start until Aug. 1). (Lyndon Haviland for The Hill


Looking forward to the return of pro sports. The return of professional sports — even only on television — after four months of darkness is a needed respite for this sports-crazed country … unless the continuing threat of COVID-19 forces a longer shutdown. In any event, the games will be profoundly affected. Any contests will be played before empty stadiums. If multiple players or team officials test positive, will the season be suspended? Already there are warning signs with baseball's Florida and Arizona training camps shutting down due to new virus cases. (Albert Hunt for The Hill


Can we keep the American dream alive during COVID-19. The spirit of the American dream has seemingly been crushed with historic unemployment rates and decimated industries. And yet, despite economic ruin, digital innovators have arisen, leveraging this chaotic time of reinvention in order to develop novel solutions and technologies to fight back, repair and uplift the American spirit –– to keep the dreams that built this nation alive. (Mark Minevich for The Hill


Shakira, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson and more performing at coronavirus-themed concert hosted by Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is hosting a virtual concert this weekend called "Global Goal: Unite for Our Future," looking to raise awareness about health care equity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Organized by Global Citizen and the European Commission, the June 27 event “aims to lift up the global community that is tackling equitable access to health care, and other enormous injustices facing our world,” Johnson said in a statement. (Fox News

Meghan MarkleMeghan MarklePrince Harry on unconscious bias: 'Ignorance is no longer an excuse' Meghan Markle: You realize 'your voice matters' even more 'when you're not able to exercise it' GOP congressman accuses Prince Harry, Megan Markle of interfering in US elections MORE and Prince Harry drop royal titles in thankful letter to charity. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are making their gratitude known to the people serving the community during these challenging times. "This letter," they concluded, "comes with our sincere thanks and best wishes to everyone at StreetGames," before signing off simply as "Harry & Meghan.” (E! News)


> Steve interviews former Obama Ebola czar RON KLAIN 

> Steve interviews Rep. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-N.Y.) 

> Steve interviews Ready co-founder and CEO JUSTIN DANGEL 

> Steve interviews Botanisol Analytics CEO DAVID TALENFELD 

> Steve interviews Premier President MICHAEL ALKIRE 

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

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