The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Sen. Amy Klobuchar says Trump is afraid of losing if voters can mail in ballots; US COVID-19 cases reach highest levels since April

The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Sen. Amy Klobuchar says Trump is afraid of losing if voters can mail in ballots; US COVID-19 cases reach highest levels since April


> US cases grow to their highest levels since April 

> Top golfer withdraws from tournament after caddie tests positive 

> Gottlieb says new US outbreak will eclipse spring peak 

> New study finds Hispanic and lower-income workers most likely to be laid off, furloughed

> IMF offers grim forecast, projects global economy will contract 4.9 percent 

> New York Marathon canceled over coronavirus concerns 

> Pummeled by the virus, Russia holds a mostly mask-free victory parade

> Kyrgyzstan president in self-isolation after staffers test positive during Moscow visit

> Why can’t some people resist crowds during the pandemic? An evolutionary paradox may be to blame

> Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharAlarming threat prompts early exit, underscoring security fears Raimondo has won confirmation, but the fight to restrict export technology to China continues Pentagon prevented immediate response to mob, says Guard chief MORE says Trump is afraid of losing if voters can mail in ballots, adds that voting should not risk your health, notes many GOP governors on board with mail-in voting


Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says Trump is afraid of losing if voters can mail in ballots, states voting should not risk your health, notes many GOP governors on board with mail-in voting, claims she’s not thinking about future presidential run right now and focused on getting Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE elected.





Watch the full interview here


Welcome to The Hill's Coronavirus Report. It's Wednesday, June 24.

Editor's Note.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield testified Tuesday that the coronavirus had brought "this nation to its knees" as it has struggled to respond to more than 2.3 million “official” cases of infection and approximately 122,000 deaths in the United States.


Redfield also said, "We are probably going to spend $7 trillion because of one little virus." This raises the obvious question of what to do now in anticipation of what may come next. I recently interviewed Redfield for the Coronavirus Report and he said that there are core elements of our public health infrastructure that have gone underfunded for years and that it is vital that this lack of support be turned around. Redfield said that we need to be engaged globally and have our own teams and also work with other international institutions such as the World Health Organization to have more solid alert systems in place. And he agrees with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci donates personal COVID-19 virus model to Smithsonian Fauci warns of risks from single-dose strategy for Pfizer, Moderna vaccines MAGALand in Orlando MORE and others with whom I have spoken, including Sen. Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers Democrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda Khashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' MORE (D-Del.) and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), that we need to invest proactively and preemptively in platform vaccines, or the kind of vaccine that will anticipate some of the animal-based pathogens likely to jump to humans and prey on them in the future. 


During a crisis like this, it is important to support people who are out of work and businesses that would otherwise fail not for economic inefficiency but because of a health crisis. But it's also vital to invest in future systemic health protections while that money is flowing and available — the kind of investments that will create recurring health returns and safety for the nation and world without having to reactively spend trillions of dollars when a new deadly virus emerges.


– 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


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.


Speakers Include: 


> Adam Rippon

> Chasten Buttigieg

> Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls Gillibrand: Cuomo allegations 'completely unacceptable' Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package MORE (D-N.Y.)

> Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.)

> Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsWhen infrastructure fails Six ways to visualize a divided America Lawmakers wager barbecue, sweets and crab claws ahead of Super Bowl MORE (D-Kan.)

> Alphonso David, president, Human Rights Campaign

> Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO, GLAAD

> Amit Paley, CEO and executive director, The Trevor Project

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


The coronavirus is continuing to spread rapidly throughout a number of states, mostly in the southeast and west. Testifying before members of Congress on Tuesday, White House health adviser Anthony Fauci said parts of the U.S. are beginning to see a “disturbing surge” and described the overall situation as a “mixed bag” across different regions and states. As of Tuesday, the seven-day average of daily new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. increased by more than 32 percent compared to one week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.


There are 9,295,365 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 478,289 reported deaths from the virus as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 2,348,956 cases and 121,279 deaths. Brazil 1,145,906. Russia 606,043. India 456,183. U.K. 307,682. Peru 260,810. Chile 250,767. Spain 246,752. Italy 238,833. Iran 212,501. France 197,804. Germany 192,8781. 


Elsewhere throughout the world: 

> European Union countries are prepared to block Americans from entering because the U.S. has failed to control the virus. 

> India reported a record high single-day spike in cases. 

> The virus is gaining steam in Latin America, where the number of deaths have more than doubled in a month. 

> Taiwan said on Wednesday that it would relax its entry rules for travelers from Hong Kong and Macao for “humanitarian” reasons, after closing its borders in March.


New York is reporting 389,085 cases. California 191,544. New Jersey 169,734. Illinois 137,825. Texas 122,932. Massachusetts 107,439. Florida 103,503. Pennsylvania 87,208. Michigan 68,197. Georgia 67,675. Maryland 65,337. Virginia 59,514. Arizona 58,378. 


Here at home: 

> More than 35,000 new coronavirus cases were identified across the United States on Tuesday.

> Texas reported more than 5,000 new cases on Tuesday, its largest single-day total yet. 

> Arizona added more than 3,600 cases, also a record. 

> In Washington state, where case numbers are again trending upward, the governor said residents would have to start wearing masks in public.

> The New York City Marathon, the world’s largest, has been canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns. 

The U.S. is reporting the results of 28,065,065 COVID-19 tests. As President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE continues to tout the country’s best in the world testing regime, China revealed that it has tested at least 90 million people, more than three times the number of tests carried out in the states. 


Across the globe, 4,661,118 full recoveries from the virus have been reported.


GOP warns against ramping down coronavirus testing. Senate Republicans are warning that it’s too soon to scale back testing amid an increase in coronavirus cases. President Trump sparked days of confusion when he said over the weekend that he had asked staff to “slow down the testing, please.” On Tuesday, he muddied the water further by arguing fewer tests would result in recording fewer cases. But GOP senators say there’s no evidence the United States is ready to ease up on the number of daily tests, which they think should be increased until there is a vaccine. (The Hill

The U.S. will eclipse its first peak, former FDA chief says. Daily new cases of coronavirus will surpass the country’s first peak in April, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC. “We’re going to eclipse the totals in April, so we’ll eclipse 37,000 diagnosed infections a day,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” (CNBC)


Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonLawmakers want Pentagon, DOJ to punish current, former military members who participated in riot House chairman endorses Michele Flournoy for Biden's Pentagon chief Trump critic: I am not afraid of Trump MORE (D-Mass.) 

@sethmoulton We need to listen to science. This virus is not going to disappear—no matter how much the president slows down testing.


Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk GOP senators question Amazon on removal of book about 'transgender moment' CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be MORE (R-Fla.) 

@marcorubio Addressing the impediments already facing Black-owned & minority businesses is a major focus of our work on the next phase of help for #smallbusiness


Rep Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill El Paso shooting survivor deported to Mexico after traffic stop House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump MORE (D-Texas) 

@RepEscobar Going out? Stay safe and follow @CDCgov  guidelines to protect yourself and others from #COVID19. Wear a face mask. Wash hands. Practice social distancing. Avoid large crowds.


NYC Marathon canceled over coronavirus concerns. The 2020 TCS New York City Marathon has been canceled, four months in advance but with fears of the coronavirus still in mind, New York Road Runners said Wednesday. The race was scheduled for Nov. 1. (NBC New York


Brooks Koepka withdraws from tournament after caddie tests positive. Brooks Koepka, the world’s fourth-ranked professional golfer, announced Wednesday he was withdrawing from this week’s Travelers Championship after caddie Ricky Elliott tested positive for COVID-19. (The Hill


Virginia to create nation’s first pandemic workplace safety mandates. The state of Virginia has proposed its own set of coronavirus-era safety rules that companies must implement to protect workers from infection — a first in the country and a potential way forward for other states in the face of federal inaction. (Washington Post

Returning to school this fall may be “extremely difficult,” South Carolina official says. School districts have been planning for the upcoming school year with a growing consensus that the most likely scenario would be a mix of in-school and virtual learning. But now, with novel coronavirus infection rates rising, South Carolina’s top education official says reopening school buildings would be “extremely difficult” if a rise in COVID-19 cases is not stemmed — and other states are likely to be in the same position. (Washington Post)


Pummeled by the virus, Russia holds a mostly mask-free victory parade. Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDo Biden's 'tough new sanctions' give Putin Nord Stream 2? Russia vows retaliation for new US sanctions: 'We do not intend to put up with this' Wray hints at federal response to SolarWinds hack MORE on Wednesday celebrated his country’s victory 75 years ago against Nazi Germany, presiding over an enormous military parade through Red Square in Moscow that featured thousands of soldiers marching shoulder-to-shoulder without face masks.The parade, the largest of several celebrations taking place nationwide, was originally scheduled for May 9, an annual holiday known as Victory Day, but was delayed for six weeks by the pandemic. (New York Times


President of Kyrgyzstan in self-isolation after two staffers test positive during Moscow visit. Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who traveled to Moscow for Wednesday’s Victory Day parade, has returned to Bishkek to go into self-isolation after two members of his delegation tested positive for the coronavirus, his press service said. (Washington Post

EU may bar American travelers as it reopens borders, citing failures on virus. European Union countries rushing to revive their economies and reopen their borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge, according to draft lists of acceptable travelers reviewed by The New York Times. (New York Times)


More than 8.7 million coronavirus cases went undetected in March, study claims. A new study suggests the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. in March could have been 80 times greater and doubled nearly twice as fast than originally reported, amounting to more than 8.7 million coronavirus cases that went undiagnosed. (The Hill)


The global economy will shrink 4.9 percent this year, IMF predicts in a more dismal forecast. The International Monetary Fund warned Wednesday that the global economy faces an even deeper downturn than it previously projected as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sow uncertainty and businesses around the world struggle to shake off the virus. The forecast underscores the scale of the task that policymakers are facing as they try to dig out from what the IMF has described as the most severe economic contraction since the Great Depression. (New York Times

Hispanic and lower-income workers most likely to be laid off or furloughed: survey. Hispanics and people with incomes less than $50,000 experienced the highest rates of furloughs and layoffs, according to a survey. Out of the general population surveyed, which included an oversample of African Americans and Hispanics, 31 percent of Hispanics and 27 percent of people with incomes below $50,000 reported job disruption, compared with 18 percent of white respondents and 16 percent of those with higher incomes. (The Hill)


Stop wearing face masks incorrectly. Public health argues that masks slow the spread of the virus. Others label masks as a left-wing hoax, a violation of their constitutional rights and individual freedoms. Wearing a mask is like wearing seat belts. Most of the time, it makes no difference, but occasionally, it saves lives, if worn correctly as with seat belts, the biggest issue is not whether you choose to wear a mask, but how you wear your mask. (Sheldon H. Jacobson for The Hill


Coronavirus shows we need more international cooperation, not less. World leaders spent their spring teetering between isolationism and greater globalization in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This seesawing occasionally capsized into public view with dramatic effect: More than 100 countries, for example, recently backed Australia’s call at the World Health Organization for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus and its route from animals to humans. The Chinese government quickly dismissed the idea, framing it as an attempt to pin blame on the country. Stakeholders quickly fell into familiar fault lines on either side of the debate, and time’s arrow marched on with nothing to show for the flare-up. (Scott Greytak for The Hill


Why some people can’t resist crowds during the pandemic. For many protesters, making a difference to society is worth the risk. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic still gripping the globe and tens of thousands of new cases appearing every day, the choice to march, dine out or join other social gatherings is complicated. While denial that the disease could hit us plays a part in some of these decisions, even people who acknowledge the danger of contracting the coronavirus keep risking social interactions. An evolutionary paradox that compels us to be social may be to blame. (National Geographic)


14 expert-recommended tips for throwing a socially distant party this summer. Despite having to practice social distancing this summer, you can still enjoy outdoor barbecues or patio parties. And if you're hosting, you'll have to make a couple of small changes to help guests feel comfortable while enjoying the festivities. Read more here

This couple is playing free concerts on their porch for neighbors every weekend. Whenever they do decide to play, their neighbors from across the street pull out their lawn chairs, and people strolling down their block take refuge from the heat, sitting on the curb underneath the shade. Others gather on the street or sit on the low wall in the driveway, listening to what is surely one of the only in-person live performances they’ve experienced in months. (Good Morning America)


> 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 

> Steve interviews Rep. MARK TAKANO (D-Calif.) 

> Steve interviews Nano Vision CEO STEVE PAPERMASTER 

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

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