The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Cure Violence Global founder Gary Slutkin says violence and epidemics follow same patterns; Global death toll surpasses half a million

The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Cure Violence Global founder Gary Slutkin says violence and epidemics follow same patterns; Global death toll surpasses half a million


> Global death toll surpasses half a million with more than a quarter of deaths reported in the United States 

> Gilead announces pricing for successful COVID-19 therapeutic remdesivir 

> Florida cases surge fivefold in just two weeks; governor blames young people partying for spike

> Houston hospitals stop reporting coronavirus-related data after reaching base ICU capacity

> Finalized EU travel ‘safe list’ likely to exclude US

> Airlines to require passengers to fill out health acknowledgement before flights 

> ‘We have to act:’ HHS Secretary Azar warns ‘window closing’ to halt coronavirus spike

> Cure Violence Global founder Gary Slutkin says violence and epidemics follow same patterns, says stopping the spread requires proactive interventions, says “flattening the curve” was wrong goal to end COVID-19


Dr. Gary Slutkin, founder and CEO, Cure Violence

Cure Violence Global founder Dr. Gary Slutkin says violence and epidemics follow same patterns, says stopping the spread requires proactive interventions, says “flattening the curve” was wrong goal to end COVID-19.





Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill's Coronavirus Report. It's Monday, June 29.

Editor’s Note.


First thing to share is that the Coronavirus Report will not be produced tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30 or on Friday, July 3. The first reason is that we will be fully engaged with our national summit on LGBTQ+ rights that you can watch and register for here — and the Friday break is in celebration of the July 4 holiday. We all hope that you and your families get some respite from the tensions of our time.

Also, today’s interview with Cure Violence Global’s founder and CEO Dr. Gary Slutkin broadened the frame for how I think about how to fight an epidemic. Slutkin is a highly respected epidemiologist, who worked for the World Health Organization in working to roll back AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and cholera in Africa, and who helped stem the outbreak of TB in San Francisco years ago. In a key insight, Dr. Slutkin realized that the incidence of violence behaves like epidemics do, and that intervention and disruption are as key to reducing violence as they are to fighting a virus.  


The entire interview is worth your time as it just offers a different perspective on COVID-19 which is hitting many communities of color disproportionately to the rest of society, just as gun violence does.  But one of the things he said which surprised me but makes so much sense in retrospect is that “flattening the curve” was the wrong goal in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Slutkin said that ending COVID-19 — stopping it — needed to be the goal. Lowering the curve brings with it a sense of permissiveness and a lack of definitive consequence in wiping out infections from SARS-Cov-2, like New Zealand achieved. Slutkin said that our language got wrapped up in the politics of “reopening,” and that is proving to be a real problem.


I couldn’t agree more.  


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


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The global community has surpassed another grim milestone with 10,195,680 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and now over half a million deaths with 502,802 reported as of the time of this newsletter.  


The U.S. is reporting 2,564,163 cases and its 125,928 deaths account for more than a quarter of the global death count. Brazil is reporting 1,344,143 cases. Russia 640,246. India 548,318. U.K. 313,467. Peru 279,419. Chile 271,982. Spain 248,970. Italy 240,436. Iran 240,205. Mexico 216,852. Pakistan 206,512. 


Elsewhere throughout the world: 

> India reported nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday and opened its largest coronavirus hospital as cases continue to surge. 

> China has approved a vaccine candidate for use by the country’s military. 

> Britain is set to lift restrictions on pubs, restaurants, hotels, barbershops and salons and other venues later this week. 

> German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned over the weekend that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave. 


New York is reporting 392,883 cases. California 215,581. New Jersey 171,182. Texas 150,851. Illinois 141,723. Florida 146,341. Massachusetts 108,667. Pennsylvania 89,863. Georgia 77,210. Arizona 74,533. Michigan 69,946. Maryland 67,254. North Carolina 63,711. Virginia 62,189. Louisiana 57,081. Ohio 50,309. Connecticut 46,303. 


Here at home: 

> Florida’s seven-day average of new cases has hit new highs for 21 days in a row. 

> In hard-hit Texas, Houston hospitals have stopped reporting coronavirus-related data after reaching base ICU capacity. 

> At least 85 people connected to a Michigan bar have tested positive for coronavirus. 

> In California, Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomOn The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Grenell hints at potential California gubernatorial bid Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip MORE (D) on Sunday ordered bars in seven counties to close, and he recommended other bars across the state do the same.

> Even Hawaii, which has the fewest deaths linked to the virus and gained a reputation for imposing some of the toughest restrictions for visitors, is seeing a resurgence of infections.

> Black people account for more than 22 percent of the virus cases in Maine, but make up 1.6 percent of the state’s population. 


The U.S. is reporting the results of 30,988,013 COVID-19 tests and 685,164 full recoveries from the virus.


“We have to act” — HHS Secretary Azar warns “window closing” to halt coronavirus spike. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warned Sunday that time was running out for the U.S. to curb the spread of coronavirus as cases rise across the country, particularly in the American South and West. “We’ve got the tools to do this,” Azar told NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “But the window is closing, we have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibility. (CNBC


Fauci warns of risk if too many people refuse the coronavirus vaccine. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Underfunding classics and humanities is dangerous MORE said Sunday that he's "cautiously optimistic" that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by the start of 2021, but warned that the U.S. would likely not reach herd immunity if a substantial portion of the population refused to take it. Fauci, an  infectious disease expert, said during an interview with CNN that aired as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival that he would settle for a vaccine that was 70 to 75 percent effective, noting that it would "bring you to herd immunity level.” But he said it was "unlikely" the U.S. would be able to quell the outbreak if 30 percent of the population refused to take the vaccine when asked about recent survey results. (The Hill

As U.S. soars past 2.5 million coronavirus cases, Pence urges Americans to wear masks. Vice President Pence on Sunday implored Americans to wear face masks, practice social distancing and stay away from senior citizens to protect them amid a new spike in coronavirus infections as the United States surpassed 2.5 million confirmed cases. (Washington Post)


Rep. Greg PenceGregory PenceImpeachment video shows Pence had 'nuclear football' as he moved away from Capitol riot New security video shows harrowing details of Capitol attack OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters MORE (R-Ind.) 

@RepGregPence As our country safely reopens and our economy recovers, we must be focused on blue collar workers. Main Street is the lifeblood of our economy - small business owners and employees deserve to be the driving force toward a revived economy.


Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyRepublicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars Senate Democrats call on GAO to review child care access barriers for disabled parents, kids Democrats blast Trump team videos: 'False equivalency'  MORE Jr. (D-Pa.) 

@SenBobCasey I commend @ACE_Fitzgerald and @HealthAllegheny for taking decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Allegheny County. We must stay vigilant and follow the guidance of public health experts.


Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) 

@boblatta Over the weekend, the US surpassed 30 million #COVID19 tests performed to date in our country, with +28.4 million of those tests resulting in negative results. When more people get tested for the #coronavirus, we are better able to discern how to safely get Americans back to work.


Houston hospitals stop reporting coronavirus-related data after reaching base ICU capacity: report. Data released by a major Houston hospital system no longer includes information about the hospital system's intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, a change reportedly made just a day after it previously was updated to show the hospitals reaching 100 percent base capacity due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (The Hill


Cases in Florida surge fivefold in two weeks. Over the weekend, Florida crushed its previous record for new coronavirus cases, reporting 9,585 new infections on Saturday. An additional 8,530 were reported on Sunday. Six-hour lines formed in Jacksonville as thousands of people flocked to get tests at drive-thru sites. Orange County, home to Orlando, has seen an explosion of coronavirus: Nearly 60 percent of all cases there came in the past two weeks. (New York Times


Florida governor is blaming young people partying for coronavirus surge. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Golden statue of Trump at CPAC ridiculed online MORE (R) has blamed younger people for the dramatic surge in coronavirus cases — claiming it’s impossible to stop them from partying. “If you look at that 25 to 34 age group, that is now by far the leading age group for positive tests,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Sunday. (New York Post


At least 85 people connected with visit to Michigan bar test positive for coronavirus. Coronavirus cases linked to crowds who visited a Michigan bar after it reopened have risen to 85, according to health officials. The Ingham County Health Department is asking anyone who visited Harper's Restaurant & Brewpub, outside of Michigan State University in East Lansing, between June 12 and 20, to self-quarantine for two weeks. (NBC News)


Finalized EU travel “safe list” likely to exclude US. The U.S. is expected to be excluded from a finalized list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter European Union (EU) nations again starting in July, according to The Associated Press. Spain's foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, said Monday that the list could include about 15 countries and that it would be based on criteria assessing how they have handled the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The list is likely to be released on Tuesday, the AP noted. (The Hill


U.K.’s Boris Johnson says a “Rooseveltian” approach is needed to restart the economy. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that the U.K. needs to take a “Rooseveltian” approach to rebuilding its economy following the coronavirus epidemic. Speaking to Times Radio, Johnson admitted that the virus had been an “absolute nightmare for the country” but added that “in those moments you have the opportunity to change and to do things better ... to invest in infrastructure, transport, broadband, you name it.” (CNBC


China imposes a broad lockdown near Beijing. The Chinese authorities have imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a county near Beijing in the latest effort by the government to stamp out a small but stubborn second wave of infections in and around the capital. (New York Times


COVID-19 treatment remdesivir priced at $3,120 for typical U.S. patient. Gilead Sciences, the maker of the first COVID-19 treatment found to have worked in clinical trials, said it will charge U.S. hospitals $3,120 for the typical patient with private insurance. The company’s chairman and chief executive, Daniel O’Day, broke down the pricing for remdesivir in a letter on Monday. (Washington Post

FDA grants emergency clearance to Danaher’s antibodies test. Danaher received emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its antibody test, Reuters reported. The decision follows the tightening of FDA guidelines for antibodies tests, as high demand has led to the creation of fraudulent testing kits. (CNBC)


Markets open up despite COVID-19 spike. U.S. markets opened higher on Monday morning, with investors setting aside concerns over a resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases. The increases followed a tough week for markets, which have seen increased volatility recently as coronavirus cases spiked and broke records in large states such as Florida and Texas. While still hovering well above low points reached in March, the markets erased their June gains by Friday's close. (The Hill


Airlines to require customers to fill out health acknowledgement before flights. Airlines for America (A4A), a group that represents the major U.S. airlines, said on Monday that passengers will be required to complete a health acknowledgment form during check-in for a flight, adding that passengers who refuse to do so could be deemed unfit to travel. The acknowledgement encourages passengers to evaluate their own health before traveling and will be required by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. (The Hill)  

Pending home sales spiked a record 44.3 percent in May. Pending home sales spiked a stunning 44.3 percent in May compared with April, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is the largest one-month jump in the history of the survey, which dates back to 2001. It beat expectations of a 15 percent gain. Sales were still 5.1 percent lower compared with May 2019, however. (CNBC)


Overturning ObamaCare will make COVID-19 much worse. President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE won’t wear a mask in public or suspend his in-person rallies and pushes to reopen the economy. As infuriating as Trump’s COVID-19 response has been for its incongruence with public health recommendations, the real outrage is his persistent attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act. (Rosemarie Day and Deborah Gordon for The Hill) 

Coronavirus aid should go directly to the people. As federal policymakers consider future legislation to address the economic challenges created by COVID-19, they should take the shortest route possible to get aid to those who need it. Where possible, the assistance should go directly to affected individuals and businesses, rather than through the states. If it’s not feasible for the aid to be sent to recipients directly, states should be held accountable for ensuring that those in need are actually getting it.  (Lanhee J. Chen and David Crane for The Hill)


Massachusetts family honors coronavirus victims with 8,013 flags in front yard. A Massachusetts family has found a patriotic way to honor coronavirus victims. For every person in the state who dies from the virus, the Labbe family in Grafton has planted a flag in their front yard. There are now 8,013 flags. “People have died in the hospital without families around, so we just wanted to give back to them,” Melissa, one of the children, told Boston 25 News. (Fox News)


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

> Steve interviews Nano Vision CEO STEVE PAPERMASTER 

> Steve interviews Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-Minn.) 

> Steve interviews geopolitical adviser PARAG KHANNA

> Steve interviews San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Artistic Director TIM SEELIG 

Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.


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