The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

> Tensions grow between White House, Fauci on coronavirus messaging

> World Health Organization reported more than 230,000 infections Sunday, a new global record for daily increase

> Florida sets record with 15,300 new cases Sunday, highest single-day increase by any state; reports more than 12,000 new cases Monday

> New York City reported no COVID-19 deaths for first time since pandemic began 

> Teachers face off against Trump, DeVos on school reopenings

> Pelosi: Trump wearing a mask is 'an admission' that it can stop spread of coronavirus 

> FDA grants ‘fast-track’ status to experimental vaccines co-developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer

> Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says Trump team wasn’t aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis

 

 

 



THE INTERVIEW

Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says Trump team wasn’t aggressive enough at start of COVID-19 crisis, says teachers and administrators are the ones really at risk in reopening schools, says federal government needs to provide the protection resources to schools in crises like this.

 

 

 

 

Watch the full interview here.



THE HILL’S CORONAVIRUS REPORT

Welcome to The Hill's Coronavirus Report. It's Monday, July 13.

Editors’ Note. 

 

My interview with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) went in some unexpected directions — particularly his expressing a strong interest in a possible presidential run in 2024 following his unsuccessful bid in 2016. He praises Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) for his leadership in the National Governors Association on the COVID-19 front, along with New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoJudge rejects 'right to travel' challenge to New York's coronavirus quarantine rules Marlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup MORE (D). Hogan is another Republican who has flirted with a White House bid in 2024, and then there’s former South Carolina Gov. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyNikki Haley trolled over complaints about The Popcorn Factory Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans The 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence MORE (R). 

 

Christie also talked about the challenges still facing communities and small businesses hit hard by this pandemic. He and his wife, Mary Pat, used $100,000 of their own money, now supplemented by other philanthropic donations, to create the NJ 30 Day Fund, which provides forgivable loans to help firms get the financing they need to stay in business.

 

What I like about their effort is that it falls very much in line with what Tom Hanks talked about the other day — reminding people of the spirit during World War II that “everyone could do their part to help.” Providing a loan fund for small businesses that are gasping for air is one way of helping and doing something. And it gets a salute from me.

 

Fascinating interview. I hope you watch it.

 

-- 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 HILL 'VIRTUALLY' LIVE

Wednesday, July 15 | New Threats, New Defense: The Future of National Security

 

On Wednesday, July 15, The Hill Virtually Live hosts “New Threats, New Defense: The Future of National Security” featuring an interview with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo by The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden, Harris's first day as running mates The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks MORE. What fields of national security work need to be invented or reinvented today? We will host a focused discussion on what programs and assets make sense for the future. RSVP Today! 


Have a question for our speakers? Tweet us @TheHillEvents using #TheHillNatSec and we’ll feature your question live in the program.



CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

There are 12,977,429 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 570,259 deaths have been attributed to the virus as of the time of this newsletter. In another grim start to a new week, the World Health Organization reported more than 230,000 infections Sunday, setting a global record for new daily infections.

 

The U.S. is reporting 3,327,388 coronavirus cases and 135,295 deaths. Brazil 1,864,681 cases. India 878,254. Russia 732,547. Peru 326,326. Chile 317,657. Mexico 299,750. U.K. 291,685. South Africa 276,242. Iran 259,652. Spain 255,953. Pakistan 251,625. Italy 243,230. Saudi Arabia 235,111. Turkey 212,993. France 208,015. 

 

Elsewhere throughout the world: 

> A spreading wave of coronavirus infections across many countries in Eastern Europe has prompted governments in the region to issue new restrictions on travel and business, including nightly curfews and orders requiring masks in public.

> The U.S. military is battling an outbreak that has infected dozens of service members at bases on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

> Mexico surpassed 35,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, overtaking Italy to become the nation with the fourth-most deaths from the virus.

> The leader of Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia said Monday that the regional government would proceed with a lockdown. 

> President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa reinstated a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol in an effort to alleviate pressure on the health care system.

> In Hong Kong, a Department of Health spokeswoman said the Chinese territory’s latest outbreak was worse than a peak in March because of a growing number of cases with unknown origins and clusters linked to housing estates, homes for older people and restaurants.

 

New York is reporting 401,706 cases. California 325,916. Florida 282,435. Texas 262,762. New Jersey 175,298. Illinois 155,048. Arizona 123,429. Georgia 116,926. Massachusetts 111,597. Pennsylvania 100,122. North Carolina 87,576. Louisiana 78,122. Michigan 76,776, Maryland 73,527. Virginia 71,642. Ohio 65,592. 

 

Here at home: 

> 20 states and Puerto Rico reported a record-high average of new infections over the past week.

> Five states — Arizona, California, Florida, Mississippi and Texas — broke records for average daily fatalities over the past week.

> New York City reported no new coronavirus deaths on Sunday for the first time since the pandemic began.

> Test results for the coronavirus are taking so long to come back that experts say the results across the United States are often proving useless in efforts to control the disease.

 

The U.S. is reporting the results of 40,282,176 COVID-19 tests and 1,006,326 full recoveries from the virus.



WASHINGTON WATCH

White House goes public with attacks on Fauci. Tensions between the White House and Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci dismisses Tucker Carlson's criticism but says it may inspire threats from 'crazies' Fauci tells Matthew McConaughey he backs 'universal wearing of masks' The Hill interview: NIH chief addresses concerns about speed of COVID-19 vaccine development MORE, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, are spilling into the open as officials openly attack the doctor for his public health advice during the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci's advice has often run contrary to President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE’s views, and the attacks on Fauci have begun to look like a traditional negative political campaign against an opponent. Yet this time, the opponent is a public health expert and career civil servant working within the administration. (The Hill

 

But, the White House is denying that Fauci will be sidelined from public view. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday insisted that Anthony Fauci’s recommendations on the coronavirus pandemic are reaching President Trump amid signs of a rift between the commander in chief and the nation's top infectious diseases expert. McEnany also described Fauci’s opinion as only “one viewpoint” among many considered by Trump. Her remarks came after Fauci said last week that he hasn’t briefed the president in two months and were punctuated by growing evidence of an effort by the White House to cast doubt on Fauci’s credibility and sideline his opinion. (The Hill

 

Teachers face off against Trump on school reopenings. President Trump and his allies consistently argue that schools should reopen because closures have a negative impact on students and children have no symptoms, or mild symptoms, when infected with COVID-19.

But teachers say they are worried about catching COVID-19 at school or bringing it home to their families because it is still unclear what role children play in spreading the virus to others. (The Hill


Pelosi: Trump wearing a mask is 'an admission' that it can stop spread of coronavirus. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress exits with no deal, leaving economists flabbergasted Trump says he'll sign USPS funding if Democrats make concessions Pelosi calls Trump attacks on mail-in voting a 'domestic assault on our Constitution' MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President Trump’s decision to wear a mask while he visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center amounted to an "admission" that facial coverings can curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (The Hill)



LAWMAKERS TWEET

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell calls for creation of presidential crimes commission to investigate Trump when he leaves office 'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer MORE (D-Calif.) 

@RepSwalwell Introducing, “Corona Connection,” a new series where instead of listening to his chief scientist, the President of the United States takes pandemic policy cues from a game show host. Catch it—and Covid-19—this fall!

 

Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump: GOP senators who don't embrace him will 'lose their elections' McConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE (R-Ariz)

@SenMcSallyAZ Telehealth services are a simple and safe way for Arizonans to stay connected to their doctors. I’m working to ensure these services are permanently expanded.

 

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedDemocrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response MORE (D-R.I.) 

@SenJackReed Schools need federal $$$ to safely reopen & they needed it weeks ago to properly plan & implement #CDCguidelines. Trump-Republican delay over #schoolaid is a needless setback for the health & safety of students & teachers nationwide. Congress should approve school $$$ today.



ACROSS THE NATION

Florida records more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day, the highest single-day increase in any state. Florida recorded more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest single-day increase any state has experienced during the pandemic, officials reported. Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 15,299 new coronavirus cases in the state, bringing its total to 269,811. (The Hill

 

New York City reports zero COVID-19 deaths for first time since pandemic hit. New York City on Sunday reported zero new coronavirus deaths for the first time since early March, a milestone that comes as the virus spikes in other parts of the country. Preliminary health data from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed that no one died from the coronavirus in New York City on Saturday, the first time zero new deaths have been reported there since March 13, according to multiple reports. (The Hill

 

Pittsburgh seemed like a virus success story. Now cases are surging. Western Pennsylvania is suddenly experiencing an alarming surge of infections. Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, reported more than 100 new cases for the first time on June 30; two days later, the daily case count surpassed 200. Over two weeks in late June and early July, the county recorded more new cases than in the previous two months combined, and on some recent days has accounted for nearly half of all new known cases in Pennsylvania. (New York Times)



WORLD VIEW

Mexico surpasses Italy to become nation with fourth-most COVID-19 deaths. Mexico surpassed 35,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, overtaking Italy to become the nation with the fourth-most deaths from the virus. Data reported by Mexico's health ministry and obtained by Bloomberg News also indicated that the country is on the verge of passing 300,000 total confirmed infections of the disease, with 276 new deaths and 4,482 new cases reported Sunday. (The Hill

 

Rivals Dubai and Abu Dhabi tackle coronavirus in very different ways. This gleaming city with its enormous malls, towering hotels, elaborate water parks and indoor ski slope welcomed tourists back last week. The rest of the United Arab Emirates, however, remains closed to visitors, a striking illustration of the competing priorities among the seven statelets that make up the country — and especially between the two main rivals, Dubai and the capital, Abu Dhabi. (Washington Post)



SCIENCE

FDA grants ‘fast-track’ status to experimental vaccines co-developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer. The Food and Drug Administration granted ‘fast-track’ status to two COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, a move that raises the possibility that a successful vaccine could be put into production by year’s end or early 2021, the companies announced Monday. (Washington Post)



BUSINESS

Businesses plead for states to enforce mask mandates. A growing number of states and cities have imposed mask orders to slow the spread of COVID-19 as a second surge of coronavirus cases risks another round of lockdowns. But a wave of clashes between employees and customers has left business groups pleading with state officials to step in and ease the burden on vulnerable workers. (The Hill


Yelp to bring back furloughed employees. Yelp will bring back “nearly all” of its 1,100 furloughed employees next month, and will restore employee pay and work hours.The company in April laid off 1,000 employees and furloughed roughly 1,100 more, as the COVID-19 pandemic kept people across the nation home. (CNBC)



ISSUES, CAUSES, PASSIONS

Keep schools closed and support American families: A child psychiatrist’s plea. Having children physically in school does not mean they are learning. The debate about whether children should physically be present in school or not is a proxy war for social-economic inequality. We should respect our children and families and keep schools closed until there is adequate containment of COVID-19 through testing, tracing and treatment. (Dr. Suzan Song for The Hill


'Live with it' is the new GOP response to COVID — but no, we can't do that. “Live with it.” This is the new Republican campaign strategy to divert attention from the COVID-19 crisis. And, it is dangerous. The belief is that if we ignore the pandemic we will get numb to 100,000 new cases per day and the accompanying deaths. This is promoted by the erroneous statement that 99 percent of the cases are harmless, implying that if patients do not die then they merely had a harmless infection. Yet we know up to 20 percent get seriously ill and may suffer for weeks with the infection, may have to go on a ventilator. Those who survive may have permanent debilitating damage. (James Alwine and Felicia Goodrum Sterling for The Hill)



GENEROUS SPIRITS

Father-son Marine Corps veterans beat COVID-19 together. Both father, 71, and son, 47, are veterans of the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam and Iraq, respectively, experiences that helped them in their battles against the coronavirus. Being in the Marines, “you have the mindset to always be ready for the unexpected and, if need be, you have to leave it in God’s hands. And make sure you pray,” the son said. (AARP)



ICYMI: STEVE’S INTERVIEWS, 15 MINUTES EACH

> Steve interviews The Hill’s REID WILSON 

> Steve interviews Washington, D.C., Mayor MURIEL BOWSER 

> Steve interviews American Federation of Teachers President RANDI WEINGARTEN 

> Steve interviews NIAID Director DR. ANTHONY FAUCI


Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.



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