Coronavirus Report

Comedian Joel McHale: Reach out and help local restaurants, wear masks with your favorite message; Frontline Foods’s Ryan Sarver says we are in inning 3 of the COVID-19 ballgame


> US confirms more than 75,600 coronavirus new cases, breaking single-day record

> The ‘mask war’ rages on: Georgia governor sues Atlanta over mask mandate, but encourages Geogians to wear masks

> 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s pandemic response

> HHS official says ‘most’ transmission is from asymptomatic carriers

> CDC delays school reopening guidelines until end of July 

> DNC tells members of Congress not to go to Milwaukee for convention 

> Lyft to provide drivers with 60,000 protective partitions 

> Comedian Joel McHale: Reach out and help local restaurants, wear masks with your favorite message, says White House might not want more tests, but hospitals are full of sick people, says his Skype backdrop is going for the look of an RA who had everything taken away in a dorm room 

> Frontline Foods’s Ryan Sarver says we are in inning 3 of the COVID-19 ballgame, says that everyone can find a way to help those negatively affected by this crisis, notes Frontline Foods will expand as crisis deepens, crows it’s good to be higher ranked than Joel McHale on Skype backdrop



Joel McHale, actor/comedian/host of “The Darkest Timeline” podcast, and Ryan Sarver, co-founding organizer, Frontline Foods

Comedian Joel McHale calls on everyone to help local restaurants and wear masks with whatever they want to say out loud publicly, says White House might not want more tests out there but hospitals are full of sick people, says his Skype backdrop is going for the look of an RA who had everything taken away in a dorm room. 


Frontline Foods’s Ryan Sarver says we are in inning 3 of the Covid-19 ballgame, says that everyone can find a way to help those negatively impacted by this crisis, says Frontline Foods will expand as crisis deepens, crows it’s good to be higher ranked than Joel McHale on Skype backdrop.





Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Friday, July 17.

Editor’s Note.


As I did a quick scan of all the incoming news on COVID-19 that I read every early morning, I saw this tragic story of Hortencia Laurens dying in Florida. Laurens was 70 years old and preparing for the annual family vacation on Florida’s west coast. Like so many others that the novel coronavirus brings down, she began to feel ill, tried to seek help from Florida’s over-burdened health care system, and died just a few days later in the arms of her daughter. 


Yes, there are reports that the lethality of COVID-19 is not what it was just a few months ago, because as former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb shared on CNBC this morning, we are getting better at treating patients. The survivability of those placed on ventilators, which used to be a likely death sentence for most early in the pandemic, had a survival rate of 20 percent. Now that figure is closer to 70 percent. But Laurens couldn’t get in  the hospital and she died.


It doesn’t have to be this way. It didn’t have to be this way. Reading these stories is heartbreaking because unlike most political debates, public policy decisions are either really saving people or really killing people.


As I read about Laurens, I pondered whether we will move from stories like her death to a different reality someday. Will a future 70-year-old brought down by the coronavirus be quickly helped by therapeutics that help with their respiratory distress, or by vaccines that quickly crowd out the spiked proteins on the virus so the damage stops and the person’s health can rebound? Will this nightmare be easily fixed? Or will those who are dying continue to be the tapestry of our morning reading?


I lost many friends to AIDS during that crisis in the 1980s and 1990s. They were here with me and then they were gone. Eligio Crespo was one of those in my life. And then there were a mix of drug cocktails that added to longevity and kept the virus in check — and now there are daily drugs like Truvada to prevent infection. That was a long time coming, but progress happened.


AIDS activist Larry Kramer used to hound and haunt Anthony Fauci to get him and his colleagues to speed up the research and drug discovery and testing process. Fauci did that and saved millions of lives by creating a more responsive drug development system. And I believe that Fauci is doing exactly the same thing today.


But who is screaming for Hortencia Laurens today and the many others dying? Too much of government at both the federal level and in many states seems to be shrugging off these infections and deaths. America has a flat-earth problem, and that along with killing this virus and moving past the pandemic is going to require some serious work in the future.


Let’s remember Hortencia Laurens and others out there who are suffering. They deserve respect, remembrance and better than they are getting now from us.


— 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

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Advancing America’s Economy: The Role of Private Capital | July 21, 2020


Private capital can play a substantial role in job creation and can help give businesses across nearly every sector strategic leaps forward. But a trustworthy partnership between private equity and the public must be established. Join The Hill on Tuesday, July 21, for Advancing America’s Economy: The Role of Private Capital. Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) and more will join The Hill’s editor-at-large Steve Clemons. 

REGISTER HERE! Have a question for our speakers? Tweet us @TheHillEvents using #TheHillInvests for a chance to have your question featured live in the program.


There are 13,885,746 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 592,573 global deaths have been attributed to the virus as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 3,604,408 cases and 138,649 deaths. The country confirmed more than 75,600 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, breaking the single-day record for increase in new infections yet again. Brazil and India — two countries struggling to contain their epidemics — have surpassed 2 million and 1 million cases, respectively. Russia 758,001. Peru 341,586. Chile 326,439. South Africa 324,221. Mexico 324,041. U.K. 294,803. Iran 269,440. Pakistan 259,999. 


Elsewhere throughout the world: 

> India has surpassed 1 million reported cases and the new surge in cases could force a return to lockdowns for many throughout the country. 

> Authorities in Spain have announced new measures amid concerns over new outbreaks in parts of the country. 

> Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain could reach a “significant return to normality” by Christmas.

> Japan has asked the U.S. military to quarantine all of its personnel arriving at American bases in Japan for two weeks and then test them for the coronavirus.

> European Union leaders are meeting to negotiate a massive economic aid package.

> Authorities in the Philippines said that foreigners with long-term visas could begin entering the country in August, the first time since March.


New York is reporting 405,551 cases. California 364,835. Florida 327,234. Texas 308,611. New Jersey 176,501. Illinois 159,082. Arizona 138,523. Georgia 131,287. Massachusetts 112,581. Pennsylvania 103,944. North Carolina 95,570. Louisiana 86,411. Michigan 79,839. Maryland 76,371. Virginia 75,431. 

Here at home: 

> Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) reportedly turned down offers for more than a million COVID-19 tests from authorized U.S. suppliers this spring while complaining he had no choice but to import 500,000 test kits from South Korea.

> Officials in Florida were forced to shutter the Division of Emergency Management’s operations center Thursday due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.

> Several Georgia mayors have lashed out over Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) order overriding local mandates requiring residents to wear a mask or face covering amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, vowing to continue enforcing local rules. 

> New York City’s mayor said “we are moving forward” with easing some restrictions on Monday, but said that state officials would make a formal announcement later. 

> In Puerto Rico, where the situation has been steadily worsening after promising early signs of containment, Gov. Wanda Vázquez rolled back part of the economic opening on Thursday.


The U.S. is reporting the results of 43,351,945 COVID-19 tests and 1,090,645 people recovered from the virus.


Enhanced unemployment insurance likely to expire during COVID-19 aid talks. The $600 weekly boost in unemployment insurance payments is likely to expire before lawmakers reach a deal on the next coronavirus relief package, raising the stakes for negotiations and creating more uncertainty for people relying on the government aid. (The Hill)  


Democrats instructing lawmakers, delegates to skip national convention. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic Party officials have instructed members of Congress and delegates to skip in-person attendance at their national convention, The New York Times reported Thursday. Democratic National Committee officials have been moving toward a virtual convention for weeks, and all delegates have known for weeks that meeting in Milwaukee had been called off. (The Hill

Feinstein proposes withholding COVID-19 relief from states without mask mandates. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on the Senate on Thursday to support an amendment to the next coronavirus relief bill that would bar states that do not implement mask mandates from receiving stimulus funding. In a statement from the senator’s office, Feinstein announced her intention to introduce the amendment and stated that it was time for Congress to step in and force states to implement such mandates to stop the virus from spreading. (The Hill)


Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) 

@PattyMurray The COVID-19 pandemic has put the health disparities experienced by communities of color front and center. It was helpful to hear from King County health leaders about the challenges they’re facing & the support they need to keep their neighborhoods safe & healthy.


Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas)  

@RepRonWright This is a great story of Texans stepping up to the plate to help other Texans in need. Yesterday, @TitosVodka gave away 44,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to the DFW community. Thanks for extending your efforts in Austin up to Dallas. Y’all are awesome!


Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) 

@RepHastingsFL 50,000 Americans, including over 2,500 Floridians, have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the 2 mo. since @HouseDemocrats passed the #HeroesAct. @senatemajldr, why is the Senate dragging its feet on this must-pass bill that gives American communities the tools to fight this crisis?


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sues Atlanta over mask requirement. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Thursday sued to stop Atlanta from enforcing some of its coronavirus-related rules, including its mandate to wear a face covering in public, even as the state experiences a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. The lawsuit alleges that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) lacked the authority to implement a mask requirement and that she must obey Kemp’s executive orders, including one signed Wednesday that explicitly bans municipalities from enacting their own face-covering ordinances. (Washington Post


Disapproval of Trump coronavirus response jumps to 60 percent amid surge: poll. Sixty percent of polled Americans disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey released Friday found that 38 percent approve of the president’s handling of the pandemic, down from 46 percent who said the same in May and 51 percent of respondents in March. (The Hill


Governors urge Trump to delay changes to hospital COVID-19 reporting. The National Governors Association (NGA) on Thursday called on the Trump administration to postpone planned alterations to hospital reporting requirements for 30 days. “To ensure the accurate reporting of this data, governors are requesting a 30-day delay of these new requirements, in order for hospitals to learn a new system, as they continue to deal with this pandemic. In addition, governors urge the administration to make this information publicly available,” the NGA said in a statement. (The Hill


Missouri spending $15M in coronavirus relief funds on boosting tourism. Missouri plans to spend $15 million in federal coronavirus aid on promoting tourism in the state, Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced Thursday. Parson called the tourism industry “a great way to support Missouri businesses” in his press briefing Thursday, adding “With all the other things going on, it’s still important people need to get out and enjoy life a little bit.” (The Hill)


India hits a million cases in a surge that has forced a return to lockdowns. India on Friday surpassed a million confirmed infections and 25,000 deaths, weeks after the government lifted a nationwide lockdown in hopes of getting the economy up and running. Regardless, India now ranks third in the world — behind only the United States and Brazil — in both total infections and the number of new ones recorded each day. (New York Times

As COVID-19 cases surge at US bases, Japan’s defense minister calls for testing of all arriving military personnel. Amid a coronavirus outbreak in the Japanese prefecture that houses numerous U.S. military bases, Defense Minister Taro Kono is asking the United States to conduct coronavirus tests on all arriving military personnel. At a news conference Friday, Kono said U.S. forces were considering it. The U.S. Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Washington Post)


CDC delays school reopening guidelines until end of July. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not release its guidance for reopening schools this week as expected, the latest turn in a clash between President Trump and the agency over how — and whether — students should return to the classroom in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic rages. (New York Times

HHS official says “most” transmission is from asymptomatic carriers. Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for Health and Human Services, said most transmission of the virus is coming from people who are asymptomatic. “Just feeling like you want to go get a test is really not the best strategy, but we know that most of the spread are from asymptomatic people, particularly young adults, so you have to cast a wide net and I think we’re able to do that,” he told CNBC. (CNBC)


Netflix shares sink as company sees growth slowing after coronavirus-driven subscriber surge. Shares in Netflix fell sharply on Friday after the streaming giant reported lower than expected second quarter revenue and meager expectations for new subscribers. Netflix stock was down roughly 8 percent shortly after the market opened Friday. (The Hill

Lyft to provide drivers with partition shields as coronavirus protection. Lyft Inc. said Friday it would distribute some 60,000 vehicle partition shields to its most active drivers as a protection against the coronavirus and begin selling the custom-made protective barriers to other drivers later this summer. (Reuters)


COVID-19 has ravaged Indian Country and financial relief is crucial. As the Trump administration and Congress negotiate another coronavirus relief package, a constituency requiring urgent support is American Indian tribes. While Washington was right in March to allocate $8 billion of CARES Act money to help Native American tribes fund their government services, the relief package was insufficient to address the myriad of needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Deron Marquez and Ted Gover for The Hill


Preventing a public health crisis from turning into a homelessness crisis. When some of the world’s largest and interconnected financial institutions collapsed in September 2008, the financial crisis soon became a foreclosure crisis, as the shoddy lending practices of those institutions ended up leaving many homeowners out in the cold. Today, the coronavirus pandemic, a public health crisis, is having similar economic effects, and, like the financial crisis of 2008, it too will soon turn into a housing crisis as well. (Ray Brescia for The Hill


Face mask requirements stop coronavirus from spreading. Hoping people trust science doesn’t. People who don’t believe in vaccines, similar to those who do not believe that masks protect against COVID-19, grasp onto misinformation that confirms their skepticism and breeds their overconfidence that the experts are wrong. Anti-maskers, like anti-vaxxers, don’t trust science alone. (NBC News)


U.K. vet “Capt. Tom” knighted by Queen Elizabeth II after raising millions for health service. The WWII veteran who raised millions for Britain’s National Health Service during the coronavirus pandemic was bestowed the highest of accolades on Friday, receiving knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. (NBC News)


> 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 ANTHONY FAUCI

> Steve interviews former New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE 

> Steve interviews Soapbox CEO and co-founder DAVID SIMNICK 

> Steve interviews HHS Secretary ALEX AZAR 

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 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


Tags Alcee Hastings Anthony Fauci Bryan Steil Coronavirus Coronavirus Report Dianne Feinstein Donald Trump Joel McHale Patty Murray Ron Wright Ryan Sarver Stephanie Murphy
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