The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Angie Craig says we need an equitable distribution plan for an eventual vaccine that reaches all communities; Moderna vaccine enters phase 3 trial in US today

The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Angie Craig says we need an equitable distribution plan for an eventual vaccine that reaches all communities; Moderna vaccine enters phase 3 trial in US today


> Phase 3 of Moderna vaccine trial begins today in US 

> National security adviser Robert O’Brien tests positive for coronavirus 

> Birx advises several states to reimpose limits in response to rising caseloads

> Florida epidemic worsens as state overtakes New York for second-highest caseload in country

> Tired of lockdown? Barbados tempts remote workers with 12-month visas 

> North Korea declares state of emergency due to a suspected COVID-19 case

> Vietnam evacuates tourists after its first coronavirus case in months 

> Miami Marlins postpone home opener as virus spreads throughout team 

> Rep. Angie Craig says we need an equitable distribution plan for an eventual vaccine that reaches all communities


Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.)

Rep. Angie Craig says we need an equitable distribution plan for an eventual vaccine that reaches all communities, calls for healthy competition in the drug development arena, stresses U.S. still needs a federal strategy on testing and contract tracing.





Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill's Coronavirus Report. It's Monday, July 27.

Editor’s Note. 


There is only one state in the nation where the number of infections has declined two or more weeks in a row, and that is Arizona, according to Reid Wilson, my COVID-19-data-crunching colleague at The Hill. Twenty-three states reported more than 5,000 cases last week. It is not unreasonable at this point for people to ask how and whether the spread of this virus will be brought under control. It has become the most consistently raised question in the socially-distant meetings I do with neighbors and friends.


From my vantage point after months of interviews and reading everything I can on the spread of the novel coronavirus, my guess is that not enough Americans will change their behavior to get a meaningful drawdown in the communication and spread of SARS-Cov-2. I wish I was very wrong in this prediction. And because some ignore warnings and refuse to alter their behavior, it doesn’t mean that the warnings and guidance don’t remain important. Other Americans will be safe, wear masks, socially distance, get tested when they can, but even that didn’t help national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who has tested positive for COVID-19. 


That means that we are going to lose a lot of people too soon and see our societal stress rise until efficacious vaccines are developed, manufactured en masse and deployed widely. There are therapeutics on the way as well. But we haven’t figured out yet how to lessen the cost of hospital care and treatment with those therapeutics — so the U.S. government will need to tackle that as well. Somehow. Eventually.


That means we will have a messy public health situation for some time. There are folks trying to turn this around, to put money into testing and contact tracing innovations, to reverse, somehow, the behavior of Americans who feel that this is a remote threat.  


But all signals now are that the insidious virus will continue to spread. Many will survive, and some won’t. As I wrote recently, American society is proving itself extraordinarily vulnerable to this kind of attack on its national security, and other societies are proving to be more resilient. This is a hinge point in our and their history.


— 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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There are 16,296,635 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 649,965 have died from the virus across the globe as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 4,238,500 cases and 146,968 deaths. Brazil 2,419,091 cases. India 1,435,616. Russia 816,680. South Africa 445,433. Mexico 390,516. Peru 375,961. Chile 345,790. U.K. 301,020. Iran 293,606. Pakistan 274,289. Spain 272,421. Saudi Arabia 268,934. Colombia 248,976. Italy 246,118. Bangladesh 226,225. Turkey 226,100. 


Elsewhere throughout the world: 

North Korea declared a state of emergency on Sunday after one person in the country was suspected of being positive for COVID-19.

> Vietnam, which on Saturday broke a streak of 100 days without a local coronavirus transmission, will evacuate 80,000 people from the central city of Danang after four residents there tested positive this weekend.

> Often criticized for a slow response to the coronavirus, the government in Britain moved quickly this weekend to impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from Spain, after a spike in coronavirus cases there. 

> Officials in Hong Kong, which reported a record 145 new cases on Monday and has had more than 100 new cases for six days in a row, said on Monday that they would shut down all dine-in restaurant service, limit public gatherings to two people and require masks in public at all times.

> The government of Morocco locked down eight cities on Sunday before the Eid al-Adha holiday. 

> Last week, authorities in Zambia said 15 lawmakers and 11 members of staff had tested positive for the coronavirus.


California is reporting 452,883 cases. Florida 423,855. New York 411,736. Texas 394,846. New Jersey 179,363. Illinois 172,663. Georgia 167,953. Arizona 162,014. Massachusetts 115,637. North Carolina 112,937. Pennsylvania 111,745. Louisiana 107,574. Tennessee 93,936. Michigan 86,661. Virginia 86,072. Maryland 84,876. Ohio 84,073. South Carolina 81,199. Alabama 79,294. Indiana 62,372. 


Here at home: 

> The United States reported 59,737 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, pushing the total number of cases that have been reported since February past 4,217,000.

> Florida’s epidemic is continuing to worsen and the state has surpassed New York for the second-highest caseload in the country (behind California). 

> Three states — Nevada, Texas and South Carolina — saw their seven-day averages for fatalities reach new highs. 

> During a visit Sunday to Kentucky, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx encouraged states with rising infection rates — including Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia — to close down bars and reduce the maximum size for social gatherings.


The U.S. is reporting the results of 51,491,494 COVID-19 tests and 1,297,863 full recoveries from the virus.  





Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien tests positive for coronavirus. President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for COVID-19, according to people familiar with his situation. O’Brien has been out of the office since late last week, one of the people said. O’Brien came down with the coronavirus after a family event and has been isolating at home while still running the National Security Council, doing most of his work by phone, according to one of the people. (Bloomberg


Republicans plan to roll out $1 trillion aid bill Monday afternoon, days before benefits expire. Republicans intend on Monday to unveil their $1 trillion proposal for a coronavirus relief package, striving to overcome internal divisions before an intense negotiation with Democrats who are proposing to spend three times as much to stabilize the economy. (New York Times


Pelosi: House will stay in session longer to complete COVID-19 relief bill if necessary. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Pelosi says she's giving Senate more time on Jan. 6 commission Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package Pelosi picks Democrats for special panel tackling inequality MORE (D-Calif.) said the House could stay in session longer if necessary to arrive at a deal with Senate leaders for a new coronavirus relief package. “We have been ready for two months and 10 days,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” referencing the $3 trillion relief bill — dubbed the HEROES Act — the House passed in May. “We can’t go home without” a deal, she added. “It’s so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their life.” (The Hill


Approval of Trump’s handling of coronavirus hits new low. Support for President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic reached a new low on Sunday as various parts of the country continue to experience a surge in infections, according to a new poll. The survey, conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that just 32 percent of respondents said they support the president's response to the coronavirus outbreak, marking a 12-point decline from an identical survey released in March. (The Hill)


Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) 

@SpeakerPelosi After 10 weeks of Senate Republicans’ unilateral “pause” on responding to the coronavirus, it remains unclear whether they will release their plan today – even as working families struggle to make rent, children go hungry and unemployment is expiring.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell (R-Ky.) 

@SenateMajLdr This terrible virus is still with us and America’s fight continues. Across the country, by taking commonsense steps – like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing – we’ll get through this together.


Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate panel unanimously advances key Biden cyber nominees Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' MORE (D-N.Y.) 

@SenSchumer It's July 27th, and President Trump still doesn’t have an adequate national testing strategy.


Birx recommends Kentucky officials close bars, limit restaurant capacity. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, recommended Kentucky close bars and curtail restaurant capacity in a meeting with state officials. “We have significant concerns about the rising test positivity rate and the rising number of cases,” Birx said Sunday in a meeting with Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and state health experts, according to the Lexington-Herald. “We can see what is happening in the south moving north.” (The Hill


Florida overtakes New York to become the state with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases. Florida has overtaken New York to become the state with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Florida has had 414,511 confirmed cases since the pandemic started, while New York, which was once the epicenter of the outbreak, has had 411,200 cases. (The Hill


New Mexico governor says her state is “at the mercy of what's going on around the country.” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico launching vaccine sweepstakes with M in prizes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines MORE (D) said Sunday that her state is "at the mercy of what’s going on around the country." Lujan Grisham called the U.S.'s COVID-19 response the "worst abdication" of the "responsibility to protect Americans I’ve ever seen" during an interview on ABC's "This Week." The governor claimed there is “no national strategy” and “no public health investment.” (The Hill


North Korea declares state of emergency due to a suspected COVID-19 case. North Korea declared a state of emergency on Sunday after one person in the country was suspected of being positive for COVID-19. On Sunday, local time, state news agency KCNA reported North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea's Kim warns of possible food shortage Overnight Defense: Austin and Milley talk budget, Afghanistan, sexual assault and more at wide-ranging Senate hearing North Korea calls U.S.-South Korea missile development hostile policy MORE convened an emergency politburo meeting after a person who defected to South Korea three years ago was "suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus." (The Hill


Tired of lockdown? Barbados tempts remote workers with 12-month visas. For the millions of workers stuck at home through the coronavirus pandemic, the idea of moving to a Caribbean island for a year sounds like a dream. But now it could become a reality. Barbados is planning to introduce a 12-month visa that would allow remote workers to swap cramped city apartments for the island’s white sandy beaches, blue sea and year-round sunshine. (NBC News


Vietnam evacuates tourists after its first case in months. Vietnam, which on Saturday broke a streak of 100 days without a local coronavirus transmission, will evacuate 80,000 people from the central city of Danang after four residents there tested positive this weekend. Everyone who is evacuated will be required to go into isolation for 14 days, and their health will be closely monitored, officials said Monday. (New York Times)


First phase 3 trial of coronavirus vaccine candidate begins in U.S. An investigational vaccine developed by drugmaker Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began phase 3 trials on Monday, becoming the first candidate to reach that step in testing. About 30,000 adult volunteers are set to be enrolled in the trial, according to CNN, which added that the first patient was dosed at a site in Savannah, Ga. (The Hill

CDC: One-third of COVID-19 patients who aren't hospitalized have long-term illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged in a new report that a significant number of COVID-19 patients do not recover quickly, and instead experience ongoing symptoms, such as fatigue and cough. As many as a third of patients who were never sick enough to be hospitalized are not back to their usual health up to three weeks after their diagnosis, the report found. (NBC News)

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Miami Marlins postpone game as coronavirus spreads. The Miami Marlins's home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night has been postponed, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan, as coronavirus cases continue to pop up among the team. Eight more players and two coaches with the Marlins have tested positive for the coronavirus, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN. Monday’s scheduled game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies was also postponed. (ESPN

Papa John’s to hire 10,000 more workers. Pizza is in high demand, so Papa John’s is hiring again. The global pizza chain announced Monday that it would hire 10,000 new employees in the next few month


Why we need a G.I. Bill for the COVID era. The G.I. Bill was designed out of concern that World War II veterans would return home and face unemployment and be reduced to “a place on a bread line or on a corner selling apples.” Those images are all too vivid today. Funding education was, and remains, a way to address a root cause of unemployment – an oversupply of certain skills – while simultaneously building a better future. Economists and social scientists have long argued that the development of new skills, particularly through schooling, is an important determinant of economic growth and human flourishing. (Deven Desai and Christos Makridis for The Hill)


Inclusion is our roadmap back to global science dominance. Every taxpayer dollar invested in biomedical research yields up to three times the benefit to the U.S. economy, making our push towards science dominance more imperative than ever. The emergence of COVID-19 has prompted a global vaccine race, the need to protect national assets in lower earth orbit has motivated the creation of the U.S. Space Force, and strategies to ameliorate the impacts of global climate change continue to shape our international alliances. Each of these U.S. science thrusts offers the potential for profound economic benefits in the geopolitical arena. They also highlight important security risks. (Dr. Kafui Dzirasa for The Hill)


Kelly Ripa pays tribute to Regis Philbin on “'Live” after his death at age 88. Kelly Ripa honored former "Live" co-host Regis Philbin on Monday's episode alongside current co-host Ryan Seacrest. Ripa, who co-hosted with Philbin for more than a decade, started the show by remembering her late friend, who died Saturday of natural causes at the age of 88. (Good Morning America)


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

> Steve interviews NIAID Director ANTHONY FAUCI

> Steve interviews HHS Secretary ALEX AZAR

> Steve interviews 3M Chairman and CEO MICHAEL ROMAN 

> Steve interviews Rep. LAUREN UNDERWOOD (D-Ill.) 

Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.


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