The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported as of this morning: 567,217.


As of this morning, 39.5 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 25.4 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker.

The U.S. is entering a crucial stage of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign this week. All adults are eligible to receive shots starting today, and a panel of health officials will meet later this week to determine the future of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) paused vaccine.


Everyone 16 and older who has not yet been eligible to get appointments to receive the vaccine will be able to do so starting today. The White House launched a massive media blitz in an effort to target key people in the population with the goal of eventually achieving something akin to herd immunity. In the spotlight: young people, minority communities and conservatives.


According to Axios, top health officials, including Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCDC director: Vaccinated adolescents can remove masks outdoors at summer camps The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Overnight Health Care: Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers | Moderna reports positive early results for booster shots against COVID-19 variants | Federal judge vacates CDC's eviction moratorium MORE, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraNearly 940,000 sign up for ObamaCare coverage in special enrollment HHS, HUD team up to extend COVID-19 vaccine access in vulnerable communities We urgently need a COVID-level response to the US drug crisis MORE and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthySurgeon general: US 'still not doing enough' to address growing mental health crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE, are leading the media offensive.


The new push begins as the country hits a major milestone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 percent of all adults — equivalent to nearly 130 million people ages 18 and older — have received at least one dose of vaccine. More than 83 million adults (about 32.5 percent of the U.S. population) are now fully vaccinated.


As The Associated Press notes, the worldwide death toll now exceeds 3 million since the start of the pandemic.


A panel of CDC advisers is expected to meet on Friday to determine whether to end the pause, in effect since Tuesday, on distribution and administration of J&J’s shot because of concerns about a tiny number of blood clot complications in this country, including one death. Fauci on Sunday said that he anticipates Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine will return for use this week in “some manner or form.”


“I don't want to get ahead of the CDC and the [Food and Drug Administration] and the advisory committee, but I would imagine that what we will see is that it would come back and it would come back in some sort of either warning or restriction,” Fauci said on several Sunday talk shows.


“I hope that we don't see anything extended beyond Friday. We need to get ... some decision one way or the other,” he added (The Hill).


The Hill: Fauci: Public will know by fall if a third booster shot is recommended by the federal government and experts.


The Sunday Shows: Fauci dominates with remarks on vaccines, boosters, masks and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan says 'votes are there' to oust Cheney from GOP leadership Republicans float support for antitrust reform after Trump Facebook ban upheld Facebook board decision on Trump ban pleases no one MORE (R-Ohio).



Anthony Fauci



As The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel writes, J&J’s reintroduction to the health marketplace will be crucial not only to the U.S. but also to worldwide efforts to vaccinate the masses. However, the European rollout of the shot was also paused, presenting another problem for the U.S., as infectious disease experts say that a full national recovery cannot take place until the world is caught up.


“I think we have a responsibility to vaccinate the rest of the world, both from a humanitarian standpoint as well as from a global health security standpoint to ensure that we don't have further variants that threaten both the rest of the world as well as the United States,” CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyCDC director: Vaccinated adolescents can remove masks outdoors at summer camps CDC: COVID-19 cases, deaths projected to drop sharply in mid-July DC drops most mask restrictions for vaccinated adults MORE said Friday during a briefing.


The Atlantic: The blood clot problem is multiplying. So are theories to explain it.


The Wall Street Journal: Vaccines and rare blood clots: Are women at greater risk?


At the state level, Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan Senate votes to exempt high school graduations from crowd restrictions White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states For Michigan, Biden's first 100 days brought much-needed relief MORE (D), who is battling a massive COVID-19 outbreak in her state, indicated Sunday that Michigan would not implement new lockdown restrictions due in part to GOP-led lawsuits last year that challenged her constitutional authority to do so.


“I have been sued by my legislature. I have lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court,” Whitmer told “Meet the Press.” “I don't have all of the exact same tools [that I had 15 months ago]” (The Hill).


The Hill: Fauci on mask usage: Vaccinated people can still “inadvertently infect” others.


The Washington Post: COVID-19 has disappeared from Congress (no positive tests in 75 days for lawmakers) but the divisions over it remain.


The Associated Press: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga asks Pfizer for additional vaccine supply.


Reuters: Canada’s Ontario to expand use of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine as epidemic rages.



Janssen COVID-19 vaccine



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POLITICS: No matter how upbeat Republicans are feeling about their chances for success in 2022, they are having political trouble in one key area: putting a dent in President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE’s popularity.


As The Hill’s Jordain Carney writes, Biden, who has built up a reputation over decades, has been a hard figure for Republicans to message against as he continues to keep a relatively low profile and declines to engage in the day-to-day verbal sparring that has consumed the nation’s capital in recent years.


Biden earned praise this week for his tenor at a memorial service and GOP senators even acknowledge they like Biden on a personal level. Unable to attack him on a personal level, some GOP lawmakers have leaned into the culture wars, a political winner with the Republican base, or gone back to the playbook of yesteryears to gin up opposition to big spending by the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers. 


“We need to get better at it. I don't think sometimes our messaging is as sharp as it should be because a lot of the things they're doing are things that are popular—when you’re spending money, you’re popular,” Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneCheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Trump muddles Republican messaging on Afghanistan The Memo: Trump's critics face wrath of GOP base MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said about GOP success in defining the current White House occupant.


Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunDemocrats accuse GOP of new lows in culture wars Trade representative says policy must protect key industries Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion MORE (R-Ind.) was more succinct in how messaging against Biden is going.


“Poorly,” he said.


The political problems for the minority party has extended to looming primary battles in key states that could produce problematic and divisive candidates on the general election ballot next fall in their quest to retake the majority in both chambers.


As The Hill’s Tal Axelrod writes, the party is concerned that disruptive contenders could hurt their chances of keeping Senate seats in Missouri, Alabama and Wisconsin and flipping the governor’s mansion in Virginia. Republicans are also nervously watching primaries for open Senate seats in North Carolina and Ohio and Democratic-held seats in Arizona and Georgia.


Nearly a dozen GOP strategists and donors almost unanimously said former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who resigned in disgrace three years ago and is running for Senate, carries the most baggage out of any midterm candidate. However, they are also concerned about the presence of Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksRepublicans embrace Trump in effort to reclaim Senate Democrats warn Waters censure move opens floodgates Conservative House members call on Senate to oppose ATF nominee MORE (R-Ala.), who pushed objections to the Electoral College results and is running to replace Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyRepublicans embrace Trump in effort to reclaim Senate Top Senate Democrat announces return of earmarks Senate GOP keeps symbolic earmark ban MORE (R-Ala.) and Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase (R), whose self-description as “Trump in heels” could backfire in an increasingly blue state.


Kansas City Star: As Greitens attempts comeback, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) is crowd-pleaser at Jackson County GOP event.


Scott Wong, The Hill: Parade of 2024 GOP hopefuls court Republican Study Committee members.


The Associated Press: GOP White House hopefuls move forward as former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE considers run.


> Fundraising: The opening months of 2021 were financially kind to most House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January as they saw fundraising gains despite intense backlash from members of their own party, according to new financial disclosures.  


As The Hill’s Julia Manchester writes, nine out of the 10 Republicans who publicly went against Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol saw their 2021 first-quarter hauls increase from the same time frame in 2019, with some seeing substantial boosts.


Headlining the group is House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyMcConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts MORE (Wy.), who raised $1.5 million at the start of 2021, more than quadrupling her output two years ago during the first quarter. Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Kinzinger hits GOP on 'operation #coverupJan6' over Cheney ouster plot MORE (R-Ill.), the most high-profile member of the nine other rank-and-file members, raked in $1.2 million during the first three months of the year, compared with $326,000 in 2019.


The fundraising hauls come amid a bitter divide within the party, as Trump and his allies threaten to support primary challenges to those Republicans who voted to impeach him. Trump publicly backed Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Earthorne for reelection on Thursday, specifically citing the state party’s censure of Cheney earlier this year.


The Washington Post: Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) navigates Trump, winning back the Senate — and his own ambitions.


CNN: Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida QAnon site shutters after reports identifying developer Republicans head to runoff in GA-14 MORE (R-Ga.) scraps a planned launch of a controversial “America First” caucus amid blowback from GOP. … Greene, a QAnon adherest who arrived in the Capitol as a freshman in January, plans to introduce a House resolution seeking to expel Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden address to Congress will dominate busy week Maxine Waters: Judge in Chauvin trial who criticized her was 'angry' GOP, Democrats grapple with post-Chauvin trial world MORE (D-Calif.), chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, who is serving her 15th term (The Hill).


The Hill: Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBudowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only House Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945 Press: John Boehner: good author, bad leader MORE (R-Ohio): “America First Caucus is one of the nuttiest things I've ever seen.”


CNN opinion by Michael D’Antonio: A Trump policy institute? Heaven help us.



Liz Cheney



CONGRESS: On Tuesday, Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyCivilian Climate Corps can help stem rural-urban divide Senate votes to nix Trump rule limiting methane regulation Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Energy: Update on Biden administration conservation goals | GOP sees opportunity to knock Biden amid rising gas prices | Push for nationwide electric vehicle charging stations The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won Ocasio-Cortez, Levin introduce revised bill to provide nationwide electric vehicle charging network MORE (D-N.Y.), along with other progressive lawmakers, will reintroduce the Green New Deal, which proposes a 10-year national mobilization to address the climate crisis. The Green New Deal is a political target among GOP candidates and incumbents who seek to paint Democrats as backers of liberal-left policies that forfeit U.S. jobs. Ocasio-Cortez sees Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan as a vehicle to move climate goals and the economy forward (NPR).


The New York Times: Progressive lawmakers to unveil public housing legislation today.


The Senate path to move infrastructure into law goes through the Senate parliamentarian, who is the arbiter of what policies can fit into a budget vehicle known as reconciliation under rules that allow for legislative passage with a simple majority. There’s a problem, however: Senators complain they’re still in the dark over what the parliamentarian has ruled and what the mechanics allow (The Hill).


The Washington Post: On infrastructure, lofty ideas are colliding with congressional reality.


The Hill: On the Senate’s blotter this week: final passage of an overwhelmingly bipartisan Asian American hate crimes bill. The drama behind the curtain involves Republican lawmakers’ desire to avoid stirring Trump’s wrath if they rebuke as incendiary and damaging the former president’s characterization of COVID-19 as the “China virus.”



The U.S. Capitol is seen through a field of flowers



> Capitol siege: Remember the selfie-loving, video-uploading rioters on Jan. 6 who beat Capitol Police, destroyed news outlets’ camera equipment, broke through windows and breached the Capitol while shouting the names of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (D-Calif.) and former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceMcConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts McConnell sidesteps Cheney-Trump drama MORE? As a defense in court while facing criminal charges, some who were present claim their self-chronicling during the insurrection amounted to journalistic output under the Constitution (The Associated Press).




ADMINISTRATION: The U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.


The agreement was reached by U.S. special envoy for climate John KerryJohn KerryChina emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, according to a joint statement released over the weekend (Reuters and MarketWatch).


Meeting with reporters in Seoul on Sunday, Kerry said the language in the statement is “strong” and that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.” But the former secretary of State said, “I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words; you put on actions. We all need to see what happens.”


Biden’s climate summit, to take place on Thursday and Friday, is timed to mark Earth Day. The president invited 40 world leaders to participate.


The Associated Press: Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears.


But in Washington over the weekend, a different issue dominated at the White House and the State Department: how to undo Trump’s hard line on refugees and deal with the Biden team’s broken promises. Last week, the Biden administration backtracked on a pledge to expand the nation’s welcome mat for asylum seekers.


Buying some extra time while under intense criticism from progressive lawmakers and immigration advocacy organizations, the administration now says it will accept additional refugees and will announce the number by May 15 (The New York Times).


White House national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanWill Biden provide strategic clarity or further ambiguity on Taiwan? State Department denies reports of prisoner swap with Iran North Korean official says Biden's comments on country are 'hostile policy' MORE (pictured below) on Sunday said the president remains “absolutely committed” to raising the nation’s cap on refugees that had been set by Trump, but Sullivan was not specific during his “Fox News Sunday” appearance. The U.S. refugee ceiling held over from the previous administration is 15,000, far lower than Biden's campaign's promise of more than 120,000 and the administration's vow in February to set the target at 62,000 for this year (The Hill).


Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenUS says 'swift' return to Iran deal possible ahead of Vienna talks Blinken: US stands with Ukraine in face of Russian aggression The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” said the Biden administration now believes it will be unlikely to meet its 2021 goal, based on current capabilities. “It’s going to be very hard to meet the 62,000 this fiscal year,” Blinken said. “But we’re going to be revisiting this over the coming weeks. I think there’ll be an additional directive coming out in the middle of May … but the good news is we’re now starting, and we’re able to start to bring people in who’ve been in the pipeline and who weren’t able to come in. That is starting today.”


When asked by Martha Raddatz if 125,000 refugees admitted remains Biden’s goal for 2022, the secretary was vague. “Well, look, the president has been clear about where he wants to go, but we have to be focused on what we’re able to do when we’re able to do it.”


> Biden budget: The Hill’s Niv Elis is tracking billions of dollars in research and development proposals in Biden’s summary spending blueprint. His assessment: The focus on research is both an attempt to boost U.S. competitiveness and productivity and an admission that some of Biden's loftiest goals rely on creating technology that does not yet exist.


> U.S. exit from Afghanistan: “We achieved the objectives that we set out to achieve,” Blinken repeated on Sunday while defending Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops by Sept. 11 (The Hill). … The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel recaps what’s at play in the president’s policy decision, and why Biden has been criticized.



Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan


The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE! 


Minnesota is one of the best places to live in America. Unless you’re Black, by Samuel L. Myers Jr., opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/3sovK32


Not every “serious crisis” is alike, by Rahm Emanuel, opinion contributor, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3gmcsJh


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The House meets at noon.


The Senate will convene at 3 p.m. and resume consideration of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.


The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:50 a.m. Biden will meet at 1:15 p.m. with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss the American Jobs Plan, including Sens. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperLobbying world DNC taps veteran campaign hands for communications staff Harris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee MORE (D-Colo.), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenGOP sees immigration as path to regain power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax MORE (R-N.D.), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE (R-Utah), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' If Taliban regains power, they would roll back rights for women: US intelligence Manchin says he doesn't support DC statehood, election reform bills MORE (D-N.H.) and Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristFlorida Democrats' midterm fantasy faceoff: DeSantis vs. Demings The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal Running as a Democrat, Crist looks to join the smallest club in American politics MORE (D-Fla.), Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.), Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerRepublican, Democratic lawmakers urge fully funding US assistance to Israel The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax Biden to hold second meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure MORE (R-Texas) and Norma TorresNorma Judith TorresHouse Democrats call for paid legal representation in immigration court Immigration and border initiatives test political alliances The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines MORE (D-Calif.).


Vice President Harris will travel to Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, N.C., this morning, and Thomas Built buses, a manufacturer of electric school buses in High Point, N.C., this afternoon to support policies in the administration’s infrastructure plan. Harris returns to Washington, D.C., tonight.


First lady Jill BidenJill BidenJill Biden surprises National Teacher of the Year The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal MORE will join forces with Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaOvernight Health Care: Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine 96 percent effective in teens | Nearly 940,000 sign up for ObamaCare coverage in special enrollment Education secretary expects all schools to fully reopen in-person in fall Jill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans MORE for a trip to Dixon, Ill., to visit Sauk Valley Community College.


The White House press briefing will take place at 12:15 p.m. The administration’s coronavirus press briefing is scheduled at 10:30 a.m.


The National Press Club virtual newsmaker program at 11 a.m. features Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' It's Joe Manchin vs the progressives on infrastructure MORE (D-W.Va.) discussing energy technology and infrastructure as chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Information is HERE.


The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Reservation, a consolidated case on tribal government designation and CARES Act funding, and Sanchez v. Mayorkas, a case on immigration law and temporary protected status.


INVITATION to The Hill’s Virtually Live program Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., “Policy Prescriptions for Cost & Coverage,” with lawmakers and experts discussing rising medical and drug costs. Information is HERE


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. ET at Rising on YouTube.


➔ COURTS & MASS SHOOTINGS: Closing arguments are expected today in the Minneapolis trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin amid a painful series of other police shootings of Black men and boys. Following closing arguments, the jury, which is weighing manslaughter and murder charges tied to the death last year of George Floyd, will begin its deliberations. The Hill’s Niall Stanage offers his reported analysis about fears of unrest if Chauvin is acquitted — an outcome that Black Americans, in particular, would see as evidence of a system egregiously biased against them. … In Austin, Texas, a gunman identified as Stephen Broderick remained at large overnight and this morning after allegedly killing three people at an apartment complex. The suspect is a former sheriff’s detective accused of child sexual assault who allegedly knew and targeted his victims (The Washington Post and Reuters). … In Kenosha, Wis., authorities say they apprehended a person in connection with a shooting at a busy tavern in southeastern Wisconsin early Sunday that left three men dead and three men injured (The Associated Press). … In Shreveport, La., five people were shot and hospitalized Sunday with injuries, including one gunshot wound to the head. It was the third multiple shooting in the United States in 24 hours (and occurred during traffic congestion) (Reuters). ... Counting the carnage in Texas, the number of U.S. mass shootings in the past three and half months rose to at least seven. Americans are again debating the nation’s prevalence of guns in the hands of disgruntled and mentally ill people (NBC News). … Of the more than 310 million gun background checks that were completed between 1998 and January, there have been 1.5 million denials (USA Today).


RUSSIA: The Russian state prison system announced on Monday that it is transferring opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a hospital in Vladimir (110 miles from Moscow) as his health has deteriorated rapidly after two-plus weeks of a hunger strike. On Saturday, Navalny’s physician said that he could “die at any moment.” Navalny began his hunger strike in response to his inability to see his doctors after losing feeling in his legs and severe back pain (The Associated Press). Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that there will be “consequences” if Navalny dies (The Hill). … French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronThousands march in May Day protests across France The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' Biden, Harris, Harry and Meghan added to 'Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World' MORE told “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the heightened Russian military presence at the Ukrainian border is “absolutely counterproductive and unacceptable” and that Russia must “de-escalate” the tensions in the region. “We want now a political process to deal with some Ukrainian regions and ... for stability and peace for Ukraine and Ukrainian people,” Macron said (The Hill).


ELECTRIC VEHICLE: A Tesla with no one driving crashed in Texas late Saturday, killing two men (Bloomberg News).


LOBBYING: Early childhood education advocates led by First Five Years Fund, a small but powerful group that helped shaped parts of coronavirus relief measures that became law, is now lobbying to influence the infrastructure debate in Congress. Since the pandemic began, the group helped lock down $54 billion in federal funding for child care programs (The Hill). … The same people in charge of selling you a home — the National Association of Realtors (NAR) — have gone to court to challenge the government because the NAR wants to make it easier for property owners to evict tenants in arrears. Ron Lieber writes in The New York Times that the realtor lobby group is advocating on behalf of rental property owners because about 38 percent of the members are themselves invested in that sideline, helping to illuminate why NAR opposes the government’s-temporary ban on evictions during the pandemic. The NAR spends more money on federal lobbying than any other entity, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


NASA: As Morning Report drops in your inbox this morning, space-lovers on Earth are poised to know by around 6:30 a.m. ET whether the ultra-lightweight robotic helicopter Ingenuity on Mars lifted from the surface of the red planet and set back down, as hoped by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory team. Data began arriving on Earth at 6:15 a.m. ET. View it on NASA’s website. If the maneuver, which was delayed from last week because of technical issues, succeeds, it would be the first flight (or hover) on Mars. If the test flight occurs, up to four more could be attempted. The first three are designed to test basic abilities of the helicopter. The third flight could fly a distance 160 feet and then return (The New York Times).






And finally … Theodore Roosevelt was president when Hester Ford, who picked cotton as a child, was born in a rural part of South Carolina at least 40 miles from the closest major town. She married at age 14, had 12 children and more than 120 great-great-grandchildren, and died on Saturday at age 115 or 116, in Charlotte, N.C., becoming the oldest living American (The Associated Press). 


Ford lived independently after her husband died in 1963 until she was 108, when relatives moved in to help her. Her daily routine: eating half a banana, taking a trip outside for fresh air, weather permitting, and sitting in her recliner looking at family albums, doing puzzles and listening to gospel music.


“I just live right, all I know,” she said at one point when asked about the secret to her longevity.



Hester Ford