Overnight Health Care: Fauci warns of reopening too quickly | House Dems unveil $3 trillion relief package | Real death count could be higher than 80,000

Overnight Health Care: Fauci warns of reopening too quickly | House Dems unveil $3 trillion relief package | Real death count could be higher than 80,000
© Bonnie Cash

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care. 

There are more than 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., including 82,000 deaths. 

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci says he puts 'very little weight in the craziness of condemning me' Beware language and the art of manipulation The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE, the administration's top infectious disease expert, testified in the Senate and offered a warning about the consequences of states reopening too soon. 


House Democrats rolled out a $3 trillion coronavirus response bill that Senate Republicans say is not going anywhere. 

Let’s start with Fauci: 

Fauci warns of 'really serious' consequences if nation reopens too quickly

Anthony Fauci had a warning to deliver at a closely-watched Senate hearing on Tuesday: States should not reopen faster than the White House guidelines. 

“My concern is that if some areas, city, states or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” Fauci said. 

“The consequences could be really serious,” he added. 

What’s needed: Experts say the answer is far more testing and contact tracing capacity before the country can safely reopen. Testing availability varies dramatically from state to state, and some public health departments are still hiring and training workers who will trace contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and link them to testing.


Contrast with Trump: President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE on Monday all but declared victory over the virus. "We have met the moment, and we have prevailed,” he said, adding that the fight has entered the "next stage," which is reopening. 

Trump has also attacked governors for not reopening quick enough for him:

"The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails," Trump tweeted on Monday. "The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them."

Read more here.

More from Fauci:

Real coronavirus death toll 'almost certainly' higher than official 80,000 count

The theory in some conservative circles is that the U.S. is exaggerating the death toll from COVID-19. 

But in response to a question from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.), Fauci said the real toll is "almost certainly higher."

"Most of us feel that the number of deaths are likely higher than that number because given the situation particularly in New York City, when they were really strapped with a very serious challenge to their health care system, that there may have been people who died at home who were not counted as COVID because they never really got to the hospital," Fauci said during the hearing.

Read more here

Fauci to Paul: 'I've never made myself out' as the only voice on the pandemic

Fauci also bluntly told Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFauci says he puts 'very little weight in the craziness of condemning me' Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why MORE (R-Ky.) that despite what Paul may think, he has never put himself up as the definitive authority on the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I'm a scientist, a physician and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence," Fauci said. "I don't give advice about anything other than public health."

Fauci was responding to comments from Paul, who said he doesn't think there will be a surge in infections and deaths if states open their economies too quickly, and scientists should "have a little bit of humility" because they do not know what's best for the economy.


Read more here.

Related: Fauci and two other top health officials have been cleared to participate in meetings after possible exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case.

House Democrats unveil $3 trillion coronavirus relief package

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their latest round of coronavirus relief legislation as they seek to put pressure on Republicans to start negotiations for additional measures to contain the pandemic’s impact on U.S. workers.

The package, estimated to cost about $3 trillion, is a grab bag of top Democratic priorities ranging from funding for food assistance, state and local governments, contingency plans for vote by mail in the November elections, another round of direct stimulus payments to individuals and hazard pay for essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

The House Democrats’ legislation is meant to serve as a documentation of their priorities heading into any future talks with Republicans and the White House, although most of its provisions are not expected to become law.

“We must think big for the people now, because if we don't it will cost more in lives and livelihood later,” Pelosi said during an address in the Capitol after unveiling the legislation.


What’s next: The House could pass the bill as soon as Friday along party lines, though the Congressional Progressive Caucus is asking for a delay until next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Graham calls voting rights bill 'biggest power grab' in history The wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms MORE (R-Ky.) and the White House have called for a “pause” on considering additional coronavirus relief. 

Read more here

More from The Hill: 

A majority of Americans say the federal government is not doing enough to prevent a potential second wave of the coronavirus, according to a new poll. 

Republican Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (Utah) on Tuesday pushed back on a Trump official’s claim that the U.S. is leading the world in COVID-19 testing, beating countries like South Korea, which is regarded by some experts as the testing gold standard. 

What you need to know about four potential COVID-19 vaccines 

What we’re reading


Covid-19 has streamlined addiction medicine. Will the changes stick? (Stat News)

UnitedHealth Group Plans Return to Obamacare Markets in 2021 (Bloomberg)

As deaths mount, coronavirus testing remains wildly inconsistent in long-term care (Kaiser Health News)

Latin America’s outbreaks now rival Europe’s but its options are worse (The New York Times

State by state

Texas AG Ken Paxton: coronavirus restrictions in San Antonio, Bexar County go too far (San Antonio Express News)

California man with 1% chance of survival released from hospital after two-month COVID-19 battle (USA Today)

Illinois reports over 4,000 new coronavirus cases, biggest rise to date as testing expands (WGN

The Hill op-eds

The scientific road to recovery

Don't open businesses until rapid reliable testing available everywhere

Look to the 'Lady with the Lamp' as we respond to COVID-19 worldwide