Overnight Health Care: White House goes public with attacks on Fauci | Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations | Federal judges block abortion ban laws in Tennessee, Georgia

Overnight Health Care: White House goes public with attacks on Fauci | Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations | Federal judges block abortion ban laws in Tennessee, Georgia
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Welcome to Monday’s Overnight Health Care. 

There are more than 3.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and nearly 135,500 deaths. California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia grid operator calls on residents to conserve electricity amid heat wave California hydroelectric plant expected to shut down for the first time in 50 years Beyond California, a record year for recalls MORE ordered a slew of indoor establishments to close their doors. The White House is taking their criticisms of Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Ex-Trump doctor turned GOP lawmaker wants Biden to take cognitive test White House officials won't say if US will meet July vaccine goal MORE public in an apparent attempt to undermine the nation’s leading infectious disease expert. And mask-wearing is still a partisan issue.

Let’s start with Fauci:


White House goes public with attacks on Fauci

Tensions between the White House and Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, are spilling into the open as officials publicly attack the doctor for his health advice during the coronavirus pandemic. 

For example: Dan Scavino, deputy chief of staff for communications, shared a cartoon on his Facebook page that depicted Fauci as a faucet flushing the U.S. economy down the drain with overzealous health guidance to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Adm. Brett Giroir, the administration’s testing czar, downplayed any riff within the White House coronavirus task force before offering some criticism of Fauci.

“I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right and he also doesn't necessarily, and he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind,” Giroir told “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”

Support from scientists: Public health experts have leaped to Fauci’s defense. Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, noted that while Fauci’s track record isn’t perfect “it’s just better than anyone else I know.” Fauci has served six presidents working on HIV, Ebola, Zika and countless other infectious diseases with little controversy until now. 

Fauci’s response: Fauci has tried to stay above it all, continuing his warnings that the pandemic is growing worse, despite the rosy outlook portrayed by the White House. He said Monday during a Q&A hosted by Stanford that: “We haven't even begun to see the end of it yet.”


Read more here.

Related: Trump says he has a 'very good relationship' with Fauci amid White House criticism

Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday ordered several indoor activities and all bar operations to shut down across the state as it grapples with growing coronavirus case numbers.

The governor announced in a press briefing that restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment venues, zoos, museums and card rooms will shut down all indoor operations. He also said that bars must close down entirely. 

Restaurants will still be permitted to provide service for outdoor dining and take-out.

Newsom described the move as a "dimmer switch" version of his stay-at-home order from earlier this year. The new order is expected to stay in effect for at least three weeks, he said. 

"We've made this point on multiple occasions and that is we're moving back into a modification mode of our original stay-at-home order," the governor said. 

Context: California is averaging more than 8,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Other states, including Texas and Florida, are experiencing larger outbreaks, but Newsom is the first governor to go quite this far in shuttering businesses that had been reopened.

Read more here

Senate Democrats call for $25B for vaccine production, distribution in next relief package

Senate Democrats want Congress to provide $25 billion in emergency funding for production and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine ahead of negotiations on an upcoming response package.

In addition to the development of the vaccine itself, a massive and complex undertaking is required to manufacture the millions of needed doses, ensure the supply of supporting materials like needles and syringes, and then distribute the vaccine all across the country for people to be vaccinated. The $25 billion would be used in part to ramp up production of supplies like vials, syringes and rubber stoppers. 

What they want: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate GOP blocks bill to combat gender pay gap OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps program: exclusive MORE (Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate Health Committee, are calling for the $25 billion in funding to be included in the next coronavirus response package, expected to be put together later this month, as well as policy changes.


They are also calling for a requirement that the administration release a comprehensive plan for “every phase of the vaccine enterprise” by Aug. 7. A similar Democratic push for requiring an administration plan on testing was a sticking point in a previous coronavirus response bill. 

Read more here.

Trump administration extends support for Texas COVID-19 testing sites

The federal government will extend support for coronavirus testing sites in Dallas and Houston until at least the end of the month, after an initial plan to discontinue funding received bipartisan pushback.

Federal support for testing in Texas was previously in jeopardy when the Trump administration in late June said it would stop directly funding 13 testing sites, including seven in Texas, and transfer the sites to state control. 

Politicians including Sen. John CornynJohn CornynFederal government to observe Juneteenth holiday on Friday Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill House approves Juneteenth holiday, sends bill to Biden's desk MORE (R-Texas) and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) urged continued federal support for testing.

Read more here.


Mask-wearing still political, poll shows 

Democrats, women and people with college educations are more likely to wear masks in public to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to a new poll released Monday. 

The Gallup survey found mask-wearing remains a political issue, with 94 percent of Democrats stating that they “always” or “very often” wear masks when outside their homes, compared to 46 percent of Republicans who said the same. 

Meanwhile, 36 percent of Republicans said they “rarely” or “never” wear a mask when going out, a position shared by only 2 percent of Democrats.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of face coverings, especially when in close contact with others, to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Context: President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE publicly wore a mask for the first time this weekend when visiting Walter Reed Hospital, about three months after the CDC issued its recommendations. 

Even though Trump is routinely tested for COVID-19, public health experts have urged him to set an example by wearing a mask, believing it would go a long way toward encouraging his supporters to do the same.


Read more here.

WHO chief: Pandemic 'going to get worse and worse and worse'

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that the coronavirus pandemic is raging out of control in North and South America, and that the virus will continue spreading unimpeded unless governments and individuals take the steps needed to suppress its transmission.

Nearly 13 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19, and about half of those cases — 6.5 million — have been in the Americas. On Saturday, almost 143,000 of the world's 230,000 new cases were in North and South America.

"The epicenter of the virus remains in the Americas, where more than 50 percent of the world's cases have been recorded," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Monday. "It would appear that many countries are losing gains made as proven measures to reduce risk are not implemented or followed."

Read more here. 

In non-virus news: Federal judges block abortion ban laws in Tennessee, Georgia

Two of the country's strictest abortion laws were blocked by federal judges on Monday.

A federal court in Georgia on Monday permanently blocked the state's "heartbeat" law that banned physicians from performing an abortion once a fetus’s “heartbeat” can be detected — usually about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they’re pregnant.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Tennessee issued a temporary restraining order to block a law that would have essentially banned abortion at nearly every stage of pregnancy, less than an hour after Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed it. 

Part of the process: States have been passing strict laws banning abortion in an attempt to get the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, so the point of passing the law is to get sued. Georgia is expected to appeal the ruling. In Tennessee, the restraining order is effective until July 27, as additional arguments will be made about issuing an injunction. 

Read more here.

What we’re reading

Bottleneck for U.S. coronavirus response: the fax machine (The New York Times)

The CDC is an apolitical island. That left it defenseless against Trump. (Stat News)

CDC employees call out culture of “racial aggressions” (NPR

State by state

Three Arizona teachers who shared a classroom got coronavirus. One of them died (CNN)

Man, 30, dies after attending a ‘Covid party,’ Texas hospital says (The New York Times

'Code blue': Texas COVID deaths higher than publicly reported - and spiking (San Antonio Express News)

Florida reports more than 12,600 new COVID-19 cases as Disney prepares to reopen more theme parks (Click Orlando)

Op-eds in The Hill

Pandemic highlights need for federal long-term care insurance

Congress should move immediately to devise a comprehensive recovery act

Keep schools closed and support American families: A child psychiatrist's plea