Overnight Health Care: White House blocks CDC director from testifying before House panel | Fauci urges action on masks | Administration document says counties in 'red zone' should close bars, gyms

Overnight Health Care: White House blocks CDC director from testifying before House panel | Fauci urges action on masks | Administration document says counties in 'red zone' should close bars, gyms
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Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciAverage daily COVID-19 infections topped last summer's peak, CDC says Ron Johnson praises conservative author bashed by Fauci The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate readies weeklong debate on infrastructure MORE urged state and local leaders to take strong action on masks. A private White House document says hard-hit areas should encourage masks while also closing bars and gyms. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director is being blocked from testifying on school reopenings next week before a House committee. 

Let’s start there:

White House blocks CDC director from testifying before House panel on reopening schools


The Trump administration is rebuffing House Democrats' effort to hear testimony from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield on safely reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Now is the time to end the subminimum wage for people with disabilities House passes bill to ease standards for age discrimination cases MORE (D-Va.) sent Redfield a letter last week asking him or a CDC designee to testify at a hearing on how K-12 public schools can reopen for in-person classroom instruction this fall. But on Friday, Scott said his panel had been informed that the Trump administration would not allow CDC testimony at the hearing planned for next week.

A senior administration official said that Redfield has already testified before Congress at least four times in the last few months.

The White House has been limiting congressional testimony from top officials leading the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining that they should be focused as much as possible on planning and implementing the federal government's actions to contain the virus.

Read more here

Fauci urges state, local leaders to 'be as forceful as possible' on masks

“I would urge the leaders — the local political and other leaders — in states and cities and towns to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said in a live-streamed event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


“Practically, when you're living your life and trying to open up a country, you are going to come into contact with people, and for that reason we know that masks are really important and we should be using them, everyone,” added Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force.

Context: About half of all states now require masks in public spaces when social distancing isn’t possible following numerous studies that show face coverings can slow the spread of COVID-19. But there are still some holdouts, including in Georgia, where Gov. Brain Kemp (R) has both refused to issue a mask mandate and is suing to block a local ordinance in Atlanta. 

Read more more here.

Speaking of masks….

Private White House document says counties in 'red zone' should close bars, gyms

A document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity says 18 states are in the “red zone” for new cases and suggests hard-hit areas should take steps to roll back reopenings. 

The document lays out specific recommendations for each state in more detail than Trump administration officials have given publicly. Among the notable recommendations are for counties in the “red zone” to close bars and gyms and to limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

What it says: 18 states are in the red zone for new cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people confirmed in the past week: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

In addition, 11 states are listed as in the red zone for test positivity, meaning more than 10 percent of their tests came back positive. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.

The document says that counties that are in the red zone on both metrics should take a range of steps, including “close bars and gyms,” “limit social gatherings to 10 people or fewer,” and offer “public messaging” that states “wear a mask at all times outside the home and maintain physical distance.”

Read more here.

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

The U.S. reported more than 75,600 COVID-19 cases on Thursday alone, marking a new daily record as cases continue to surge across the country.  

The grim milestone marks the 11th time in the last month that the U.S. has broken this single-day record, according to The New York TimesThe prior record for daily recorded cases was set last Friday at 68,241.

Fatalities amid the coronavirus pandemic also reached new highs this week.

Florida reported 156 deaths on Thursday, its highest record since the pandemic began in March. The new deaths bring the state’s total to at least 4,677 related to COVID-19.

Florida was one of 10 states to set a single-day record for deaths this week, alongside Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah, according to the Times.

Read more here.

In non-COVID news… 

Washington state sues Trump administration over new LGBT health care rule

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Friday sued the Trump administration for its recent rollback of health protections given to the LGBTQ community under the Affordable Care Act. 


ObamaCare prohibits discrimination against a patient because of their sex, race, national origin, age or disability.    

However, if Trump's new restrictions are allowed to move forward, gender identity and sex stereotyping are removed from the law's definition of "sex discrimination," effectively allowing health care providers to refuse care to LGBTQ patients if they please.

Additionally, the rule change would allow "religious health care organizations, including religious hospitals and their employees, to discriminate on the basis of sex,” the lawsuit argues. 

Read more here.

More from The Hill: 

Biden rolls out school reopening plan

California gov says Orange County can’t reopen schools days after vote to reopen


Conway says Trump should resume regular coronavirus briefings 

The Hill event

Diabetes & The COVID Threat.

The coronavirus pandemic is presenting new challenges for the 34 million Americans living with diabetes. On Thursday, July 23, The Hill Virtually Live hosts "Diabetes and the COVID Threat" to discuss effective diabetes care during the time of COVID-19. Reps. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteHouse to take big step on eliminating Trump-era rules Nick Offerman testifies before Congress on vaccines: 'Medicine doesn't care who you voted for' Democrats target Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act MORE (D-CO) and Tom ReedTom ReedThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel Lawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off Hundreds of businesses sign on to support LGBTQ rights legislation MORE (R-NY), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Diabetes and a panel of health experts join The Hill's Steve Clemons. RSVP Today

What we’re reading

As pandemic rages, Trump puts public focus elsewhere (ABC News)

Inside Johnson & Johnson’s nonstop hunt for a coronavirus vaccine (New York Times

COVID-19 infections on the rise in kids and teens with school approaching (Bloomberg)

New studies clarify what drugs help, hurt for COVID-19 (NBC News

State by state

Los Angeles County sees record number of single-day coronavirus cases (CBS News

Georgia Gov. Kemp urges people to wear masks despite suing Atlanta over mask mandate (CNBC

A detailed map of who is wearing masks in the U.S. (The New York Times)