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March 2020


Driving the Day: From the New York Times, “Inside the Coronavirus Response: A Case Study in the White House Under Trump…Infighting, turf wars and a president more concerned with the stock market and media coverage than policy have defined the Trump White House. They have also defined how it has handled a pandemic.”

What to Watch For: The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 10:30 AM today. President Trump will hold meetings and phone calls with restaurant executives, tourism executives, and supply retailers and wholesalers. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is expected to visit the Capitol today to discuss a phase three economic response package of $850 billion or more. The House is in recess and the Senate will debate the phase two package today.

Coronavirus Update:

  • A subdued and serious President Trump addressed the daily coronavirus task force briefing on Monday afternoon. Trump urged people to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people and to close schools, bars and restaurants. Trump said that the emergency might not be over until July or August, but Dr. Fauci clarified to say that the task force is currently assessing things in 15 day chunks. Asked if the buck stops with him in terms of leadership, Trump said “Yeah, normally, but… this has never been done before in this country” and said he would rate his response to the crisis a 10/10 while insisting that this was “a problem that a month ago nobody ever thought about.” In a rare moment of backtracking, Trump said he had not meant to say that the coronavirus was under “tremendous control,” and said he had meant that the government was working well together. He acknowledged that the virus is not under control “anywhere in the word.”

  • Trump committed to helping the airlines “very much” and “backstopping” the industry and acknowledged that we may be heading into a recession. Trump said he did not believe that postponing elections is necessary and called it “not a good thing.”

  • In a call with governors on Monday morning, while discussing the supply of ventilators, Trump told governors to “try getting it yourselves” and later angrily tweeted that Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) needed to “do more” to fight the virus. At the task force briefing, Trump confirmed that if governors are able to get respirators or ventilators themselves directly it will be faster than federal aid.

  • The House passed a technical corrections package to the phase two coronavirus response bill last night and it now awaits action in the Senate. The Senate is also considering a phase three economic response bill that could top $850 billion. Industries seeking special relief include casinos, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and the oil and gas sector.

  • In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine called for the postponement of Tuesday’s primary less than 13 hours before polls were set to open. After a judge failed to halt the election, the state’s Health Director declared a health emergency that will prevent polls from opening. Primaries will proceed today in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois.

By The Numbers
Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 7:30 AM
Number of US cases reported: 4,482
Number of US deaths: 86
Number of states with confirmed cases: 49 + Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
Total Number of People Tested in US: 48,284 (may not include private labs)

Daily Beast: Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End
New York Times: Could Coronavirus Cause as Many Deaths as Cancer in the U.S.? Putting Estimates in Context
Stat: The new coronavirus can likely remain airborne for some time. That doesn’t mean we’re doomed
Talking Points Memo: How Long Will This Last?

Federal Health Response
Axios: Health insurers aren’t that worried about coronavirus
Bloomberg: U.S. Health Agency Suffers Cyber-Attack During Covid-19 Outbreak
CNN: Pentagon keeping ‘a bubble’ around leadership amid coronavirus outbreak
CNN: Health officials warn US government does not have enough stockpiled medical equipment to deal with coronavirus
Forbes: Ventilator Maker: We Can Ramp Up Production Five-Fold
Foreign Policy: In Historic First, Peace Corps to Evacuate Volunteers Worldwide Amid Pandemic
GQ: Inside the Race to Solve America’s Coronavirus Testing Crisis
NPR: COVID-19 Has Caused A Shortage Of Face Masks. But They’re Surprisingly Hard To Make
New York Times: After Days of Anxiety and Confusion, Government Workers Told to Stay Home
New York Times (Opinion): An Epicenter of the Pandemic Will Be Jails and Prisons, if Inaction Continues
Politico: ‘It’s bad’: Trump issues new guidelines to stem coronavirus spread
Politico: Latest coronavirus testing glitch: Not enough cotton swabs
Politico: White House deploys SWAT teams of technocrats in attempt to fix testing
Vox: What we know about the Health Department website cyberattack
Wall Street Journal (Opinion): It’s Dangerous to Test Only the Sick
Washington Post: VA’s mission to see civilian patients in times of crisis vanished from its website
Washington Post: Member of Trump’s coronavirus task force reaches out to his Stanford business school Google group to discuss crisisZ
Washington Post: How U.S. coronavirus testing stalled: Flawed tests, red tape and resistance to using the millions of tests produced by the WHO
Washington Post (Perspective): I flew into Chicago and landed in a public health debacle
Washington Post: States Begin Imposing Harsher Measures To Contain Coronavirus As U.S. Cases Rise Sharply

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Mnuchin Wants More Emergency Tools But Doesn’t See Recession
Bloomberg: Trump’s New ‘It’s Bad’ Tone on Virus Doesn’t Stop Market Rout
New York Times: The Fed Deployed Its 2008 Arsenal All in One Weekend
New York Times (Opinion): Don’t Feel Sorry for the Airlines
New York Times: As Market Convulses, Big Banks Plan to Borrow Funds From Fed
Politico: How ugly could it get? Trump faces echoes of 1929 in coronavirus crisis.
Politico: K Street looks to ride coronavirus relief efforts
Talking Points Memo: Buy Low… Lower… Lower! Larry Kudlow Keeps Up The Investment Advice
Wall Street Journal (Editorial): Financing an Economic Shutdown
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Economy Slides Into the Monetary Black Hole
Washington Post: Casinos ask Congress for emergency aid as coronavirus toll sweeps industry

Axios: Exclusive poll: Public trusts health agencies more than Trump
Bloomberg: Trump’s ‘Chinese Virus’ Tweet Adds Fuel to Fire With Beijing
Business Insider: Top Republicans are still urging people amid the coronavirus crisis to go out to bars and restaurants — contradicting CDC advice not to gather in large groups
CNN: Trump Claims Coronavirus Is Under Control — Contradicting Reality And His Own Top Expert
HuffPost: Trump On His Response To Coronavirus: ‘I’d Rate It A 10’
New York Magazine: Report: Trump Tried to Deny Coronavirus Vaccine to Foreign Countries
New York Times: White House Takes New Line After Dire Report on Death Toll
New York Times: Inside the Coronavirus Response: A Case Study in the White House Under Trump
New York Times: Trump to Governors on Ventilators: ‘Try Getting It Yourselves’
New York Times (Opinion): Andrew Cuomo to President Trump: Mobilize the Military to Help Fight Coronavirus
Politico: Before Trump’s inauguration, a warning: ‘The worst influenza pandemic since 1918′
Reuters: Trump Congratulates Fed For Rates Cut, Calls Action ‘Terrific’
Talking Points Memo: ‘You’re Supposed To Be The President’: Cuomo And Trump Squabble Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Washington Post (Opinion): Trump’s rage at the media takes a dangerous new turn
Washington Post (Analysis): Trump’s comparison between coronavirus and the 2009 pandemic isn’t as useful as he thinks

Associated Press: Senate Democrats seek $750B for new coronavirus aid package
Bloomberg: Virus Relief Risks Being Slowed by a Few GOP Senators’ Concerns
NBC: Rep. Louie Gohmert delays House coronavirus relief bill from moving to Senate
Politico: Senate could push through ‘Phase 3’ coronavirus rescue plan this week

Affordability and Access
The Atlantic: The Real Lesson of College Closures
New York Times: As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread
New York Times: The Workers Who Face the Greatest Coronavirus Risk

NBC: False coronavirus rumors surge in ‘hidden viral’ text messages
Politico: The coronavirus fake news pandemic sweeping WhatsApp
Washington Post: On Fox News, suddenly a very different tune about the coronavirus

Campaigns and Elections
Associated Press: Health chief halts Ohio primary; 3 other states forge ahead
Belleville News Democrat: Coronavirus won’t stop Illinois primary as Gov. Pritzker bans groups of 50 or more
CNN: Kentucky secretary of state says primary postponed
FiveThirtyEight: What’s A Campaign Without A Rally? How Coronavirus Could Alter The 2020 Election.
McClatchy: Go vote or stay home? Officials send mixed coronavirus messages ahead of next primaries
New York Times: How Much Does Voting Spread Viruses?
Politico: Ohio governor recommends postponing Tuesday’s primary
PolitiFact: Biden falsely says Trump administration rejected WHO coronavirus test kits (that were never offered)

Buzzfeed: The UK Only Realised “In The Last Few Days” That Its Coronavirus Strategy Would “Likely Result In Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths”
CNN: South Korea has ‘passed the peak’ of the coronavirus outbreak, health minister hopes
The Guardian: ‘Stay home’: Justin Trudeau closes Canada’s borders over coronavirus
The Guardian: Anti-inflammatories may aggravate Covid-19, France advises
New York Times: To Track Coronavirus, Israel Moves to Tap Secret Trove of Cellphone Data
New York Times: Italy’s Coronavirus Victims Face Death Alone, With Funerals Postponed
Politico: Merkel announces ‘radical measures’ to limit spread of coronavirus
Reuters: ‘You can run a G7 country from home’: Canada’s Trudeau relies on phone lines and Lego

Economic And Social Impacts
Associated Press: Holed up in the US: Coronavirus shutdown threatens jobs
Axios: Tech shapes a new stay-at-home economy
Bloomberg: Coronavirus Could Bankrupt Most Airlines by End of May, Consultant Warns
Buzzfeed: The “Game Of Thrones” Actor Who Played Tormund Has Tested Positive For The Coronavirus
Buzzfeed: Couples Still Held Weddings Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak. Two Explained Why.
The Guardian: Women’s domestic burden just got heavier with the coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: As the coronavirus pandemic grows, gun sales are surging in many states
New York Times: ‘People Need Immediate Relief,’ and Online Donors Make It Happen
New York Times: A Frantic Few Days for Restaurants Is Only the Beginning
Popular Information: Prime responsibility
Wall Street Journal: Airlines Slash Costs, Seek Cash As Virus Saps Demand
Wall Street Journal: Amazon to Hire 100,000 Warehouse and Delivery Workers Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns
Washington Post: How long will social distancing for coronavirus have to last? Depends on these factors.

Personal Preparedness
CNN (Opinion): What I’m telling my kids about Covid-19
Mother Jones: Restaurant Food Is Not a Big Risk for Coronavirus
USA Today (Opinion): Coronavirus reality check: 7 myths about social distancing, busted
Wirecutter: Apple Stores Are Closed. Here’s How to Get Your Gear Fixed in the Meantime.

In The States
Fresno Bee: Against public health advice, Devin Nunes urges people to go to pubs as coronavirus spreads
Los Angeles Times: As coronavirus spreads, 9 Bay Area counties will be ordered to ‘shelter in place’
Sacramento Bee: Gavin Newsom moves to protect renters, utility customers as coronavirus spreads

The Atlantic (Ideas): A Frontline Physician Speaks Out On The Coronavirus

Detroit Free Press: Michigan bars, restaurants ordered to close by 3 p.m. due to coronavirus concerns

New York
Buzzfeed: A Top Cancer Hospital Faces Mask Shortages As COVID-19 Cases Show Up In Staff And Patients
New York Times: Mayor Resisted Harsh Steps on Virus. Then Aides Said They’d Quit.
New York Times (Column): Andrew Cuomo Is the Control Freak We Need Right Now

Washington, DC
DCist: Mayor Bowser Orders D.C. Restaurants, Bars, Other Businesses To Shut Down
DCist: At D.C.’s Liquor Stores, Sales Have Doubled And A Whole Lot Of Everclear Is Flying Off The Shelves

Trump Tweets

“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/16/20]

“I ask all Americans to band together and support your neighbors by not hoarding unnecessary amounts of food and essentials. TOGETHER we will stay STRONG and overcome this challenge!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/16/20]

“Yesterday I spoke with the great American Grocers and Supply Chain Executives. We are confident that supply will continue to meet demand nationwide. These beacons of our community will remain open for you, no matter what. We are working hard to remove any barriers to that effort!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/16/20]

“Just had a very good tele-conference with Nation’s Governors. Went very well. Cuomo of New York has to “do more” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/16/20]

“Everybody is so well unified and working so hard. It is a beautiful thing to see. They love our great Country. We will end up being stronger than ever before!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/16/20]

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, especially in lowering prescription drug costs for millions,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 3 of 10 focuses on Lower Prescription Drug Costs. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

The ACA Included Key Provisions To Help Reduce Drug Prices: 

  • GAINED: Rules that increase competition in the prescription drug market and help Americans access cheaper drugs. 
  • GAINED: Consumer protections that prohibit drug companies from paying off doctors behind closed doors to influence the drugs they prescribe to patients.
  • GAINED: Nearly 12 million seniors pay less for prescription drugs. 
  • GAINED: More than 60 million people gained access to birth control with no out-of-pocket fees. 

Overturning The ACA In Court Would Mean More Profits For Drug Companies And Higher Costs For Consumers: 

Consumers Could Be Forced To Pay More For Drugs. The ACA’s Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act paved the way for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve biosimilars, cheaper alternatives to expensive biologics. Without the ACA, approval of biosimilars will be in jeopardy, and drug companies may be less likely to invest in new biosimilar drugs. This change will make it harder for Americans to access low-cost alternatives to expensive biologic medications. It will also jeopardize the predicted $54 billion in savings that biosimilars are expected to produce between 2017 and 2026.

Drug Companies Would Once Again Be Allowed To Pay Doctors Behind Closed Doors (To Prescribe Drugs You Don’t Necessarily Need). Without the ACA’s Physician Payments Sunshine Act, Big Pharma will once again be allowed to make payments and offer gifts to doctors behind closed doors. When these payments are made with no transparency, they can create conflicts of interest and blur the line between objective and promotional research. The outcome of the Texas lawsuit has the potential to uproot the health care system all while giving drug companies even more power. 

Reopening The “Donut Hole” Would Make Medications More Expensive For 12 Million Seniors. If the entire ACA is overturned, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole will be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report

More Than 60 Million Could Lose Access To Birth Control With No Out-Of-Pocket Fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to 62.4 million patients with no out-of-pocket costs. More than 99 percent of sexually-active women have used contraceptives at some point in their lifetimes, and approximately 60 percent of women of reproductive age currently use at least one birth control method. In addition to increasing access to this essential treatment, this ACA provision has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013.


Driving the Day: From David Leonhardt at the New York Times, “A Complete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirus…He could have taken action. He didn’t.”

What to Watch For: President Trump will hold video conferences with the G7 and with governors. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 10:30 AM. The Senate returns to session today while the House remains in recess.

Coronavirus Update:

  • At the Sunday evening task force press briefing, President Trump gave brief opening remarks and claimed that coronavirus is “something that we have total control over.” Trump added, “Relax. We’re doing great. It all will pass.” Trump then departed the briefing without taking questions. Minutes later, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that “the worst is yet ahead of us.” HHS Secretary Alex Azar refused to answer questions about the number of ventilators on hand in the United States citing “national security” even though Dr. Fauci said on the Sunday shows that there are 12,000 ventilators in the “stockpile.” Vice President Pence urged people not to horde groceries and said that stores would remain open and supplied, and that grocers are working with local food banks to ensure needs are met.

  • On the Sunday shows, Dr. Fauci urged a “dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see in restaurants and bars.” Hours later, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) appeared on Fox News to tell people that “it’s a great time to go to a local restaurant.” In his morning appearances, Dr. Fauci said that domestic travel restrictions “have not been seriously discussed,” but by evening, the US appeared closer to nationwide shutdown and governors across the country moved to close bars, restaurants and stores.

  • On Meet the Press, Governor Jamie Pritzker (D-IL) assailed the Trump administration for response to the virus, including the mass crowds waiting for customs at O’Hare airport on Saturday night. Pritzker said governors are “on our own out here” and the federal government has “fallen down” on responding to the crisis.

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) appeared on Good Morning America on Monday morning to plead for more federal guidance and assistance, including activating the armed forces to build hospital capacity. Cuomo emphasized that New York only has 600 ICU beds and 80 percent are already occupied. Cuomo said, “We have been behind this disease from day one… The wave is going to break on the hospital system.”

By The Numbers
Saturday, March 16, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases reported: 3,602
Number of US deaths: 66
Number of states with confirmed cases: 49 + Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
Total Number of People Tested in US: 38,631

Los Angeles Times: How one man’s coronavirus infection created a web of potential infection around the world
New York Times: Two Emergency Room Doctors Are in Critical Condition With Coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Deaths Outside China Exceed Those Inside

Federal Health Response
ABC (Opinion): The coronavirus paradox – our lowest point and finest hour
Associated Press: US moves nearer to shutdown amid coronavirus fears
Axios: Surgeon general asks hospitals to stop elective surgeries
Axios: The problems with our coronavirus testing are worse than you think
Buzzfeed: An Unprecedented Group Of Immigration Prosecutors, Lawyers, And Judges Are Calling For Courts To Be Closed
CNBC: CDC recommends canceling events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks throughout US
CNN: Top infectious disease expert doesn’t rule out supporting temporary national lockdown to combat coronavirus
Deutsche Welle: Germany and US wrestle over coronavirus vaccine
Miami Herald: Thousands leave Miami cruise ship without screenings after former passenger got COVID-19
New York Times: U.S. Offered ‘Large Sum’ to German Company for Access to Coronavirus Vaccine Research, German Officials Say
Politico: White House eyes additional cash for Pentagon, Homeland Security as virus outbreak widens
Reuters: Germany tries to halt U.S. interest in firm working on coronavirus vaccine
USA Today (Opinion): The best thing everyday Americans can do to fight coronavirus? #StayHome, save lives
Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Push Off Surgeries to Make Room for Coronavirus Patients
Washington Post: Most federal workers will report to the office Monday — as the rest of the country isolates itself
Washington Post: Without guidance from the top, Americans have been left to figure out their own coronavirus solutions
Washington Post: Federal vaccine development sites ill-suited to counter covid-19 epidemic
Washington Post: Spiking U.S. coronavirus cases could force rationing decisions similar to those made in Italy, China
Washington Post (Opinion): Landing at Dulles Airport, I encountered a case study in how to spread a pandemic

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Fed Cuts Main Interest Rate to Near Zero, Vows Massive Bond-Buying Program
CNN: Trump congratulates Federal Reserve for slashing interest rates: ‘It makes me very happy’
New York Times: Trump’s Student Loan Interest Waiver Isn’t What You May Think
New York Times: ‘There Is Plenty of Food in the Country’
Talking Points Memo: Mnuchin Expects Economic ‘Rebound’ From Coronavirus Outbreak
Talking Points Memo: Kudlow Insists Supply Lines ‘Working Pretty Well’ As Grocery Stores Clear Out

Axios: Pence’s presidential moment
Axios: How Trump snapped out of hoax mode
Axios: Google scrambles to catch up with Trump’s website claims
Axios: Trump’s Google claims fit his pattern of tech hype
CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims US has ‘tremendous control’ of the coronavirus
CNN (Analysis): Trump says the pandemic crisis was ‘unforeseen’ — but lots of people foresaw it
Daily Beast: Illinois Gov: White House Staffer Yelled at Me About Tweet on Airport Crowding
The Guardian: Trump ‘offers large sums’ for exclusive access to coronavirus vaccine
New York Times: When Facebook Is More Trustworthy Than the President
New York Times (Opinion): A Complete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirus
Politico: Trump’s Florida sanctuary becomes a gilded petri dish for a global disease
Politico: Poll: Voters split on Trump’s handling of coronavirus outbreak
Politico: Trump finds his MAGA movement fracturing over coronavirus
Politico (Analysis): The incompetence pandemic
Talking Points Memo: Nunes Says People Should ‘Go To Local Pub’ Instead Of Flooding Grocery Stores

The Hill: Graham tests negative for coronavirus
HuffPost: Ted Cruz Praises Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Good Advice’ On Coronavirus Conduct

Affordability and Access
Popular Information: Supermarket sick
Washington Post: Fears mount about impact of coronavirus on homeless

Campaigns and Elections
The Atlantic: The Coronavirus Debate
NBC: Sanitizer. Skip the handshake. No audience. An unusual debate, thanks to coronavirus.
New York Times: New York Officials Weigh Delaying April Primary Election

New York Times: A Lockdown, Paris-Style: ‘We Can’t Live Without Bread’
New York Times: Restrictions on Movement Grow as Governments Try to Slow Coronavirus
New York Times: Europeans Erect Borders Against Coronavirus, but the Enemy Is Already Within

Economic And Social Impacts
The Atlantic: Deep Clean, Then Clean Again
Chicago Tribune: Grubhub suspends fees to help restaurants meet payroll as coronavirus fears hit dining sales
CNBC: Stock futures drop — hit ‘limit down’ — even as Fed slashes rates; S&P 500 ETF down 9%
New York Times: The Man With 17,700 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer Just Donated Them
Seattle Times: Starbucks to close some stores, eliminate seating in all others to slow spread of coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: How Coronavirus Remade American Life in One Weekend
Washington Post: Life in the time of coronavirus: Anxious Americans pivot to new routines
Washington Post: With unprecedented force and speed, a global recession is likely taking hold
Washington Post: All bets are off: Casinos grind to a halt over coronavirus

Personal Preparedness
Buzzfeed: If You Go Out Now, You Might Feel Guilty Later. I Do.

In The States
LA Times: As coronavirus spreads, housekeepers in L.A. declare staying home ‘a luxury’
LA Times: To help fight coronavirus, California seniors should isolate and bars should close, Gov. Gavin Newsom says

Boston Globe: Baker closes schools, restricts restaurants, bans gatherings over 25 as community spread of coronavirus seen in 7 Mass. counties

New York
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Schools, Restaurants and Bars Are Shut Down

CNN: Oklahoma governor faces backlash over ‘packed’ restaurant tweet amid coronavirus pandemic

HuffPost: Seattle’s Nursing Home Nightmare Could Be A Preview Of Things To Come
Seattle Times: Washington state to shut down restaurants, bars, and cap gatherings at 50 to stop spread of coronavirus

Washington, DC
Washington Post: ‘There’s no blueprint for this’: Students embark on an unprecedented remote learning plan

Trump Tweets
“The individual Governors of States, and local officials, must step up their efforts on drive up testing and testing sights, working in conjunction with @CDCgov and the Federal Government!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/15/20]

“The Fake and Corrupt News never called Google. They said this was not true. Even in times such as these, they are not truthful. Watch for their apology, it won’t happen. More importantly, thank you to Google!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/15/20]

“There will be a News Conference by the CoronaVirus Task Force today at the White House, 5 P.M. @VP We are working closely with the Governors of our Country’s great States, which are a very big factor. They are working hard, along with us, to get the job properly done. The USA was never set up for this, just look at the catastrophe of the H1N1 Swine Flu (Biden in charge, 17,000 people lost, very late response time), but it soon will be. Great decision to close our China, and other, borders early. Saved many lives!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/15/20]

“We are doing very precise Medical Screenings at our airports. Pardon the interruptions and delays, we are moving as quickly as possible, but it is very important that we be vigilant and careful. We must get it right. Safety first!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/15/20]


“Amazing how the Fake News never covers this. No Interest on Student Loans. The Dems are just talk!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/15/20]


Driving the Day:

Associated Press: Trump disbanded NSC pandemic unit that experts had praised

Vox: The Trump administration’s botched coronavirus response, explained

What to Watch For: Today, President Trump will hold a conference call with grocery executives at 1:30 PM. Dr. Anthony Fauci appears on all five major Sunday shows. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 5:00 PM. The president has declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer for coronavirus.

Coronavirus Update:

At the daily task force briefing, President Trump announced that he has taken a coronavirus test hours after the White House released a memo from physicians saying it wasn’t necessary for him to take it. The White House released results Saturday evening saying that Trump tested negative for the virus.

At the briefing, Trump said it was “fine” that Apple is closing all stores globally (outside of China) and suggested that other retailers consider doing the same and told Americans that non-essential travel should not be taken. Trump continued to emphasize that the virus is just “one of those things that happened. It’s nobody’s fault.” Trump also bragged about the stock market’s upturn after his Rose Garden press conference on Friday, which he claimed was a “record.”

Mike Pence announced the expansion of the European travel ban to include Ireland the UK. Surgeon General Jerome Adams demanded that the media stop the “finger pointing” and “criticism” and called for “less stories looking at what happened in the past.” Dr. Anthony Fauci said that we “have not reached our peak” of the outbreak and we will see more deaths, but “we can still influence the course of the drive.”

At the White House, physicians have begun to scan the temperatures of everyone attempting to enter to attend press briefings. One reporter was turned away on Saturday for registering a temperature above 100 degrees. The RNC announced that Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is quarantining at home awaiting coronavirus test results and is showing flu-like symptoms.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) became the first senator to announce his opposition to the Pelosi-Trump coronavirus relief bill, citing the damage he claims mandated paid sick leave would do to small businesses. The National Federation for Independent Business also came out in opposition to the bill.

By The Numbers
Saturday, March 15, 2020, 9:00 AM
Number of US cases: 2,759
Number of US deaths: 59
Number of states with confirmed cases: 49 + Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
Total Number of People Tested in US: Unknown

Bloomberg: A Fifth of Virus Cruise Cases Asymptomatic, Study Says
Bloomberg: Flu Watchdog Spots More With Fever and Cough, But It’s Not Flu
CNN: Infected people without symptoms might be driving the spread of coronavirus more than we realized
Talking Points Memo: Two ER Doctors Test Positive For COVID-19
New York Times: Coronavirus Threatens Americans With Underlying Conditions
New York Times (Opinion): How Much Worse the Coronavirus Could Get, in Charts
Washington Post: Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

Federal Health Response
The Atlantic: America Isn’t Testing for the Most Alarming Coronavirus Cases
Axios: Pence tells White House staff to avoid physical contact
Bloomberg: Airports in the U.S. Struggle to Cope With the Crowds
Bloomberg: White House Asks Federal Agencies, Departments to Curb Travel
Bloomberg: Nursing Homes Block Doors, Check Entering Peoples’ Temperatures
New York Times: Coronavirus Screening Causes 7-Hour Waits in Crowded Lines at U.S. Airports
New York Times: Trump Administration Is Relaxing Oversight of Nursing Homes
New York Times: ‘It’s Totally Ad Hoc’: Why America’s Virus Response Looks Like a Patchwork
New York Times: The Coronavirus Is Forcing Hospitals to Cancel Surgeries
Newsweek (Opinion): Newt Gingrich: I Am In Italy Amid The Coronavirus Crisis. America Must Act Now—and Act Big
Politico: The shadow coronavirus czar
Reuters: U.S. to add Britain, Ireland to European travel ban – airline, U.S. officials
Roll Call: Hospitals want to kill a policy shielding nurses from COVID-19 because there aren’t enough masks
USA Today: Cruise passengers under coronavirus quarantine say they lack food, basic medical attention
Washington Post: Surge in coronavirus patients threatens to swamp U.S. hospitals
Washington Post: Coronavirus screening causes massive bottlenecks at O’Hare and other U.S. airports
Washington Post: ‘We’ll improvise’: A resource-starved rural hospital steels itself for coronavirus’s arrival

Federal Economic Response
NPR: Judge Blocks Rule That Would Have Kicked 700,000 People Off SNAP
New York Times (Editorial): There’s a Giant Hole in Pelosi’s Coronavirus Bill
New York Times (Editorial): The Companies Putting Profits Ahead of Public Health
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Treasury to Help Advance Funds to Employers for Paid Sick Leave

Associated Press: Trump disbanded NSC pandemic unit that experts had praised
The Atlantic (Ideas): Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff
CNN (Analysis): Donald Trump’s appalling, blame-shifting Rose Garden news conference
CNN: Trump says he was tested for coronavirus and results will take ‘a day, or two days’
NBC: Mismanagement, missed opportunities: How the White House bungled the coronavirus response
New York Times: On a Saturday Night in Florida, a Presidential Party Became a Coronavirus Hot Zone
New York Times: Trump Oversold a Google Site to Fight Coronavirus
New York Times: Trump Says He Could Demote Fed Chair Powell, Risking More Market Turmoil
New York Times: Trump Supporters Know Where to Turn in a Crisis: To Him
New York Times: Trump Is Losing Money in the Markets, Too
Politico: Trump now needs the hospitals he’s alienated
Vox: The Trump administration’s botched coronavirus response, explained
Wall Street Journal: President Trump Tests Negative for Coronavirus, White House Says
Wall Street Journal: Democrats Sharpen Criticism of Trump’s Health-Care Policy in Coronavirus Pandemic
Washington Post: Amid outbreak, Democrats refocus on Trump’s health-care record
Washington Post: Trump is breaking every rule in the CDC’s 450-page playbook for health crisis
Washington Post: Infighting, missteps and a son-in-law hungry for results: Inside the Trump administration’s troubled coronavirus response
Washington Post: Trump tests negative for coronavirus as questions mount over his personal risks in face of pandemic

Talking Points Memo: With WH Support, Pressure’s On McConnell To Pass Pelosi’s COVID-19 Package

New York Times: Fox Business Benches Trish Regan After Outcry Over Coronavirus Comments

Campaigns and Elections
NBC: Un-coventional? Coronavirus could risk Democratic, GOP national party gatherings
New York Times: Georgia Postpones Its Primary as Virus Upends Voting
New York Times: Could the 2020 Election Be Postponed? Only With Great Difficulty. Here’s Why.

Bloomberg: The Day Trudeau Put Canada Into Crisis Mode from Quarantine
Bloomberg: South Korea Wants to Show the World How to Tackle the Coronavirus
CNBC: France closes restaurants, cafes, movie theaters and other nonessential shops to fight coronavirus
The Guardian: Spain prepares to order nationwide lockdown over coronavirus
Slate: Europeans Under Lockdown Are Singing Together and Giving Their Health Care Workers Citywide Ovations
The Telegraph: Mass gatherings to be banned as Boris Johnson makes coronavirus U-turn
Washington Post: Pollution is plummeting in Italy in the wake of coronavirus, emissions data show

Economic And Social Impacts
The Atlantic: Social Distancing Could Change Our Relationship With FaceTime
Los Angeles Times: Liquor, marijuana and guns are also popular among coronavirus hoarders
NPR: Grocery Stores Start To Cut Hours As Coronavirus Prompts Surge In Panic-Buying
Time: Apple Temporarily Closes Retail Stores Worldwide to Fight Coronavirus
Washington Post: Sports cancellations leave one group of fans particularly deflated: Vasectomy patients
Washington Post: The companies that feed America brace for labor shortages and worry about restocking stores as coronavirus pandemic intensifies
Washington Post (Perspective): Pandemic, panic and toilet paper math

Personal Preparedness
The Atlantic: How You Should Get Food During the Pandemic
Buzzfeed: How Millennials Are Talking To Their Boomer Relatives About The Coronavirus
New York Times (Opinion): Please, Don’t Go Out to Brunch Today

In The States
KCNC: Colorado State Legislature Suspends Session Until End Of Month

New York
New York Times: The Rich Have a Coronavirus Cure: Escape From New York

Washington, DC
Washington Post: D.C. street vendors to become public health ambassadors to help curb the spread of coronavirus

Trump Tweets

“Tomorrow I have called for a National Day of Prayer. I will be tuning in to Pastor @Jentezen at the @FreeChapel Church in Gainesville, Georgia at 11:00 AM EDT. God Bless the USA!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/14/20]

“The @CDCgov has published guidelines on to enable every American to respond to this epidemic and to protect themselves, their families and their communities.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/14/20]

“Just had a nice conversation with Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau of Canada. Great to hear that his wonderful wife Sophie is doing very well. The United States and Canada will continue to coordinate closely together on COVID-19.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/14/20]

“SOCIAL DISTANCING!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/14/20]

“Attending meetings on Covid-19 in the White House. Working with States and local governments, many of whom have done a great job. Full report latter!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/14/20]

“THE UNITED STATES LOVES ITALY!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/14/20]

HEADLINES: Trump Can’t Stop Lying About His Administration’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Yesterday, President Trump held a press conference to declare a national state of emergency to the growing coronavirus outbreak sweeping the country. Coverage however shows that the president’s press conference was filled with blatant lies and misinformation. President Trump also refused to “take any responsibility at all” for his administration’s disastrous response to the crisis. 

Business Insider: Trump says Google is building a website to help with coronavirus tests — but his announcement seems to have been misleading
CNBC: US officials shake hands, touch their faces and share a microphone at coronavirus press briefing
CNN: Google says it’s not publishing a national-scale coronavirus site anytime soon after Trump announcement
Daily Beast: Google: Coronavirus Testing Site Announced by Trump Still in ‘Early Stages’
New York Times: Trump’s False Claims About His Response to the Coronavirus
The Verge: Contrary to Trump’s claim, Google is not building a nationwide coronavirus screening website
Vox: “I don’t take responsibility at all”: Trump continues downplaying coronavirus threat
Washington Post: Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus, but questions raised about what’s next
Washington Post: Trump says he will partner with private sector to expand coronavirus testing but details are sketchy
Wired: Trump Caught Google Off Guard With a Bogus Coronavirus Site Announcement


Driving the Day: President Trump continued to fumble his way through the coronavirus response while failing to take accountability for obvious missteps by his administration. At a press conference to announce his declaration of a national state of emergency, he said, “I don’t take any responsibility at all” for the testing failures, and falsely claimed that with H1N1 the Obama administration “didn’t do testing like this” and didn’t test until “far too late.” Asked about the decision to disband the National Security Council’s pandemic team early in his term, Trump first called it a “nasty question” and then claimed, “I don’t know anything about it,” and “I didn’t do it.”

What to Watch For: The president has no public events on Saturday. On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci will appear on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union and Fox News Sunday.

Coronavirus Update

  • President Trump held an afternoon press conference to announce his declaration of a national state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus. Despite the emergency declaration, Trump continued to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak saying, “Some doctors say the virus will wash through. It will flow through.” He called a series of corporate CEOs to the podium to discuss the efforts their companies are making, including establishing drive-through testing centers in Wal-Mart parking lots. Following the press conference, Google clarified that a nationwide website described by Trump that would help Americans determine whether and how to get tested did not actually exist and details remained sketchy on exactly what the corporations will be doing.

  • Asked about failures in testing, Trump said, “I don’t take any responsibility at all” and blamed “a set of circumstances” and rules from another time. Trump falsely claimed that with H1N1 the Obama administration “didn’t do testing like this” and didn’t test until “far too late.” Asked about the decision to disband the National Security Council’s pandemic team early in his term, Trump first called it a “nasty question” and then claimed, “I don’t know anything about it,” and “I didn’t do it.”

  • Trump also announced emergency economic measures, including waiving the interest on federally held student loans and an effort to “fill up” the strategic petroleum reserve to help the oil industry. He complained about the Democratic relief package being negotiated and said Democrats are not “giving enough” and are “not doing what’s right.” Hours later Trump tweeted that he “fully supports” the coronavirus relief bill being put forth by House Democrats. Following his press conference, Trump sent an autographed picture of the day’s stock market gains to Lou Dobbs.

  • After initially saying that he would not be tested for coronavirus after being in contact with a Brazilian official who later tested positive at Mar-A-Lago, Trump eventually said that he will “most likely” get tested. Late Friday night, the White House physician released a memo saying that, in contravention of most public health recommendations, Trump will not be tested and will not self-isolate.

  • At Trump’s press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked how long until the outbreak peaks. Fauci estimated eight or nine weeks if we are successful at flattening the curve, but said it could be more.

  • Late Friday night the House passed a sweeping coronavirus response package that included free testing, $1 billion in food aid and extended sick leave benefits to vulnerable Americans on a 363-40 vote. The package was supported by President Trump, but 40 Republicans voted against the bill and the Club For Growth urged conservatives to vote no. The Senate will take up the bill next week.

  • In an appearance on Tucker Carlson, CMS Administrator Seema Verma was asked four times in five minutes whether there is a shortage of ventilators in the U.S. and was unable to give a direct answer. Meanwhile, Washington Governor Jay Inslee appeared on MSNBC to say that he was “very concerned about the the state’s ventilator stocks.

By The Numbers
Saturday, March 14, 2020, 9:30 AM
Number of US cases: 2,195
Number of US deaths: 49
Number of states with confirmed cases: 49 + Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
Total Number of People Tested in US: Unknown

Federal Health Response
Associated Press: U.S. hospitals brace for ‘tremendous strain’ from new virus
CNBC: US officials shake hands, touch their faces and share a microphone at coronavirus press briefing
Los Angeles Times: Trump administration blocks states from using Medicaid to respond to coronavirus crisis
Mother Jones: Total Isolation. No Testing. Communication Breakdown. Inside the Coronavirus Cruise Ship Evacuation.
NPR: White House Knew Coronavirus Would Be A ‘Major Threat’ — But Response Fell Short
New York Times: Travelers From Coronavirus Hot Spots Say They Faced No Screening
New York Times: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths
New York Times: Amid a Pandemic, Trump Moves Forward With Safety Net Cuts
New York Times: Efforts to Control the Coronavirus in the U.S. Could Get Even More Extreme
New York Times (Opinion): Our Courts and Jails Are Putting Lives at Risk
New York Times (Opinion): How to Fix the Coronavirus Testing Mess in 7 Days
New York Times: In the Eye of the Coronavirus Testing Storm: Robert Redfield of the C.D.C.
ProPublica: Emergency Medical Responders Have Lacked Guidance and Are Stretched for Supplies and Personnel to Combat Coronavirus
ProPublica: Some Towns Still Haven’t Halted Utility Shut-offs for Unpaid Water Bills During Coronavirus, Even as Federal Lawmakers Demand It
Talking Points Memo: Verma Dodges Basic COVID Questions, Praises Trump’s ‘Bold and Decisive Action’
Washington Post: Lag in coronavirus testing triggers political uproar as Trump insists process is ‘very smooth’
Washington Post: This is the coronavirus math that has experts so worried: Running out of ventilators, hospital beds
Washington Post: Coronavirus is shutting down American life as states try to battle outbreak
Washington Post: Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus, but questions raised about what’s next
Washington Post: Trump says he will partner with private sector to expand coronavirus testing but details are sketchy
Washington Post (Opinion): The original sin in the U.S. response to coronavirus is lack of testing

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Trump Food-Stamp Cuts Blocked by Judge Who Cites Pandemic
Politico: Trump to waive interest on federal student loans ‘until further notice’
Washington Post: Fill ‘er up: Trump to buy oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — and help companies

Associated Press: As virus inches closer to Trump, questions swirl on testing
The Atlantic (Ideas): The Trump Presidency Is Over
Business Insider: Trump says Google is building a website to help with coronavirus tests — but his announcement seems to have been misleading
Buzzfeed: A Map Of The Coronavirus Exposures In Trump’s Orbit In Just Two Weeks
CNN: Australian official who met with Ivanka Trump and Barr last week tests positive for coronavirus
CNN: Trump sends signed chart showing stock market gains to supporters after he declared coronavirus a national emergency
CNN: Google says it’s not publishing a national-scale coronavirus site anytime soon after Trump announcement
Daily Beast: Google: Coronavirus Testing Site Announced by Trump Still in ‘Early Stages’
NBC: How Trump may have flattened the political curve of coronavirus
New York Magazine: Why Isn’t Trump in Quarantine?
New York Times: Trump’s False Claims About His Response to the Coronavirus
New York Times: Seeking Advice on the Coronavirus, Jared Kushner Enlists a Doctor in the Family
Politico: A Facebook group gets an assignment: Help Jared Kushner combat coronavirus
Rolling Stone: Report: Trump Dropped the Ball on Coronavirus Testing Because He Only Wanted Good News
Slate: Does Donald Trump Have the Coronavirus?
Slate: Trump Seems to Think a Bunch of CEOs Will Save America From the Coronavirus
Vanity Fair: How Trump Made America Far Less Prepared For Coronavirus
The Verge: Contrary to Trump’s claim, Google is not building a nationwide coronavirus screening website
Vox: “I don’t take responsibility at all”: Trump continues downplaying coronavirus threat
Washington Post: Trump defiant on testing and handshakes even as third Mar-a-Lago case emerges
Washington Post: Trump’s go-it-alone approach put to the test by global coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post (Perspective): I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.
Wired: Trump Caught Google Off Guard With a Bogus Coronavirus Site Announcement

Politico: Trump tweet seals accord on coronavirus relief package
Roll Call: Agreement reached on coronavirus stimulus
Washington Post: Capitol Hill faced the coronavirus this week with hand sanitizer and a bit of fatalism.

Affordability and Access
HuffPost: I Live In Seattle. No One Can Tell Me What It Costs To Get A COVID-19 Test.
HuffPost: What ‘Distance Learning’ Looks Like For Students Without Computers Or Wi-Fi

Bloomberg: Fox Business Host Trish Regan on Hiatus After Virus Comments
Buzzfeed: Chinese Diplomats Are Pushing Conspiracy Theories That The Coronavirus Didn’t Originate In China

Campaigns and Elections
Associated Press: Amid virus fears, Trump moves away from rallies — for now
The Atlantic: How to Run an Election in a Pandemic
CNBC: Louisiana postpones Democratic primary over coronavirus, the first state to do so
New York Times: How 4 Big States Are Preparing to Vote as the Coronavirus Spreads
New York Times: Joe Biden Goes Digital. It Could Have Gone, Um, Smoother.
Tampa Bay Times: More polling sites moved over coronavirus fears, five days before Florida primary
Washington Post: Some Democrats urge party to weigh alternatives for national convention amid coronavirus outbreak

Bloomberg: Italy’s Nightmare Offers a Chilling Preview of What’s Coming
New York Times: Johnson Holds Back on Restrictive Measures in U.K.’s Fight to Curb Virus
New York Times: Two Women Fell Sick From the Coronavirus. One Survived.
New York Times: As Europe Shuts Down, Britain Takes a Different, and Contentious, Approach
New York Times (Opinion): They’ve Contained the Coronavirus. Here’s How.
Wall Street Journal: East vs. West: Coronavirus Fight Tests Divergent Strategies

Economic And Social Impacts
Buzzfeed: The Unique Pain Of Not Being Able To Give Your Dad A Proper Funeral Due To The Coronavirus
CNBC: Patagonia is closing all of its stores and shutting down its website because of the coronavirus
CNN: Grubhub suspends collecting up to $100 million in fees from struggling restaurants amid coronavirus crisis
The Guardian (Opinion): Why suspending the NBA season was a glorious act of patriotism
New York Magazine: No Longer on the Gassy Periphery, Beans Take Center Stage
New York Times: Everybody Ready for the Big Migration to Online College? Actually, No
New York Times: He Has 17,000 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer and Nowhere to Sell Them
Politico: Ridership across mass transit plummets amid coronavirus
Time: Visiting My Sick Mom Could Put Her Life at Greater Risk. But How Many More Times Will I Get to See Her?
Vice: Whole Foods Suggests That Workers Share Paid Time Off During Coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Prep Divides Couples: How Many Cans of Tuna Are Too Many?
Washington Post: A small town takes a big hit after coronavirus is confirmed in its midst

Personal Preparedness
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus: Do I have to work from home?

In The States
Miami Herald: Miami mayor tests positive for coronavirus after event with Brazil President Bolsonaro

New York
Buzzfeed: People Inside America’s First Coronavirus Containment Zone Are Confused And Angry
Politico: Andrew Cuomo versus the coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: Broadway Going Dark Could Mean Losses Above $100 Million

Buzzfeed: A Senator From The State Hit Hardest By Coronavirus Is “So Angry And Frustrated” With Trump For Not Responding Sooner
Seattle Times: Scarcity of coronavirus testing continues to stymie Washington as disease spreads

Washington, DC
Washington Post: D.C. Public Schools will close beginning Monday as officials attempt to contain virus outbreak

Trump Tweets

“Good teamwork between Republicans & Democrats as the House passes the big CoronaVirus Relief Bill. People really pulled together. Nice to see!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“To those families and citizens who are worried and concerned for themselves and their loved ones, I want you to know that your Federal Government will unleash every authority, resource and tool at its disposal to safeguard the lives and health of our people.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening. This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers. I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt. I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES! I will always put the health and well-being of American families FIRST. Look forward to signing the final Bill, ASAP!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“Americans are the strongest and most resilient people on earth…We will remove or eliminate every obstacle necessary to deliver our people the care that they need, and that they are entitled to. No resource will be spared.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these. No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days. It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“To this point, and because we have had a very strong border policy, we have had 40 deaths related to CoronaVirus. If we had weak or open borders, that number would be many times higher!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

UPDATE: Protect Our Care Suspends ACA 10 Year Anniversary Bus Tour Amid Trump Administration’s Disastrous Handling of Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is suspending its ACA 10 year anniversary tour as a result of the coronavirus crisis which has been exacerbated by President Trump’s disastrous response to the outbreak. 

“President Trump has bungled the response to coronavirus from day one and it’s impacting everyone; we’re no different,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “As a result, we’re suspending our bus tour which was scheduled to kick off this Sunday, March 15. Even though we will not be traveling the country, you can be sure that we will continue to highlight what the health care law has accomplished and the damage of President Trump’s ongoing war on Americans’ health care which includes his years-long effort to sabotage and repeal the law in Congress and in the courts.”

Protect Our Care will continue with in person events where possible, as well as conduct press calls, days of action and digital activity to shine a spotlight on this landmark anniversary and the Trump-Republican war on health care with a focus on how Trump’s disastrous response to the threat of coronavirus has put Americans at risk.


Driving the Day:

Mixed messages:
At a House Oversight Committee hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the current U.S. testing system is “failing.” “The system is not really geared to what we need right now, what you are asking for. That is a failing…Let’s admit it.” Meanwhile: Fauci’s assertion directly contradicts President Trump’s false claim that anyone who wants a test gets one: “‘Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth,’ he said. ‘If you go to the right agency, if you go to the right area, you get the test.’”

What to Watch For: Today President Trump will meet with industry executives to discuss coronavirus response. Despite a promise of “daily briefings,” the coronavirus task force did not hold a formal press briefing yesterday and it is unclear whether one will be held today. On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci will appear on all of the Sunday morning news shows.

Coronavirus Update 

  • On a day that saw the cancellation of nearly every major sporting event in the country and the sweeping closure of schools across the country, in a meeting with Irish PM Leo Varadkar, Trump falsely claimed that every American returning to the country was being tested for coronavirus, saying, “We have a tremendous testing set up where people coming in have to be tested.” Trump also claimed that, “The testing is going very smooth” in this country. Asked about why he didn’t alert European leaders before imposing travel restrictions, resulting in confusion and chaos at airports, Trump said “It takes a long time to make the individual calls.” Late in the day Thursday, the New York TimesWashington Post, and Wall Street Journal all reported on the chaos and failure of the president’s address to the nation on Wednesday night.

  • Congressional talks on a coronavirus relief bill are ongoing. Nancy Pelosi said at 9:00 PM Thursday night that an agreement was “close” and would hopefully be arrived at by Friday. Pelosi released a letter outlining a “near” agreement with the Trump administration that includes free testing, paid leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, food assistance and more funding for Medicaid. Earlier in the day, Mitch McConnell dismissed the House package as an “ideological wish list” and announced that recess will be delayed to deal with the crisis.

  • At a House Oversight Committee hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said of the current testing situation in the US, “The system is not really geared to what we need right now, what you are asking for. That is a failing…Let’s admit it.” Fauci said at an impromptu press briefing that he believes Trump’s travel restrictions from Europe will make a difference in reducing coronavirus infections in the US. In the Oversight hearing Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) also pushed CDC Director Redield to commit to providing free testing for every American.

  • After being read a Trump tweet in which the president blamed Democrats and the media for hyping the coronavirus threat, Vice President Pence said, “Obviously there has been some irresponsible rhetoric.” Pence also insisted that he’s “still shaking hands” despite repeated warnings from the CDC to avoid the practice.

  • Joe Biden delivered an address outlining his plans to fight coronavirus. Trump and his campaign immediately lashed out, blaming Biden and the Obama administration for deaths during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 and attacking the CDC in a series of tweets. Barack Obama tweeted on Wednesday night to explain the concept of social distancing and flattening the curve saying, “If you’re wondering whether it’s an overreaction to cancel large gatherings and public events (and I love basketball), here’s a useful primer as to why these measures can slow the spread of the virus and save lives. We have to look out for each other.”

By The Numbers
Friday, March 13, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 1,660
Number of US deaths: 41
Number of states with confirmed cases: 46
Total Number of People Tested in US: 11,515

Federal Health Response
Axios: The two uncertainties of the coronavirus
Buzzfeed: Trump’s Surprise Europe Travel Ban Left Travelers Scrambling To Find Out WTF Was Happening
Buzzfeed: A Top Health Official Said The US Is “Failing” At Testing For The Coronavirus
Buzzfeed: Members Of Congress Are Furious At The Lack Of Information On Coronavirus Testing
CNN: ‘We are flying blind’: Lawmakers fume amid lack of coronavirus testing and answers
CNN: Airlines Are Scrambling To Understand And Implement New Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
Kaiser Health News: Coronavirus Puts Prisons In Tight Spot Amid Staff Shortages, Threats Of Lockdown
The Independent: Trump claimed fees for coronavirus treatment will be waived. The health care industry has no idea what he’s talking about
NPR: Singapore Wins Praise For Its COVID-19 Strategy. The U.S. Does Not
New York Magazine (Opinion): Coronavirus Shows Us America Is Broken
New York Times: The Tickets Home Were $5,000. They Paid It.
New York Times: Sick People Across the U.S. Say They Are Being Denied the Coronavirus Test
New York Times (Opinion): Coronavirus School Closings: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
New York Times (Editorial): It’s Time to Declare a National Emergency
Politico: Trump officials did sound the coronavirus alarm. They just don’t work there anymore.
ProPublica: The FDA Is Forcing the CDC to Waste Time Double Testing Some Coronavirus Cases
Talking Points Memo: States Clamor For Trump Emergency Declaration
Talking Points Memo: Medical Community Demands Trump Declare COVID-19 A National Emergency
Yahoo News: CDC tested only 77 people this week; coronavirus testing slow around the nation
Yahoo News: Trump considers travel restrictions to California and Washington in attempt to stop coronavirus spread
Wall Street Journal: FDA Grants New Coronavirus Test Emergency Approval
Washington Post: After Trump promised ‘anybody’ can get coronavirus testing, patients and doctors still complain of roadblocks
Washington Post (Opinion): Quarantining cities isn’t needed. But a fast, coordinated response to covid-19 is essential.

Federal Economic Response
Boston Globe (Opinion): Needed: A finance agency to handle the financial meltdown from the coronavirus
Buzzfeed: The Trump Administration Will Move Ahead With Its Plan To Kick People Off Of Food Stamps Despite The Coronavirus Outbreak
CNBC: ‘Everybody is upside down:’ Lobbyists flooded with calls from corporate clients worried about coronavirus
HuffPost: Trump Administration Refuses To Postpone Food Benefit Cut
Modern Healthcare: High-Deductible Plans May Waive Cost-Sharing For Coronavirus Tests
New York Times: Trump’s Payroll Tax Cut Would Dwarf The 2008 Bank Bailout
Politico: Fed announces massive cash injection to relieve U.S. debt market
Politico: ‘I don’t want to use the b-word’: Trump aides race to rescue the economy
Wall Street Journal: Fed to Inject $1.5 Trillion in Bid to Prevent ‘Unusual Disruptions’ in Markets

The Atlantic (Ideas): The Worst Outcome
The Atlantic (Ideas): Trump Is Failing To Prepare Americans for A Disturbing New Reality
Bloomberg: Meadows Enters West Wing After Self-Quarantine Over Coronavirus
Bloomberg: Inside the Oval Office, a Fierce Fight Over Trump’s Virus Speech
The Bulwark: The Coronavirus According to Donald Trump
Buzzfeed: Coronavirus Is The Nightmare Situation People Worried About When Trump Won
CNN: Fact check: Trump makes four key errors or omissions in Europe travel announcement
CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims anybody who returns from Europe is being tested for coronavirus
Daily Beast: Trump’s Coronavirus Speech Sparks ‘Total Chaos’ in His Own Administration
GQ: Trump Voters Wanted to Blow up the System. Well, Here We Go.
The Hill: Poll: Trump Approval Dips To 46 Percent Amid Coronavirus
HuffPost: Trump Twiddles His Thumbs With Economy In A Tailspin
HuffPost: Trump Runs To Travel Ban Comfort Zone But Ignores The Bigger Coronavirus Problems
The Intercept: Bolsonaro Aide Who Visited With Trump Tested Positive For Coronavirus — And Three Other Members Of The Delegation Have Flu-like Symptoms
Los Angeles Times: Trump coronavirus response puts administration weaknesses under harsh spotlight
The Nation: An Internal Pandemic Document Shows the Coronavirus Gives Trump Extraordinary Powers
NBC: Pence says there’s been ‘irresponsible rhetoric’ from people downplaying coronavirus
New York Times: Trump and Pence Won’t Be Tested After Meeting With Infected Brazilian Official
New York Times (Analysis): The President as Bystander: Trump Struggles to Unify a Nation on Edge
Politico (Opinion): Mr. President, Shut Up About Coronavirus
Vox: Coronavirus is the Trump catastrophe we’ve been terrified of
Vox: Trump is breaking his own agency’s coronavirus guidelines by not self-quarantining
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Crisis Tests Trump’s Unusual Governing Style
Wall Street Journal: White House Evaluates Trump Exposure to Coronavirus
Washington Post: For Trump, the coronavirus crisis is all about the numbers — and they don’t look good
Washington Post: Coronavirus pandemic tests clout of cruise industry and its long-standing ties to Trump
Washington Post: Ten minutes at the teleprompter: Inside Trump’s failed attempt to calm coronavirus fears
Washington Post: Cancellations hit Trump’s hotels and clubs amid coronavirus outbreak
Washington Post (Analysis): ‘It will go away’: A timeline of Trump playing down the coronavirus threat

ABC News: House Democrats Rush To Finalize Bill To Address Economic Pain Of Coronavirus Outbreak Ahead Of Recess
HuffPost: House Democrats Set Up Coronavirus Paid Leave Standoff With Senate
The Intercept: GOP Lawmaker Who Voted Against Paid Sick Leave In Florida Takes Paid Leave From Congress
Los Angeles Times: Democrats Propose Economic Stimulus To Soften Coronavirus Blow
Louisville Courier Journal: Mitch McConnell rejects Democrat’s coronavirus plan as liberal ‘wish list’
Miami Herald: Rick Scott to self-quarantine after Bolsonaro aide tests positive for coronavirus
New York Times: Democrats And White House Race To Strike Deal For Coronavirus Relief Package
Politico: Pelosi and Mnuchin fail to reach deal on coronavirus aid package
Reuters: U.S. House Leaders Unveil Coronavirus Bill; Capitol Tours Suspended
Talking Points Memo: Senate Cancels Its Planned Recess Next Week As Coronavirus Outbreak Worsens
Washington Post: Coronavirus Rescue Proposal Addresses Unemployment Insurance, Paid Sick Leave And Food Assistance

Affordability and Access
Talking Points Memo: Porter Strong-Arms CDC Director Into Committing To Free Coronavirus Testing For All Americans

CNN: How Fox News misled viewers about the coronavirus
Daily Beast: Trump Supporters Fuel Dangerous ‘Election Year’ Coronavirus Claim
Daily Beast: Trump Allies Are Downplaying Coronavirus Panic—And Profiting Off It at the Same Time
Daily Beast: Fox News Hosts Downplay Coronavirus, but Network Brass Take It Very Seriously, Memo Shows
Washington Post (Analysis): For weeks, conservative media joined Trump in downplaying the threat of the coronavirus

Campaigns and Elections
CNBC: Nancy Pelosi cancels major New York fundraiser amid coronavirus fears
CNN: Democratic debate moved from Arizona to Washington, DC, over coronavirus concerns, DNC announces
Foreign Policy (Opinion): It’s Time to Cancel the U.S. Presidential Campaign
Politico: Coronavirus consumes Trump’s reelection bid
Roll Call: Presidential candidates argue over coronavirus response
New York Times: How the Coronavirus Changed the 2020 Political Campaign
Tampa Bay Times: Trump will ‘probably not’ hold Tampa rally later this month amid coronavirus concerns, he said
Washington Post: Biden and Sanders aim to project presidential stature on coronavirus after Trump’s shaky address

BBC: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau self-isolating over coronavirus fears
Buzzfeed: Many Families Are Going To Lose Loved Ones In The “Worst Public Health Crisis For A Generation”, Boris Johnson Has Warned
NBC News: Coronavirus: Europe Wakes Up To Chaos And Confusion As Trump Restricts Travel
New York Times: Merkel Gives Germans a Hard Truth About the Coronavirus
New York Times: The World Has a Plan to Fight Coronavirus. Most Countries Are Not Using it.
New York Times: Tom Hanks Got Sick in Australia, Where Coronavirus Testing Isn’t Such a Hassle
New York Times: Italy’s Health Care System Groans Under Coronavirus — a Warning to the World
Reuters: Italy and South Korea virus outbreaks reveal disparity in deaths and tactics
Washington Post: Coronavirus burial pits so vast they’re visible from space

Economic And Social Impacts
Buzzfeed: Basically All Professional Sports Are Shutting Down Temporarily Because Of The Coronavirus Pandemic
Buzzfeed: It’s Not Just Food And Hand Sanitizer — Panicked Coronavirus Shoppers Are Stocking Up On Guns And Body Armor
CNN: The NCAA is canceling March Madness
CNBC: Economist Alan Blinder says the US is probably already in recession
New York Times: Something Weird Is Happening on Wall Street, and Not Just the Stock Sell-Off
New York Times: Stocks Plunge by the Most Since 1987
New York Times: Meet the Firefighters, Nurses and Janitors on the Coronavirus Front Lines
Vice: Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon Should Suspend Data Caps Because of Coronavirus
The Verge: Disney park employees panic as parks remain open amid coronavirus pandemic
Vox: Coronavirus will also cause a loneliness epidemic
Washington Post: ‘I’m a hand-shaker’: Many older Americans are playing down the coronavirus threat while others opt for safety

Personal Preparedness
The Atlantic (Ideas): The Shift Americans Must Make To Fight The Coronavirus
The Atlantic: The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’
Buzzfeed: How Millennials Are Talking To Their Boomer Relatives About The Coronavirus
USA Today: Dine out or eat in during the coronavirus crisis? Here’s what public health and food safety experts say

In The States
Miami New Times: Activists Say ICE Check-Ins Put Elderly Immigrants at Risk for Coronavirus

Michigan Advance: GOP wants feds to reinstate Medicaid work rules, even as coronavirus hits Michigan

New York
New York Times: New York’s Major Cultural Institutions Close in Response to Coronavirus

Columbus Dispatch: Coronavirus: Ohio to close schools, ban gatherings of more than 100 people
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s clear coronavirus response seen as contrast to White House approach
The Hill: Ohio health official estimates 100,000 people in state have coronavirus

Texas Tribune: She’s a Texas nurse who treats cancer patients — and she can’t get a coronavirus test. That’s not unusual.

Trump Tweets
“For decades the @CDCgov looked at, and studied, its testing system, but did nothing about it. It would always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never happen, they hoped. President Obama made changes that only complicated things further. Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now. The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/13/20]

“‘The Obama White House had to immediately issue an apology for Joe Biden’s remarks, and any alarm that he might have caused, an alarm about a Swine Flu outbreak that took 6 months for President Obama to declare a National Emergency, and that killed 12,000 Americans.’ @LouDobbs” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/12/20]

“Sleepy Joe Biden was in charge of the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic which killed thousands of people. The response was one of the worst on record. Our response is one of the best, with fast action of border closings & a 78% Approval Rating, the highest on record. His was lowest!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/12/20]

“Just had a great conversation with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. I told him that the just completed Olympic venue is magnificent. He has done an incredible job, one that will make him very proud. Good things will happen for Japan and their great Prime Minister. Lots of options!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/12/20]

“108 countries are dealing with the CoronaVirus problem, some of which we are helping! [@realDonaldTrump, 3/12/20]

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Children’s Coverage

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, particularly for children who have seen significant gains in coverage and access to health care,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 2 of 10 focuses on Children’s Coverage. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

Thanks To The ACA: 

  • Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. 
  • More than 17 million children with pre-existing conditions are protected from discrimination. Insurance companies are banned from excluding benefits, raising premiums, or denying all coverage altogether for children with conditions like asthma and diabetes. 
  • More than 40 million children who have private insurance have guaranteed access to free preventive care. Additionally, the ACA protects children from lifetime and annual limits. 
  •  2.3 million young adults are able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 

Medicaid Expansion Helps Children: 

The ACA improved children’s coverage by increasing the federal matching rate for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and standardizingand in many states, expandingMedicaid eligibility for children. The ACA also ensures that states provide Medicaid coverage to children in foster care up to age 26. Additionally, research confirms expanding access to Medicaid for parents has had ripple effects for their children: 

When Parents Have Medicaid, Their Children Are More Likely To Have Regular Care. As summarized by Georgetown University’s Center on Children and Families, recent research finds that “Parents enrolled in Medicaid have children who are 29 percentage points more likely to receive a well-child visit. The relationship is strongest for families with household incomes between 100% and 200% [of the federal poverty line]. In these families, parents enrolled in Medicaid have children who are 45 percentage points more likely to receive a well-child visit.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

Medicaid Expansion Led To Gains In Coverage For Children As Well As Parents. A study in Health Affairs found that “710,000 children gained public coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid between 2013 and 2015. If the remaining 19 non-expansion states expanded Medicaid, 200,000 additional children would gain health coverage through existing programs. The effect was largest among children whose parents gained Medicaid eligibility through the expansion.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

IN THE NEWS: Trump’s “Error-Laden” Address Failed to Reassure Americans Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Last night, President Trump addressed the nation after the World Health Organization declared the spread of coronavirus a global pandemic. After weeks of downplaying the seriousness of the virus, the president used xenophobic rhetoric while laying out a new set of ineffective policies that ignore the fact that the virus is already spreading throughout the United States. Trump imposed a travel ban on most of Europe, but spared the countries where he owns resorts to shield himself from any economic impact. Trump also failed to address the backlog of testing and potential for overwhelmed hospitals, leaving Americans without much-needed certainty during this crisis. 

Associated Press Analysis: Analysis: Facing Virus Outbreak, Trump’s Tactics Fall Short. “In an address to the nation Wednesday night, Trump announced a sweeping travel ban for much of Europe as well as a package of proposals to help steady the teetering economy. But he continued to play down the severity of the situation, painting it as a foreign threat that soon will be banished rather than focusing on managing the growing number of cases at home.” [Associated Press, 3/12/20

New York Times: In Oval Office Speech, Trump “Appeared To Minimize The Damage The Virus Has Wreaked Across The Country.” “He also appeared to minimize the damage the virus has already wreaked across the country, where there are now more than 1,200 active cases. Instead, he heaped praise on his administration’s response when in reality, his attempts to play down the health crisis have been under fierce criticism for weeks. There were also surprising — and significant — inaccuracies in the speech, which administration officials and the president had to clarify almost immediately afterward. Mr. Trump said in his address he would suspend ‘all travel from Europe to the United States,’ but the ban in fact applies to foreign citizens. And while he said the measure would ‘apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo’ across the ocean, the order in fact affects only people.” [New York Times, 3/12/20

Bloomberg: Trump’s Error-Laden ‘Foreign Virus’ Speech Has Investors Spooked. “He blamed allies for not adopting tough immigration measures that he said had prevented a wider outbreak in the U.S. But the combative approach and small-bore measures seemed only to highlight the president’s struggles to confront the most consequential moment of his presidency. And even in a 10-minute address, Trump couldn’t stick to the facts. He overstated the European travel restrictions, saying he was ‘suspending all travel’ from the continent, and suggested they would also apply to trade. He tweeted later that trade wouldn’t be affected, and the Department of Homeland Security clarified that the restriction applies generally to foreigners who’ve been in Europe within 14 days.” [Bloomberg, 3/11/20

Associated Press: “Trump Left Unaddressed The Testing Backlog That Is Hampering Efforts To Learn Just How Many Americans Already Are Infected.” “In his remarks, Trump focused more on the threat of travel continuing to bring in illness when, in fact, in parts of the country there already is ‘community spread’ — meaning people who don’t have a known travel exposure are becoming infected. In an omission that Democratic leaders called ‘alarming,’ Trump left unaddressed the testing backlog that is hampering efforts to learn just how many Americans already are infected. And while he warned the elderly to avoid risky crowds, advised nursing homes to suspend visitors and told sick people to stay home from work, he didn’t address one of the biggest concerns — whether hospitals are equipped to handle the sick or will be overwhelmed.” [Associated Press, 3/12/20

Vox: Trump’s Coronavirus Speech Was Laced With Xenophobia. “Seated behind his desk in the White House Wednesday, Trump looked into the camera and warned Americans of an enemy who has infiltrated our borders. We are at war, he said, with a ‘foreign virus.’ It’s a tactic meant to distract from what his administration has and hasn’t done, in this case to combat the coronavirus pandemic.” [Vox, 3/11/20

The New York Times: “In The Course Of His Speech, Mr. Trump Mischaracterized His Own Policies.” “The president made a point of referring to it as a ‘foreign virus’ and blamed the European Union for having ‘failed to take the same precautions’ as he had in limiting travel from China, where the outbreak got its start, even though Europe has not been a major source of known infections so far in the United States…In the course of his speech, Mr. Trump mischaracterized his own policies, even though he was reading from the teleprompter. He said he was ‘suspending all travel from Europe to the United States,’ when in fact it applies only to foreigners, and he said it would ‘apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo’ across the ocean, when in fact his order affects only people. He corrected the latter afterward on Twitter, saying ‘The restriction stops people not goods.’” [New York Times, 3/11/20

Washington Post: Besieged Trump Announces Drastic Measures In Effort To Stem Coronavirus Pandemic. “Since the first known case of coronavirus was reported in the United States on Jan. 21, Trump has addressed the matter with sporadic and slapdash comments. It took until Wednesday evening for the president to deliver a formal set of prepared remarks, with guidance for the public about what to do and assurance that the federal government is fully engaged in seeking to mitigate the crisis. For the 11 minutes he addressed the nation Wednesday, Trump turned in a laboring performance — one intended to project calm competence that instead seemed to reveal uncertainty.“ [Washington Post, 3/11/20

TIME: Why President Trump Wants To Frame COVID-19 As A ‘Foreign Virus.’ “While Trump’s appearance had all the set pieces for showcasing leadership and uniting the country in the face of a crisis, he flubbed the description of his travel ban and inadvertently said that cargo from Europe would also be cut off, along with passengers. After the speech, White House aides scrambled to clear up the error before the prospect of hundreds of millions of dollars in trade coming to a standstill roiled financial markets further.” [TIME, 3/12/20

POLITICO: Trump’s Travel Ban Sidesteps His Own European Resorts. “President Donald Trump’s new European travel restrictions have a convenient side effect: They exempt nations where three Trump-owned golf resorts are located.” [POLITICO, 3/12/20]