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Sean England

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 11, 2020

Driving the Day: In a Politico exclusive, “A looming shortage in lab materials is threatening to delay coronavirus test results and cause officials to undercount the number of Americans with the virus.” Meanwhile, on CNN’s New Day on Tuesday morning, HHS Secretary Alex Azar reiterated that the administration does not know exactly how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus, but at the task force press conference he maintained that there is a “surplus capacity” of tests that have been produced.

What to Watch For: Today President Trump will meet with bankers to discuss coronavirus response and have dinner with Vice President Pence at the Naval Observatory. Vice President Pence will meet with hospital executives and address the National League of Cities. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 5:30 PM. The House Oversight and Homeland Security committees will hold hearings on coronavirus response.

Coronavirus Update

  • Speaking to reporters after meetings with Republicans on the Hill, President Trump said of the virus, “It will go away, just stay calm.” Trump insisted that “The U.S. has done a very good job on testing,” despite the fact that only 5,000 Americans have been tested so far. Trump said he himself had not been tested despite his contact with lawmakers who are now self-quarantining after interacting with a coronavirus patient at CPAC because, “I don’t think it’s a big deal. I would do it. I don’t feel any reason. I feel extremely good.” Trump also emphasized that as the nation approaches this public health crisis, “We want to protect our shipping industry, our cruise ships.”

  • At a meeting with insurance industry CEOs, Vice President Pence announced that insurance companies have agreed to no copays for coronavirus tests, and “no surprise billing.” Analysts say that this measure may not apply to people whose employers self-insure, which is 61% of those with employer-based insurance. HHS confirmed that uninsured people can “receive care at a Community Health Center at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their economic status.” Washington state announced that it will open a special enrollment period for people seeking to buy health insurance to deal with coronavirus.

  • At the evening press conference Tuesday, task force members primarily focused on the economic response to coronavirus, with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, stating that Trump would like a payroll tax holiday to extend to the end of the year and declining to answer questions about how much the plan would cost or how it would work. After promising a briefing on the economic plan, Trump himself was a no-show at the evening press conference.

  • Problems and delays with testing remained front and center with the New York Times reporting that for weeks, thousands of flu samples sat in Seattle as the CDC blocked efforts to test and flag them for coronavirus and Politico reporting that a shortage of lab materials is delaying test results. CDC Director Robert Redfield testified before the House Appropriations committee on Tuesday where he was pressed by Rep. Jamie Herrerra-Beutler (R-WA) about why members of Congress have been able to get access to testing while her constituents have been left waiting. Redfield said there was “not enough equipment, not enough people, not enough internal capacity.” Late Tuesday night the Washington Post reported that Trump allies Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows were able to obtain testing in defiance of CDC guidelines reserving those tests for patients exhibiting symptoms of infection.

  • On CNN’s New Day on Tuesday morning, HHS Secretary Alex Azar reiterated that the administration does not know exactly how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus, but at the task force press conference he maintained that there is a “surplus capacity” of tests that have been produced.

  • Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden both cancelled their upcoming rallies and crowd events, with Biden scheduling remarks on the crisis in Delaware on Thursday morning. The DNC announced that the March 15 presidential debate will proceed without an audience. Asked at the evening briefing whether the Trump campaign would continue to hold rallies, Pence said, “That’ll be a decision that’s made literally on a day-to-day basis.” One hour later, the Trump campaign announced a rally-type event at a convention center in Milwaukee on March 19. The plans for the event came amid reports of the third confirmed case of coronavirus in Wisconsin.

By The Numbers
Tuesday, March 11, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 1,015
Number of US deaths: 31
Number of states with confirmed cases: 38
Number of tests conducted: 6,563

Federal Health Response
Axios: White House debated halting travel from South Korea, Italy
Bloomberg: Coronavirus Containment Chance Missed, U.S. Aims to Blunt Impact
CNN: Department of Veterans Affairs adopts ‘no visitors’ policy at nursing homes due to coronavirus
The Hill: Trump budget chief holds firm on CDC cuts amid virus outbreak
HuffPost: Prisons Are Ripe For Coronavirus Outbreak. They’re Not Ready.
NBC: The U.S. has tested more than 8,500 specimens for coronavirus. That doesn’t equal 8,500 patients.
New York Times: F.D.A. Halts Overseas Inspections of Drugs and Devices, Citing Coronavirus
New York Times: Rules Eased on Colleges Seeking to Close Their Campuses Amid Outbreak
New York Times: ‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response
Politico: U.S. coronavirus testing threatened by shortage of critical lab materials
Politico: Azar warns ‘medically fragile’ Americans against large gatherings — but stays mum on Trump rallies
Politico: CDC director breaks with Trump on claim that border wall will help stop coronavirus
Politico: Email crash impeded HHS response to coronavirus
Politico (Opinion): Coronavirus is a disaster. Why hasn’t FEMA been brought in?
Stat: Why ‘flattening the curve’ may be the world’s best bet to slow the coronavirus
Talking Points Memo: DOJ Faces Backlash For Ordering COVID-19 Posters Out Of Immigration Courts
Vox: Italy’s coronavirus crisis could be America’s
Vox: Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are stepping in on the coronavirus where the government has failed
Washington Post: Face masks in national stockpile have not been substantially replenished since 2009
Washington Post: Trump administration wants hundreds of thousands of federal workers to be ready to telework full time
Yahoo: Only 6,563 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus so far

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Trump Tells GOP He Wants Payroll Tax Waived Through Election
Bloomberg: Oil Lobbyists Call on Trump to Buy the Dip for Strategic Reserve
CNBC: White House plan for economic response to coronavirus is ‘not there right now,’ officials say
Politico: Trump seeks ‘big’ stimulus steps but aides are skeptical
Talking Points Memo: WH Punts Again On COVID-19 Economic Package Details Trump Promised
Wall Street Journal: White House Intensifies Push for Coronavirus Stimulus Measures
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Treasury Likely to Push Back April 15 Tax Filing Deadline, Sources Say
Washington Post: Trump’s meeting with Senate Republicans ends with no resolution on coronavirus economic plan
Washington Post: White House likely to pursue federal aid for shale companies hit by oil shock, coronavirus downturn

Leadership
ABC News: As Stocks Dive And Coronavirus Spreads, Trump Compares COVID-19 To Common Flu
The Atlantic (Ideas): Incompetence Exacerbated by Malevolence
Associated Press: As Americans take virus precautions, Trump flouts advice
Bloomberg: Trump Is a No-Show After Promising Briefing on Economic Plan
Bloomberg: Trump’s Coronavirus Claims Often Contradicted by His Own Experts
Bloomberg: Trump’s Pivot: From Caution to ‘Major’ Economic Plan for Virus
Buzzfeed: Fox News And Donald Trump Are Embracing Xenophobia To Defend Against The Coronavirus
Daily Mail: Melania Trump touts her Be Best anti-cyberbullying push to national PTA conference but stays silent on coronavirus as schools scramble to respond to mounting crisis
The Hill: Pence says he and Trump will continue to shake hands despite coronavirus
National Review (Editorial): President Trump Needs to Step Up on the Coronavirus
NBC News: Trump’s Minimized View Of The Coronavirus Crisis Puts His Re-Election At Risk
New York Magazine: Fox Business Network: COVID-19 Is a ‘Coronavirus Impeachment Scam’
New York Times: Politicians’ Use Of ‘Wuhan Virus’ Starts A Debate Health Experts Wanted To Avoid
Talking Points Memo: Trump Offers Another Baselessly Cheery Take On COVID-19 Epidemic
Washington Post: Trump allies got coronavirus tests despite lack of symptoms and shortage
Washington Post (Editorial): Suddenly we need the ‘Deep State’ Trump has spent three years weakening and demeaning

Congressional Activity
Axios: Congress “last to leave” as other institutions send people home
Bloomberg: Democrats Urge Waivers from Green Card Rule for Virus Tests
The Hill: Leaders Tamp Down Talk Of Closing Capitol, Changing Schedule Over Coronavirus
HuffPost: Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Standoff: Paid Sick Leave, A Payroll Tax Cut — Or Both
Mother Jones: Elizabeth Warren Just Told Private Prisons to Release Their Coronavirus Plans
New York Times: Avoid Flights and Crowds? Try Telling That to Congress
Politico: Dems press ahead on coronavirus package as Senate waits for Trump
Washington Post: Trump pitches payroll tax cut through election to skeptical GOP senators
Washington Post (Analysis): Here’s a simple way for Congress to fight coronavirus: Fund community health centers

Affordability and Access
Associated Press: Spotty Sick Leave Policies Limit Options For Avoiding Virus
Axios: The push for paid sick leave
Bloomberg: McDonald’s to Pay Corporate Workers for Two Weeks in Quarantine
The City: The Cost Of Not Getting Tested For Coronavirus: A $10k ER Bill
The Hill (Opinion): Medicaid Expansion Should Be Part Of Our Emergency Response
New York Times: Coronavirus Outbreak Has America’s Homeless at Risk of ‘Disaster’
Stat (Opinion): If Covid-19 gets bad, triage will be needed. Are we ready for that?
Stat: Coronavirus Outbreak Tests Nation’s Emergency Medical Stockpile
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus School Closures Expose Digital Haves and Have-Nots

Campaigns and Elections
Daily Beast: Campaign 2020 Slowly Adjusting to Coronavirus, The Newest Biohazard of the Trade
HuffPost: Coronavirus Outbreak Isn’t Stopping Biden, Sanders From Shaking Hands
Los Angeles Times: Sanders, Biden cancel major Ohio rallies as coronavirus threat begins to disrupt campaign
New York Times: Sanders and Biden Cancel Events as Coronavirus Fears Upend Primary
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Opens Economic Front In Presidential Campaign Battle

Economic And Social Impacts
The Atlantic (Ideas): Cancel Everything
Bloomberg: The Global Mask Shortage May Get Much Worse
Bloomberg: Tokyo Olympic Official to Raise Possibility of Delay, Kyodo Says
Bloomberg: Coronavirus Conference Gets Canceled Because of Coronavirus
CNN: Costco says it’s getting a lift from coronavirus panic shopping
Daily Beast: Meet the Insane People Still Planning Cruise Ship Vacations
Kaiser Health News: Blood Drives — And Donors — Fall Off As Coronavirus Worries Grow
Modern Healthcare: Widespread COVID-19 Outbreak In U.S. Would Threaten Hospitals’ Finances
NBC: Young people capitalize on cheap coronavirus flights: ‘If I die, I die’
NPR: More Than 40 Colleges Cancel In-Person Classes In Response To Coronavirus
New York Times: ‘No More Visits’ Urges Nursing Home Industry in Wake of Virus
New York Times (Opinion): Everyone’s a Socialist in a Pandemic
Politico: CPAC scrambles to contain coronavirus fallout
Washington Post: ‘Do I like this guy enough to risk catching coronavirus?’ The epidemic has made dating even more complicated.
Washington Post: Social distancing could buy U.S. valuable time against coronavirus

In The States
California
KQED: California Nearly Doubles COVID-19 Tests, But Experts Say It’s Not Enough
NPR: Sacramento County Gives Up On Automatic 14-Day Quarantines
Washington Post: Grand Princess cruise ship carrying coronavirus patients docks in Oakland

Florida
Miami Herald: Feds say there is community spread of coronavirus in Florida. DeSantis disagrees.

Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Urges Health Insurers To Waive Cost-Sharing For COVID-19 Tests

Massachusetts
Axios: What happens when Harvard closes
Harvard Crimson: Harvard Moves Classes Online, Asks Students Not to Return After Spring Break In Response to Coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: How Biogen’s Strategy Meeting Spread Coronavirus in Massachusetts and Beyond
WBUR: Harvard Global Health Expert: Mass. Hospitals Face Capacity Problem If Coronavirus Cases Spike Quickly

Missouri
Washington Post: County says a father ignored coronavirus quarantine directive. His lawyer says he was never told.

New York
New York Times (Opinion): It Took Me 3 E.R. Visits to Get a Coronavirus Test in New York
Washington Post: Schools close, National Guard deployed to help New York suburb stem spread of coronavirus

Ohio
Wall Street Journal: Ohio Governor Calls on Sports to Bar Spectators Amid Coronavirus Fears

Texas
Texas Tribune: 5 million Texans lack health insurance. Here’s how that complicates the coronavirus response.
Washington Post: Texas braces for more coronavirus evacuees from Grand Princess, with residents ‘mad and scared’

Washington
Seattle Times: Gov. Inslee to restrict gatherings of more than 250 people, including sports and concerts
Seattle Times: Amazon to grant $5 million to small businesses near its headquarters struggling due to coronavirus
Stat: U.S. communities are braced for coronavirus outbreaks. Seattle is already in the thick of it
Talking Points Memo: Why Washington State Is Desperate For Trump To Declare A COVID-19 Emergency

Washington, DC
Stat: PhRMA closes its D.C. headquarters after visitor tests positive for coronavirus
Washington Post: For Georgetown churchgoers, a coronavirus self-quarantine is embraced as necessary
Washingtonian: It’s Time for Everybody to Work From Home, the Washington Post Tells Employees

Trump Tweets
“Our CoronaVirus Team has been doing a great job. Even Democrat governors have been VERY complimentary!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/10/20]

“Nancy Pelosi just said, “I don’t know if we can be ready this week.” In other words, it’s off to vacation for the Do Nothing Democrats. That’s been the story with them for 1 1/2 years!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/10/20]

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 10, 2020

Driving the Day: As reported by Politico, “HHS Secretary Alex Azar can’t say how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus because private labs don’t need to report their numbers to the federal government. ‘I could not give you a number of how many Americans have received a test,’ Azar said Monday at a briefing of the White House’s coronavirus task force.’”

What to Watch For: President Trump announced Monday evening that he will hold a press conference after meeting with GOP senators on an economic stimulus package today, however this does not appear on his official schedule for the day. Vice President Pence will meet with health insurance executives today. Members of the task force will hold a press briefing at 5:30 PM. HHS Secretary Alex Azar will attend a biosimilars forum and give an update on the administration’s coronavirus response.

Coronavirus Update 

  • While the stock market fell more than 7 percent in its worst day since 2008, Trump and Pence tried to “re-assure GOP donors that they have coronavirus response under control” and invited Wall Street executives to the White House on Wednesday to discuss the response. On Monday, Trump attended a $4 million fundraiser in Longwood, Florida before returning to Washington to address the crisis. In the Senate, Senator Chuck Grassley said his office was exploring “the possibility of targeted tax relief measures” as an approach to the coronavirus crisis and HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that “the fundamentals in this economy are unbelievable”

  • In an evening task force press conference President Trump briefly appeared to announce that his administration will meet with Republican Senators tomorrow to seek a payroll tax cut and possible help for hourly wage earners so they don’t miss a paycheck or “get penalized for something that’s not their fault.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said any payroll tax cut should focus on families affected by the virus and Republicans have indicated that they won’t support a bailout for the travel industry at this time.

  • As President Trump tweeted that “nothing is shut down” and minimized the number of cases of coronavirus in the country, Alex Azar appeared on Fox News insisting that “nobody is trying to minimize” the threat of the virus. On the tarmac in Orlando, Trump shook hands with dozens of supporters, defying advice from his own public health experts and the Trump campaign plans to announce an upcoming rally today. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham insisted that White House staff are continuing “business as usual” and that reports that staff were instructed to limit meetings and in-person interactions were “completely false.”

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) announced that they would self-quarantine after coming in contact with a coronavirus patient at CPAC. Both Gaetz and Collins have had close contact with Trump, including handshakes in the last few days. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has chosen not to self-quarantine despite being in close proximity to the patient at CPAC. Newly minted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is self-quarantining for a few days out of an abundance of caution following an encounter with the CPAC patient and a negative test result and Rep. Julia Brownly (D-CA) is working remotely after meeting with a person in DC who was diagnosed with coronavirus. Nancy Pelosi is insisting that the capitol will not be closed and regular congressional work will continue. Late Monday night, the White House announced that the president has not been tested for coronavirus because he has not had “prolonged close contact” with any known confirmed patients.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show to praise the president’s response to the coronavirus crisis, which he referred to as the “Chinese coronavirus. According to McCarthy, “Everything this president has done is right and smart. The Chinese are the ones to be blamed here.” This came amid reports that some Trump allies see the crisis as an opportunity to pursue long-held goals of cracking down on border restrictions, passing more tax cuts and restricting trade with China.

By The Numbers
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 729
Number of US deaths: 26
Number of states with confirmed cases: 36
Number of tests conducted: Unknown

Federal Response
Axios: Poll: America’s partisan divides extend to the coronavirus
Bloomberg: Business Groups to Press Trump for Virus Response to Curb Damage
Bloomberg: Trump’s Virus Aid Package to Leave Out Travel Industry for Now
Business Insider: One chart shows how many coronavirus tests per capita have been completed in 8 countries. The US is woefully behind.
CNN: Trump administration clashes with airline officials over coronavirus
New York Times: Trump Floats Economic Stimulus in Response to Coronavirus
New York Times (Editorial): What the Economy Needs From President Trump
McClatchy: As Trump seeks help for cruise industry hit by coronavirus, Republicans say no bailout
Miami Herald: Trump administration orders immigration courts to immediately remove coronavirus posters
Politico: Trump’s health secretary can’t say how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus
Politico: Health secretary pushes cruise ship shutdown amid coronavirus crisis
Politico: In crisis, Trump team sees a chance to achieve long-sought goals
Wall Street Journal: Trump, White House Officials to Weigh Coronavirus Economic Response Plan
Washington Post: Trump says he will seek payroll tax cut, relief for hourly workers as part of coronavirus economic package
Washington Post: Securities and Exchange Commission asks D.C. employees to work from home after coronavirus scare
Washington Post: White House invites top Wall Street executives to meet amid economic fallout from coronavirus
Washington Post (Opinion): It’s now or never for the U.S. if it hopes to keep coronavirus from burning out of control

Leadership
Associated Press: Trump talks down virus as his properties face possible hit
Axios: Pence urged Netanyahu not to target U.S. with coronavirus quarantine, but “go global”
Daily Beast: White House Staff Fear for Trump’s Health After Handshake With Man Exposed to Coronavirus, Says Report
Daily Beast: Trump Works Rope Line, Shakes Supporters’ Hands Amid Coronavirus Fears
CNBC: Trump and Pence try to reassure GOP donors they have coronavirus response under control
CNN: As coronavirus gains a foothold in the nation, it’s business as usual for Trump
HuffPost: Trump Can Keep Lying About Coronavirus, But He Won’t Be Able To Hide The Deaths
Los Angeles Times: Trump, who tied himself to stock market when it rose, struggles to respond to its plunge
New York Times (Opinion): President Trump Is Unfit for This Crisis. Period.
Politico: White House points fingers as it plots coronavirus stimulus
Politico: Trump’s life during coronavirus: Business as usual
Talking Points Memo: Minimizing Coronavirus Risk, Trump Compares Disease (Again) To Seasonal Flu
Time: The Trump Administration Is Stalling an Intel Report That Warns the U.S. Isn’t Ready for a Global Pandemic
Vanity Fair: “He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This”: Trump, Germaphobe In Chief, Struggles To Control The Covid-19 Story
Washington Post (Analysis): Highlighting low numbers of coronavirus cases, Trump distracts from the worrying trend
Washington Post (Opinion): The coronavirus is Trump’s Chernobyl
Washington Post (Analysis): The Trump administration has contradicted itself on coronavirus no fewer than 14 times in less than a month
Washington Post: From tweet eruptions to economic steps, Trump struggles for calm amid market meltdown and coronavirus crisis

Congressional Activity
New York Times: Coronavirus Brings a New Legislative Push for Paid Sick Leave
Politico: Republicans who came in contact with Trump self-quarantine
Politico: Hill leaders struggle with twin coronavirus challenges: Protect the nation — and themselves
Politico: Coronavirus gets real for an aging Senate
Wall Street Journal: Number of Congressional Lawmakers in Self-Quarantine Due to Coronavirus Climbs to Five

Affordability and Access
Bloomberg: Darden Restaurants Announces Paid Sick Leave for Hourly Workers
New York Times: Paid to Stay Home: Europe’s Safety Net Could Ease Toll of Coronavirus
New York Times: Some Hospitals Are Close to Running Out of Crucial Masks for Coronavirus
New York Times (Opinion): Protect Caregivers From Coronavirus
Politico: Hospitals gird for coronavirus surge after years of cutbacks
San Francisco Chronicle: Coronavirus will hit low-wage workers hardest; ‘I won’t be able to pay my rent’
Time: Americans Are Being Encouraged to Work From Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak. For Millions, That’s Impossible
USA Today: Soap and sanitizer can keep coronavirus at bay, but many prisoners can’t get them
Washington Post: Living without a living wage
Washington Post: Companies are putting out hand sanitizer. But for years, many have campaigned against sick pay.

Campaigns and Elections
New York Times: Trump Campaign Postpones Bus Tour as He Plays Down Risks of Coronavirus
Politico: Melania Trump cancels California fundraiser
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Precautions Hit Presidential Campaign Plans
Washington Post: Coronavirus threatens to pose an unprecedented challenge to the 2020 elections

Economic Impacts
Axios: The next dominoes in the coronavirus economy
New York Times: Why the Outlook for the Economy Just Got Worse
New York Times: Economy Faces ‘Tornado-Like Headwind’ as Financial Markets Spiral
San Jose Mercury News: Coronavirus: Famed Silicon Valley VC firm tells companies to think about cutting jobs
Vox: Coronavirus’s threat to the global economy — and what to do about it
Wall Street Journal: Global Fear of Flying Spawns Crisis for Airlines
Wall Street Journal: Stocks Fall More Than 7% in Dow’s Worst Day Since 2008
Washington Post (Analysis): The markets are sending a message about coronavirus: The recession risk is real.
Washington Post: Cruise industry, an economic engine in Florida, could be hit hard by coronavirus advisories

In The States
California
San Francisco Chronicle: ‘I’m scared’: Homeless people and health workers brace for coronavirus to hit encampments
San Jose Mercury News: Following coronavirus death, Santa Clara County bans all large gatherings

Florida
Bloomberg: ‘If We Sanitize, It Will Be Fine’: Cruise Fans Ignore U.S. Alert
Tampa Bay Times: Florida asks international travelers to quarantine for 14 days amid coronavirus fears

Massachusetts
Washington Post: A look inside coronavirus preparations at a major U.S. hospital

New York
The Hill: Cuomo challenges Purell, Amazon, eBay by introducing New York-made hand sanitizer
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: Confusion Over Quarantine Feeds Anxiety

Oregon
Oregonian: Oregon’s supply of coronavirus tests could run out Wednesday without infusion of kits from feds

Washington
Bloomberg: Seattle’s Patient Zero Spread Coronavirus Despite Ebola-Style Lockdown

Washington, DC
Washingtonian: DC Outlets Ask Reporters Who Covered CPAC to Self-Quarantine Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Trump Tweets
“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“So much FAKE NEWS!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“The BEST decision made was the toughest of them all – which saved many lives. Our VERY early decision to stop travel to and from certain parts of the world!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

“Great job being done by the @VP and the CoronaVirus Task Force. Thank you!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20]

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 9, 2020

Driving the Day: Over the weekend the New York Times, the Washington Post and POLITICO ran stories on the profound disarray in the administration’s response and how it’s left America at risk.

What to Watch For: After spending Sunday golfing with members of the Washington Nationals, today President Trump will attend campaign fundraisers in Florida for the second time in three days and return to Washington, DC in the afternoon. As of now Trump has no coronavirus-related events scheduled this week. The vice president will hold a conference call with governors on coronavirus and will brief the press with the task force at 5:30 PM. Bernie Sanders is holding a coronavirus-focused public health roundtable in Detroit.

Coronavirus Update

  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson appeared on ABC’s This Week and said the administration was “still coming up with” a plan to safely treat and evacuate the 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess, which is scheduled to dock in Oakland tomorrow. Carson also assured viewers that “there’s no reason you shouldn’t go” to Trump rallies during the outbreak.

  • On Meet the Press, Anthony Fauci said the administration was moving to “mitigation” strategies, including social distancing and said the administration now has a “better sense” of what’s happening and it’s “not encouraging.” On Fox News Sunday, Fauci said that he has insisted that passengers should “absolutely not” be held aboard the ship for quarantine and urged older Americans not to go on cruises.

  • Surgeon General Jerome Adams appeared on ABC’s This Week and praised President Trump saying, that he “sleeps less than I do and he’s healthier than what I am.” Adams was unable to give an answer to the question of how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus. The Surgeon General later tweeted to urge employers to offer flexibility and paid leave for their staff.

  • Sunday night Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that after shaking hands with someone diagnosed with coronavirus at CPAC he wlll self quarantine in Texas. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) announced that he and three members of his senior staff are also self-quarantining. While at CPAC numerous members of the administration, including the president, downplayed the risks and impacts of coronavirus. NBC News reported that members of Congress are increasingly concerned about the virus and there is growing pressure on leadership to take steps to protect them, including a potentially extended recess.

  • House and Senate Democrats called for a set of economic policy changes, including paid sick leave, to protect working Americans and those put at severe economic risk from coronavirus.

Federal Preparedness
The Atlantic (Ideas): The U.S. Isn’t Ready for What’s About to Happen
The Atlantic: What Could Happen if the Coronavirus Closed Schools for Days, Weeks, or Even Months
Bloomberg: U.S. Moves From Containment to Preparing for Daily Disruptions
Bloomberg: Trump Virus Adviser Is a Rarity in White House Ruled by Loyalty
Bloomberg: Fauci Says Sense on Coronavirus Scope Is ‘Not Encouraging’
Bloomberg: Trump’s Aides Drafting Economic Measures to Combat Virus Fallout
HuffPost: The Coronavirus Outbreak Is About To Put Hospital Capacity To A Severe Test
Kaiser Health News: Surging Health Care Worker Quarantines Raise Concerns As Coronavirus Spreads
Los Angeles Times: ‘We’re past the point of containment’: Coronavirus fight enters new phase
Miami Herald: State Department warns against traveling by cruise ship during coronavirus outbreak
New York Times: Not His First Epidemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci Sticks to the Facts
New York Times: U.S. Health Experts Say Stricter Measures Are Required to Limit Coronavirus’s Spread
Politico: Top health official to older Americans: ‘Don’t get on a cruise ship’
Politico: Health officials shift tone on coronavirus, say elderly and sick at risk
Talking Points Memo: Surgeon General On Admin’s Coronavirus Rhetoric: ‘Messaging Is Hard’
Vox: The Trump administration doesn’t yet have a plan to handle Grand Princess coronavirus cases, officials say
Washington Post: Health agencies’ funding cuts challenge coronavirus response
Washington Post: With global economy in balance, the White House and Fed are at odds over how to help

Affordability and Access
New York Times (Editorial): With Coronavirus, ‘Health Care for Some’ Is a Recipe for Disaster
New York Times: Coronavirus Highlights the Pitfalls of Health Deductibles
Popular Information: Free breadsticks during a coronavirus outbreak
Slate (Opinion): Medicaid for All Who Face the Coronavirus

Leadership
Daily Beast: Surgeon General to Jake Tapper: Trump Is ‘Healthier’ Than I Am
New York Times: State Dept. Tells Americans to Avoid Cruise Ships, Despite Trump’s Misgivings
New York Times (Opinion): Trump, His Eye on the Border, Overlooked the Coronavirus Threat
New York Times (Analysis): For Trump, Coronavirus Proves to Be an Enemy He Can’t Tweet Away
New Yorker (Comment): Trump in the Time of the Coronavirus
Slate: Trump Plays Golf While Coronavirus Cases Surge
Washington Examiner (Opinion): Coronavirus is exposing Trump’s unsuitability to handle a crisis
Washington Post: Coronavirus case at CPAC brings outbreak closer to Trump, threatening to upend his routine amid reelection bid
Washington Post (Analysis): After stopping at the CDC on his way to Mar-a-Lago, Trump heads to the golf course two days in a row

Congressional Activity
Axios: Ted Cruz to self-quarantine after contact with coronavirus patient
KAFF: Congressman Paul Gosar Says He Will Stay In Arizona After COVID-19 Scare At CPAC
NBC: Anxiety in an aging Congress as coronavirus marches across U.S.

Economic Impacts
Bloomberg: Apple’s Cook Offers Work From Home This Week to Many Global Employees
CNBC: Dow set to tank 1,300 points, Treasury yields crater as oil crashes amid all-out price war
New York Times: Surge of Virus Misinformation Stumps Facebook and Twitter
Politico: America’s workers face an outbreak of uncertainty

In The States
California
New York Times: Failures on the Diamond Princess Shadow Another Cruise Ship Outbreak

Kansas
Kansas City Star: As coronavirus arrives, Kansas confronts history of underfunding public health

New Jersey
Politico: CDC has yet to confirm any of New Jersey’s 6 presumed coronavirus cases

New York
Bloomberg: New York Coronavirus Test Delays Meant Days Without Diagnosis
Bloomberg: De Blasio Expects Hundreds of New NYC Cases in Coming Weeks
New York Post: FDNY issues order pulling back firefighters from calls describing coronavirus symptoms; says it is prioritizing responses
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: Cuomo Attacks C.D.C. Over Delays in Testing

Washington
CNN: This nursing home is at the center of Washington’s coronavirus. Here’s what one first responder saw there
Seattle Times: Mourning losses and unsure of what’s to come, Seattle area watches warily as coronavirus spreads

Washington, DC
Washington Post: D.C.’s first coronavirus case is church rector; Virginia has second presumptive case, bringing region’s total to 7

Trump Tweets

“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, ‘The risk is low to the average American.’” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/9/20] “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/8/20]

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 6, 2020

Driving the Day: Vice President Pence admitted the administration’s response is inadequate, saying that there are not enough tests available stating, “We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.”

What to Watch For: The president will sign the emergency funding bill today. Trump was scheduled to visit the CDC in Atlanta today, but the trip has been canceled because, “The CDC has been proactive and prepared since the very beginning and the President does not want to interfere with the CDC’s mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency.” Instead, Trump will visit the scene of the deadly tornadoes in Nashville and attend a campaign fundraiser in Palm Beach. Trump was scheduled to address the HIMSS health technology conference in Orlando next week, but the conference has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

The coronavirus task force will brief the press at 5:00 today. Over the weekend Mike Pence will meet with leaders in the cruise industry. Dr. Anthony Fauci will appear on Fox News Sunday.

Coronavirus Update 

  • At a Fox News town hall in Scranton, President Trump said there was a silver lining to coronavirus, which is that “People are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the US — and I like that.” This came amid reports of catastrophic losses for the domestic travel industry and panic buying by American consumers as well as another nearly 1,000 point loss in the stock market. Trump concluded “It’s all going to work out. Everybody needs to be calm. We have plans for every single possibility.”

  • On a trip to Washington state, Vice President Pence supported Trump’s dismissal of the WHO’s estimate of a 3.4% death rate from the virus saying, “I support the president’s judgement that we’re going to continue to learn more about this.” Appearing on CNN, Dr. Fauci also gave tempered support to Trump’s assertion, saying that “clearly” the death rate was lower than 3.4% but it was unknown how much lower. An anonymous administration official attempted to clean up Trump’s remarks on Hannity about sick people continuing to go to work, telling NPR that the president was referring to telework.

  • Trump admitted that he is ignoring CDC advice to stop shaking hands saying “there’s no nice way” not to do it. On a visit to Washington state, Pence used an “elbow bump” to safely greet participants in his briefing. On a visit to 3M in Minnesota, Vice President Pence urged healthy people not to buy or wear facemasks and reduce the supply available for those who really need them. This came less than 24 hours after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) facetiously wore a gas mask on the floor of the House while debating the coronavirus funding bill.

  • The Senate passed the emergency coronavirus spending bill 96-1, with Rand Paul voting no. During debate on the bill, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) continued to push the false narrative that the Grassley drug pricing bill would ensure that coronavirus drugs are affordable.

  • Questions about the affordability and availability of testing and treatment continued with Washington and California mandating that insurers waive copays and deductibles for testing and AHIP, the country’s largest health insurance trade group, announcing that its members will voluntarily cover all coronavirus tests. Vice President Pence admitted that there are not enough tests available saying, “We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.” A cruise ship with thousands of potentially ill passengers remains anchored off San Francisco as acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli and HHS Assistant Secretary Robert Kadlac testified that there is not sufficient quarantine and treatment capacity available to bring people ashore.

  • nurse at a Kaiser hospital in northern California has come forward to say that she is currently in quarantine after treating a coronavirus patient and being denied testing by the CDC even though her doctor and county public health provider have ordered it. In response, a CDC spokesperson said they were unaware of the nurses case but would “recommend a health care worker who had contact with a confirmed case and then became ill be tested.” A Vice reporter said she returned from a reporting trip to the epicenter of Italy’s outbreak and was asked no questions at US customs at JFK about where she had been or if she had had contact with sick people. Anthony Fauci appeared on CNN’s New Day on Friday morning to say that virus screening got off to “a slow start” and there were some “missteps” with regard to the CDC’s test, but the problems have now been addressed.

Federal Preparedness
Axios: We should have seen the coronavirus coming
CNN: Pence admits ‘we don’t have enough tests’ to meet demands as delay in coronavirus testing persists
CNN: DHS denies 241 people entry at US ports and airports over coronavirus
Bloomberg: U.S. to Miss Rollout Goal This Week on Virus Tests, Senators Say
Bloomberg: The Search for New Drugs for Coronavirus Faces Long Odds
Kaiser Health News: During A Pandemic, States’ Patchwork Of Crisis Plans Could Mean Uneven Care 
Kaiser Health News: Blood Drives — And Donors — Fall Off As Coronavirus Worries Grow
NBC News: Officials Say Coronavirus Tests Are Here. Where Are They?
NBC News: Scientists were close to a coronavirus vaccine years ago. Then the money dried up.
New York Times: Nursing Homes Are Starkly Vulnerable To Coronavirus
Politico: Nursing homes inspectors to focus on preventing infections, CMS says
Politico: Squabble over mask shortage erupts as coronavirus spreads
Time: ‘Doomed from the Start.’ Experts Say the Trump Administration’s Coronavirus Response Was Never Going to Work
Washington Post: Expanded Coronavirus Testing May Overwhelm Lab Capacity, Say Some Experts
Washington Post: Sick cruise passengers await coronavirus test results at sea as officials debate quarantine
Washington Post: This regulation could protect health-care workers from the coronavirus. It hangs in limbo.
Washington Post: State Department blames ‘swarms of online, false personas’ from Russia for wave of coronavirus misinformation online

Affordability
Data for Progress: Voters Support Capping the Cost of the Coronavirus Vaccine
The Hill: Coronavirus testing could cost some patients extra
Huff Post: How The Government Could Make Coronavirus Treatment Affordable
New York Times: The Rich Are Preparing for Coronavirus Differently
Politico: Insurers promise to cover coronavirus tests, relax coverage policies
Politico: How the drug industry got its way on the coronavirus
Wall Street Journal: States, Insurers Move to Limit Coronavirus Testing Costs for Patients

Leadership
Huff Post: Amid A Global Crisis, Trump Keeps Lying And Misleading About Pretty Much Everything
Mother Jones: Here Are 17 Ways the Trump Administration Bungled Its Coronavirus Response
NPR: Trump’s Gut Collides With Science On Coronavirus Messaging
Politico: White House sidelines Azar from coronavirus response
Politico: Trump’s coronavirus musings put scientists on edge
Politico: A presidency of two for coronavirus: Trump hands his sidekick the job of a savior
Politico: The coronavirus is a globalist. Here are 5 ways that’s a problem for Trump.
Talking Points Memo: Trump Tries To Downplay Coronavirus Death Rate, Claims Virus Is ‘Not That Severe’
Talking Points Memo: The Trump Coronavirus Team Keeps Falsely Blaming Obama For Testing Disaster
Vox: “This is just my hunch”: Trump goes on Fox News and spreads misinformation about the coronavirus
Washington Post: Trump’s Inaccurate Coronavirus Vaccine Timeline
Washington Post: The Trump administration’s greatest obstacle to sending a clear message on coronavirus may be Trump himself
Washington Post (Analysis): Trump’s habit of fudging inconvenient numbers enters dangerous territory

Congressional Activity
The Hill: Congressional Leaders Downplay Possibility Of Capitol Closing Due To Coronavirus 
NBC: Senate passes $8.3 billion emergency bill to combat coronavirus
Politico: 6 things to know about the coronavirus funding package
Roll Call: Congressional leaders talk contingency plans for coronavirus on Capitol Hill

Economic Impacts
Axios: Southwest Airlines CEO compares coronavirus travel declines to post-9/11
Bloomberg: Airline Warnings Show Coronavirus’s Sudden Risk to U.S. Travel
Bloomberg: Costco’s February Sales Boosted by Surge in Virus-Fueled Demand
Buzzfeed: Uber Finally Told Its Drivers What To Do About Coronavirus: Wash Their Hands
CNN: ‘This is a crisis.’ Airlines face $113 billion hit from the coronavirus
Kaiser Health News: With Coronavirus Lurking, Conferences Wrestle With Whether To Cancel
USA Today: Coronavirus: Working At An Airport Without Health Insurance
Wall Street Journal: Amazon Dogged by Price Gouging as Coronavirus Fears Grow
Washington Post: U.S. markets tank as coronavirus outlook worsens

Opinion And Analysis
Crooked Media: Joe Biden, Republicans and Coronavirus
New York Times (Opinion): Trump’s Calamitous Coronavirus Response
New York Times (Opinion): When Coronavirus Quarantine Is Class Warfare
Playboy: COVID-19, Libel Lawsuits and the Search for Answers at the White House
ProPublica: I Lived Through SARS and Reported on Ebola. These Are the Questions We Should Be Asking About Coronavirus.
Wall Street Journal (Opinion): The Case for a Big Coronavirus Stimulus
Washington Post (Outlook): Testing for the coronavirus might have stopped it. Now it’s too late.

In The States

California
Los Angeles Times: On Grand Princess, confusion, missteps reigned as coronavirus spread, passengers say
New York Times: California Reports First Coronavirus Death As Symptoms Swirl On Cruise Ship
Sacramento Bee: California directs some health insurers to waive co-pays, deductibles for coronavirus tests

Maryland
Baltimore Sun: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Wants To Tap Millions Of Dollars In Emergency Funds To Prepare For Coronavirus
Politico: Maryland declares state of emergency as 3 coronavirus cases confirmed

Massachusetts
Boston Globe: Biogen employees test positive for coronavirus as third case is announced in Mass.
WBUR: Gov. Baker Urges Schools, Colleges To Cancel International Travel Due To Coronavirus Concerns

New York
New York Times: After Family Gets Coronavirus, New York Suburb Is Gripped by Anxiety
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: 2,733 People Are Under Quarantines in City

North Carolina
Charlotte Observer: Contacts Of NC Coronavirus Patient Under Voluntary Quarantine
North Carolina Health News: Officials Say Get Ready For Coronavirus

Tennessee
WTVF: Gov. Bill Lee announces first confirmed case of coronavirus in Williamson County

Texas
Dallas Morning News: Houston-Area Man May Be First Texas Case Of Coronavirus Outside Quarantine

Washington
NPR: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft Tell Seattle Workers To Stay Home
New York Times: ‘We Anticipate She Has the Coronavirus. We Do Not Anticipate Her Fighting This.’
Reuters: Washington State Urges Patience As Covid-19 Test Delays Stoke Anger

Trump Tweets

“Gallup just gave us the highest rating ever for the way we are handling the CoronaVirus situation. The April 2009-10 Swine Flu, where nearly 13,000 people died in the U.S., was poorly handled. Ask MSDNC & lightweight Washington failure @RonaldKlain, who the President was then?” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/5/20]

“With approximately 100,000 CoronaVirus cases worldwide, and 3,280 deaths, the United States, because of quick action on closing our borders, has, as of now, only 129 cases (40 Americans brought in) and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/5/20]

“I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats, in particular MSDNC. Comcast covers the CoronaVirus situation horribly, only looking to do harm to the incredible & successful effort being made!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/5/20]

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 5, 2020

Driving the Day: On a press call today with Senator Chris Murphy, Protect Our Care will unveil a new poll from PPP showing that voters are very concerned about the spread of coronavirus and strongly disapprove of the Trump administration’s response.

  • Trump’s handling of the coronavirus could threaten his reelection. By a 20-point margin, voters say his administration’s handling of the virus makes them less likely to vote for him this fall. Independents say they’re less likely to vote for Trump by 32 points because of how he’s dealt with this issue.

  • Only 37% of voters agree with Trump’s assessment that his administration is doing a “great job” dealing with the coronavirus, while 53% disagree.

What to Watch For: Today, the president will travel to Scranton, PA for a Fox News town hall at 6:30 PM. The vice president will travel to Minnesota to talk with 3M about increasing manufacture of face masks and protective gear. He will also travel to Washington state to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee address coronavirus response there. CNN will hold a “coronavirus town hall” beginning at 10:00 PM.

Coronavirus Update

  • At a meeting with airline executives, President Trump blamed the Obama administration for difficulties with the coronavirus test saying, “The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing & we undid that decision a few days ago so that testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.”

  • Vice President Pence attempted to clarify that Trump was referring to the fact that “the last administration asserted FDA jurisdiction over testing,” but experts pointed out that the the “regulatory jurisdiction” over lab tests being criticized by Trump was actually a draft guidance and not a regulation, and former Obama White House Ebola Czar Ron Klain responded, “Wasn’t a problem in rolling out massive Ebola testing program in 2014. if Trump people couldn’t manage, why didn’t they fix it 3 months ago?” Barack Obama then tweeted about the outbreak for the first time urging his followers to “Protect yourself and your community from coronavirus with common sense precautions: wash your hands, stay home when sick and listen to the @CDCgov and local health authorities. Save the masks for health care workers. Let’s stay calm, listen to the experts, and follow the science.”

  • At the airline meeting, Trump also hailed the “positive impact” of the virus, which he said meant that “People are staying in our country and they’re shopping and they’re using our hotels in this country.” In reality, the outbreak is “devastating” the domestic conference travel industry and Americans are reducing their shopping trips. At least nine people in the US have died from the virus.

  • On Wednesday night Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News and provided dangerously incorrect information to the roughly 3.5 million viewers of the show. Trump said he believed WHO estimates of the coronavirus death rate are “false” and that based on his “hunch,” he believes the actual number is “way under 1%.” Trump then said “a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild” and implied that it was all right for people to continue to go to work while sick, directly contradicting directives from the CDC and state and local public health authorities.

  • Pence met with nursing home executives and said new inspection procedures would be announced to detect and contain coronavirus. This followed an NBC report that detailed the Trump administration’s attempted rollback of nursing home regulations that could put residents at risk.

  • Pence confirmed an announcement from Seema Verma that coronavirus testing has been named an “essential health benefit” that will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. This benefit will only apply to ACA-compliant plans, which does not include short term “junk” plans that the Trump administration has greatly expanded access to. EHBs also do not apply to self-funded plans offered by large corporations and unions. Republican plans to repeal the ACA and the Texas lawsuit now before the Supreme Court would eliminate EHBs all together.

  • Pence and members of the task force did not respond to questions at their daily briefing about testing for the uninsured, but the vice president’s spokesperson, Katie Miller, said that testing has been provided for free to state labs. She did not address whether commercial testing would be provided for uninsured patients. The CEO of Moderna, the biotech company working on a vaccine, committed to pricing the product in line with other vaccines that prevent respiratory infections, but declined to give an exact price.

  • The House and Senate reached a deal on an $8.3 billion coronavirus funding bill. The bill leaves it up to the HHS Secretary to ensure that the commercial price of vaccines is affordable while providing $300 million for HHS to buy vaccines for the poor, and contains no offsets. The funding bill passed the House 415-2 with Ken Buck (R-CO) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) voting no. During debate over the funding bill, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wore a gas mask on the House floor, in contravention of CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of the virus. Hours later the CDC director again urged members of the public not to buy respirator masks so that they will be available for health professionals.

Federal Preparedness
ABC News: Democratic Lawmaker On HHS Memo Linked To Whistleblower Complaint: ‘Totally Insufficient’
Associated Press: Frustration Rising Over Lack Of Access To Coronavirus Tests
Associated Press: San Antonio: CDC Planned To Drop Cruise Passengers At Mall
CNN: As US Coronavirus Death Toll Rises, CDC Says Communities Should Start Thinking About Ways To Stop Its Spread
Bloomberg: Feverish Americans Sweat It as Virus Testing Expands Slowly
Bloomberg: Some VA Stockpiles of Protective Medical Masks Aren’t Usable
Daily Beast: A U.S. Embassy Refused to Test Exposed Staff for Coronavirus
The Hill: Cicilline Urges CDC Chief To Alert States Of Travelers From Any Countries With Coronavirus
The Hill: Trump administration issues new guidance for nursing homes to combat coronavirus
HuffPost: Coronavirus Reveals A Gaping Hole In U.S. Workplace Safety Law
Kaiser Health News: Coronavirus Stress Test: Many 5-Star Nursing Homes Have Infection-Control Lapses
New York Times: Coronavirus Testing Offered With Just a Doctor’s Approval, C.D.C. Says
PBS NewsHour: With Novel Coronavirus Deaths Rising, Health Officials Face Grilling On Capitol Hill
Politico: Widespread Coronavirus Testing Could Still Be Weeks Away
Wall Street Journal: For Travelers Returning From Coronavirus Hot Spots, Little Clarity On Quarantining

Affordability
Bloomberg: Pharma’s Virus Response May Impact Trump’s Drug Pricing Plans
Business Insider: The CEO of the buzzy biotech that’s working on a potential coronavirus vaccine just pledged he won’t set a high price for the shot
New York Times (Editorial): Best Treatment for the Coronavirus? Paid Sick Leave
New York Times: Waive Fees For Coronavirus Tests And Treatment, Health Experts Urge
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Response Plan Exposes Vulnerabilities in U.S. Health-Care System
Washington Post: As coronavirus spreads, the people who prepare your food probably don’t have paid sick leave

Leadership
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus hits critical moment in U.S.: Obama, Trump urge Americans to remain calm
Associated Press: A Disconnect Between Trump And Health Officials On Virus
Bloomberg: Trump Blames Obama Decision for Coronavirus Test Kit Shortage
CNN (Analysis): Coronavirus tests Trump’s credibility gap
The Hill: Pence pressed over coronavirus response in testy Senate briefing
HuffPost: Amid A Global Crisis, Trump Keeps Lying And Misleading About Pretty Much Everything
New York Times: Trump Makes Room For Experts, But Still Takes A Leading Role On Coronavirus
New York Times: Criticized for Coronavirus Response, Trump Points to Obama Administration
Politico: Trump launches an urgent fight to save his ticket to reelection
Politico: A few months? Trump’s vaccine hyperbole complicates coronavirus message
Vox: Trump donated $100,000 of his salary to fight coronavirus. He’s made much more than that off the presidency.

Congressional Activity
Politico: House swiftly passes bipartisan $8.3B coronavirus package
Buzzfeed: Senators Insist They Will Be Fine During A Coronavirus Outbreak And Won’t Need To Shut Down Congress
CNN: Rep. Matt Gaetz wears gas mask on House floor during vote on coronavirus response package

Economic Impacts
Axios: United Airlines cutting April flights amid coronavirus fears
Axios: The emerging coronavirus economy
Buzzfeed: Etsy Is Removing Coronavirus-Themed Merchandise
CBS News: Coronavirus Fears Shadow This Year’s March Madness Tournament
CNN: Oil consumption just fell off a cliff. OPEC is facing a huge test
CNN: Starbucks forced to halt the use of personal cups at its stores because of coronavirus
Financial Times: US companies tell Fed coronavirus has hit manufacturing, tourism
The Hill: Poll: Coronavirus Fears Dampen Sentiment About The Economy
The Hill: Facebook To Give ‘WHO As Many Free Ads As They Need’ For Coronavirus Response
Hollywood Reporter: ‘No Time To Die’ Release Delayed Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
New York Times: Sick Workers and Spooked Customers: Coronavirus Threatens Small Businesses
Vice: Coronavirus Porn Is Going Viral on Pornhub
Wall Street Journal: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: Coronavirus Is ‘Going to Affect the Next Year’
Wall Street Journal: Stocks Jump on Virus Spending, Biden Wins
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Is Devastating The Conference Circuit
Washington Post: Purell prices are spiking on Amazon, as sanitizer speculation becomes a cottage industry
Washingtonian: The Washington Post Cancels Nonessential Travel Over Coronavirus Concerns

Opinion And Analysis
The Atlantic (Ideas): The Coronavirus Is Exposing the Limits of Populism
Foreign Affairs (Opinion): Pandemic Disease Is a Threat to National Security
Talking Points Memo (Opinion): The Best Way To Keep Big Pharma Interests Out Of Coronavirus Response Is To Ditch Azar
Time (Ideas): Want a Coronavirus Vaccine, Fast? Here’s a Solution
Wall Street Journal (Opinion): Covid-19 May Have You Working At Home

In The States
California
The Hill: Emergency declared in Los Angeles area after 6 new coronavirus cases reported
KNBC: New Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in West Los Angeles
KRON: Grand Princess cruise to return to San Francisco early as CDC investigates ‘small cluster’ of coronavirus cases linked to ship
Los Angeles Times: Santa Clara Advises Seniors To Avoid Large Gatherings As Two New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed
Los Angeles Times: Battling Coronavirus, California Distributing Millions Of Face Masks To Healthcare Providers
NBC: Medical screener at LAX airport tests positive for coronavirus
USA Today: First Californian to die from coronavirus likely caught it on cruise ship, health officials say

Florida
Tampa Bay Times: Coronavirus tests DeSantis’ pick for Florida surgeon general

Georgia
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Coronavirus to test Georgia’s chronic health gaps

Iowa
Des Moines Register: Coronavirus: Iowans Already Feeling Virus’ Effect In Business, Travel

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Public Radio: 2nd Person Tests Positive For Novel Coronavirus In N.H.

New York
New York Times: Coronavirus In N.Y.: Second Case Sets Off Search For Others Exposed
NBC News: Coronavirus Forces New York City Subways, Trains To Clean Up Their Act
Washington Post: How coronavirus spread in New York: From a man to his family. Then a neighbor. Then friends.

North Carolina
North Carolina Health News: Coronavirus Confirmed In North Carolina

Texas
Associated Press: San Antonio: CDC Planned To Drop Cruise Passengers At Mall

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — MARCH 4, 2020

Driving the Day: Axios highlighted how “the coronavirus may soon become a high-stakes reminder of the flaws in the U.S. health care system” especially for the nearly 28 million Americans who don’t have insurance. In fact, the number of uninsured Americans has gone up by 7 million people during Trump’s presidency, but that seemed to be news to him, just like this inevitable crisis. The president said yesterday, “they have a big problem and we’re going to look at the uninsured people that, you know, this came out as a surprise to all of us. It just happened. It shows what can happen in life … [we’re gonna] see if we can help them out.” Seema Verma and Vice President Pence declined to say what was being done for people without insurance.

What to Watch For: Vice President Pence and the coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 5:30 PM. At yesterday’s briefing the press was not permitted to audio or video record. The House is scheduled to vote on a coronavirus funding package as soon as today while the Senate remains stalled over vaccine cost issues.

Coronavirus Update 

  • In a speech to the National Association of Counties, President Trump took credit for asking pharma executives to, “do me a favor” and “speed up” development of a coronavirus vaccine. Trump continued to assert that the outbreak was a total surprise “Six weeks ago, eight weeks ago, you never heard of this. All of a sudden it’s got the world aflutter….things happen that you never would even think would happen.” The White House announced that Trump will donate his Q4 2019 salary of $100,000 to coronavirus efforts at HHS and was lavishly praised by Alex Azar for “his leadership and commitment to protecting the American people.”

  • In testimony before the Senate HELP Committee, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn walked back his controversial claim that one million coronavirus test kits would be ready by the end of the week and said that only “up to a million” tests would be ready. In the same hearing, HHS’s recenty named coronavirus coordinator Robert Kadlec told Mitt Romney that U.S. will need 3.5 billion N95 respirator masks in the most severe scenario and currently has only 10 percent of what’s needed. A viral Twitter thread from a woman in Washington state detailed difficulties accessing testing and general confusion among public health authorities in the state and a report from CBS 4 Miami detailed similar problems in Florida. Politico reported that CDC officials denied entry to FDA scientist last month when he came to assist with problems with testing.

  • Concerns over insurance coverage and payment for coronavirus treatment and quarantine continue to grow as the Trump administration floated the idea of paying hospitals 110% of Medicare reimbursement rates to treat virus patients under a disaster recovery program. En route to his visit to NIH, Trump was asked what should be done about uninsured patients. He responded “We’re looking at that whole situation” and “There are many people without insurance, and we’re looking at that situation for those people.” Asked again at NIH how much money should go to hospitals for the uninsured, Trump said “We’re going to look at the uninsured, because they have a big problem. And we’re going to look at the uninsured people that, you know, this came as a surprise to all of us…It shows what can happen in life.” Even extreme conservative members of Congress such as Rep. Ted Yoho expressed support for “socialized medicine” to provide free treatment and testing for the virus.

  • At an afternoon press briefing, Seema Verma confirmed that Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance will cover coronavirus testing as a diagnostic test. Verma and Pence declined to say what was being done for people without insurance. A report from NBC detailed the ways in which Verma’s rollback of nursing home regulations may be putting residents at risk for coronavirus.

  • In the Senate, talks on a coronavirus funding package appear stalled over drug pricing language. Democrats want to ensure that any vaccine or treatment will be affordable for every American who needs it. Senator Bill Cassidy erroneously claimed that the Grassley-Wyden drug bill would make COVID-19 drugs affordable.

  • In the House, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, requested a staff-level briefing on HHS’ efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and plans to ensure all Americans can afford the treatment, after Azar in a letter to the Illinois Democrat vowed to work with the private sector to keep prices affordable. Rep. Donna Shalala encouraged the House Democrats not to aggressively go after Trump’s team: “We’ve got to give them some space. Everybody stumbles out of the block.”

  • President Trump has no coronavirus-specific events today. Vice President Pence will meet with airline executives at the White House. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 5:30 PM. The House and Senate will hold a meeting today on how to protect the Capitol from coronavirus. Members of Congress believe that the virus will affect them but are adamant that Congress will not shut down.

National Headlines
The Atlantic: The Official Coronavirus Numbers Are Wrong, and Everyone Knows It
Axios: Coronavirus could expose the worst parts of the U.S. health system
Bloomberg: It’s Too Late for U.S. to Fight Virus With Domestic Travel Curbs
Bloomberg: Virus Study Finds Most Risk Among Family, Less for Others
Daily Beast: Democrats Plan for Coronavirus Convention Chaos in Milwaukee
Daily Beast: U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Keep Climbing. So Do Fears of Spread.
Huffington Post: The Coronavirus Is Challenging What Our Politicians Think About ‘Medicare For All’
Kaiser Health News: Analysis: One Sure Thing About COVID-19: No Telling How Many People Have It
Mother Jones: Staying Safe from Coronavirus Is a Lot Harder If You Live on the Streets
NBC: ‘We simply do not understand why’: Coronavirus is sparing children, puzzling experts
New York Times: Why the Coronavirus Seems to Hit Men Harder Than Women
New York Times: ‘When Is It Going To End?’: Where Coronavirus Has Turned Deadly In The U.S.
New York Times: Waive Fees for Coronavirus Tests and Treatment, Health Experts Urge
Politico: Coronavirus emergency bill stalled over vaccine cost concerns
ProPublica: U.S. Hospitals Say They’re Ready for Coronavirus. Their Infection Control Violations Say Otherwise.
Roll Call: Coronavirus funding talks held up over drug price language
Stat: The coronavirus could help pharma reset its reputation in Washington
Wall Street Journal: Hospitals, Companies Race to Develop Tests to Spot Coronavirus-Linked Illness
Washington Post: Worries about medical bills and lost pay may hamper coronavirus efforts in the United States
Washington Post: Coronavirus triggers cancellations, closures and contingency planning across the country

Federal Preparedness
Bloomberg: Pence Visited School Where Student Is in Coronavirus Quarantine
CNN: Trump Contradicted By Task Force Health Expert About Coronavirus Vaccine Timing
CNN: Spread Of Coronavirus Gives White House A Grave Stress Test
Daily Beast: Student Quarantined Days After Classmates Shook Mike Pence’s Hand, Report Says
National Geographic: U.S. has only a fraction of the medical supplies it needs to combat coronavirus
NPR: CDC Criticized For Its Slow Release Of Coronavirus Testing Kits
NBC: Amid coronavirus outbreak, Trump administration’s proposed rollback of nursing home regulations faces criticism
New York Times: Estimates Fall Short of F.D.A.’s Pledge for 1 Million Coronavirus Tests
New York Times: Pence Says Risk To Americans From Coronavirus Remains Low
Politico: ‘This is the equivalent of war’: Pence faces the toughest test of the Trump era
Politico: Trump’s team shifts tone from preventing coronavirus to containing it
Politico: CDC blocked FDA official from premises
Politico: CDC opens up coronavirus testing, Pence says
Stat: Seeking Help With Coronavirus, Trump Shifts His Tone Toward Pharma
Vox: Trump’s ignorance was on public display during coronavirus meeting with pharmaceutical execs
Wall Street Journal: Trump Administration Considering Paying Hospitals for Treating Uninsured Coronavirus Patients
Washington Post: Trump coronavirus effort undermined by mixed messages and falsehoods

In The States
California
San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Not A Matter Of If, But When:’ SF Officials Plan For Local Spread Of Coronavirus
San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Uneasy And Frustrated’: California Health Workers Worry As Coronavirus Spreads

Florida
Sarasota Herald Tribune: Coronavirus Florida: Mother and son at Sarasota Military Academy under quarantine

New Hampshire
Associated Press: Authorities Confirm New Hampshire’s 1st Case Of Coronavirus
NBC: N.H. coronavirus patient breaks isolation, potentially exposing others

New York
The Hill: New York Insurers Ordered To Waive Costs Associated With Coronavirus Testing
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: Cuomo Confirms Second Case in the State

Texas 
Politico: Texas Governor Slams CDC For Releasing San Antonio Coronavirus Patient

Washington
KUOW: First responders and medical staff test positive for coronavirus. UW doctors not getting masks
Seattle Times: Officials and shelters prepare for coronavirus in Seattle-area homeless population as illness brings more deaths
Stat: Washington State risks seeing explosion in coronavirus cases without dramatic action, new analysis says
Wall Street Journal: Firefighters In Isolation After Responding To Nursing Home With Virus Outbreak
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Spreads in Washington State as Amazon Worker Tests Positive
New York Times: Coronavirus Deaths Tied to Nursing Center Came Earlier Than Anyone Knew

Economic Impacts
Associated Press: An NCAA Tournament with empty arenas? It can’t be ruled out
Bloomberg: Americans Cut Back on Trips to the Store as Virus Spreads
Bloomberg: JPMorgan Tests U.S. Virus Plan With Thousands Working From Home
Business Insider: Google halts international travel for all employees worldwide due to coronavirus concerns
Buzzfeed: Google Cancels I/O, Its Biggest Annual Event, Following Coronavirus Fears
CNBC: Trump demands ‘more easing and cutting’ after Fed slashes rates amid coronavirus outbreak
CNBC: Amazon, Intel, Cisco and Salesforce back out of health-tech conference HIMSS due to coronavirus
Daily Beast: IMF and World Bank Won’t Hold Spring Meetings in Washington Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
New York Times: Is Fiscal Stimulus the Answer to Preventing a Coronavirus Recession?
New York Times: As Coronavirus Disrupts Factories, India Curbs Exports of Key Drugs
Wall Street Journal: Global Stocks Push Higher as Markets Remain Volatile
Wall Street Journal: Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates By Half Percentage Point
Wall Street Journal: Makers of Wipes and Hand Sanitizers Step Up Production as Coronavirus Spreads
Washington Post: Trump Calls For Fed Rate Cut As U.S. Deaths Rise; Finance Chiefs Plot Economic Rescue
Washington Post: Long lines, low supplies: Coronavirus chaos sends shoppers into panic-buying mode

Opinion And Analysis
The Atlantic (Ideas): Trump’s Playbook Is Terribly Ill-Suited to a Pandemic
CNN (Opinion): Surgeon general: Be cautious, but not afraid of coronavirus