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Biden Delivers on Election Promise to Improve and Expand Health Care Access and Reverse Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

Executive Orders Will Start Special Enrollment Period, Remove Barriers to Medicaid

Washington, DC — Today, President Biden will sign executive orders to start to roll back Republicans’ years-long war on health care and increase access to affordable health care by reopening for a special enrollment period to help people enroll in Affordable Care Act health plans and removing barriers to enrolling in Medicaid as Americans continue to face the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“President Biden pledged to build on the strong foundation of the Affordable Care Act and use his executive authority to reverse Trump’s sabotage, and he began fulfilling that promise today. Today’s executive actions are a critical first step in rolling back Republicans’ war on health care and increasing coverage. Reopening the ACA marketplace means nearly 9 million people will be eligible for free or subsidized health insurance coverage. Recent polling shows people think coverage is more expensive than it actually is. There is an estimated $1 billion in unspent funds from the Trump administration that can be used to promote this special enrollment period. As Americans continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost millions of Americans their jobs and health insurance, they need coverage more than ever. Additionally, by removing barriers to Medicaid enrollment implemented by the Trump administration, President Biden is making sure vulnerable populations can access the care they need. Between today’s executive actions and including provisions to make health care more affordable in his American Rescue Plan, President Biden is delivering on his promises and making sure Americans can get the coverage they need.”

NEW AD: Protect Our Care Launches National TV Ad on the Urgent Need for Biden’s American Rescue Plan

President Biden’s Plan Will Put Pandemic Response Back on Track After Trump’s Failure to Act

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care announced a new TV ad today praising President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The national cable ad, “Rescue” will start this week. The ad details the current coronavirus crisis left by Trump, the actions President Biden is trying to take to get the pandemic under control. The ad calls on Congress to take action to get Americans the relief they so desperately need.

Watch: “Rescue”

“The Trump administration left President Biden with the coronavirus crisis careening out of control. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are spiraling, and the economic consequences are worsening,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Biden is doing everything he can to address the crisis, using every tool available to the administration, but these measures alone won’t be enough to crush the virus and get America’s economy back on track. Congress must pass Biden’s rescue package immediately to get Americans the critical resources they need to fight the virus and get back to work.”

The American Rescue Plan includes direct stimulus for American families, expansion of unemployment benefits, state and local aid designed to keep first responders on the job, crucial funding for vaccine distribution and testing efforts and help for millions who can’t afford health insurance. These provisions, when paired with the rest of the Biden administration’s efforts to drastically scale up the nation’s pandemic response, will lay the foundation to finally get this public health crisis under control. 


Driving the Day: The Los Angeles Times reports, “Coronavirus forces reckoning for Trump’s healthcare cuts…The widening coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Trump administration to pause, and even reverse, its years-long effort to roll back healthcare regulations and restrict access to the nation’s medical safety net.”

What to Watch For: President Trump will visit FEMA headquarters today. The coronavirus task force will hold a daily press briefing at 11:00 AM. The Senate is in session and Mitch McConnell is expected to present his phase three coronavirus relief package today.

Coronavirus Update:

  • At the daily task force briefing on Wednesday, President Trump announced that he was invoking the Defense Production Act to activate production of needed masks and ventilators. Hours later he tweeted that he had not actually invoked the act, just prepared for it in the event of a “worst case scenario in the future.” Trump announced that he was deploying two Navy hospital ships that are “in tip-top shape” to assist, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper later said that the ships will not treat coronavirus patients and wil take weeks to deploy. Asked about asymptomatic NBA players and other wealthy people getting access to testing when others cannot, Trump said that “perhaps that’s been the story of life” for the rich to have greater access.

  • During his briefing, Trump complained that “hospitals are supposed to have ventilators too.” On Wednesday night, HHS Secretary Alex Azar appeared on Fox News and said that it was not the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that localities and states have enough swabs and face masks.

  • At the briefing, Trump claimed that “people like the job we’re doing,” and that his approval rating is 95 percent in the Republican Party. He boasted about a poll showing him beating “Sleepy Joe Biden” in Florida. Trump continued to emphasize that the virus was “nobody’s fault” but alluded that “some people could say it was somebody’s fault.”

  • The Senate passed the phase two relief package, including free testing and paid sick leave for workers, 90-8 and it was signed by the president on Wednesday evening. Two members of Congress have now tested positive for coronavirus — Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL). Republican members of Congress continued to downplay the virus, with Sen. Ron. Johnson (R-WI) voting against the relief packaging and saying that people should keep the virus in perspective because it might only kill 3.4 percent of the population, and Sen. John Cornyn blaming China for the virus because “people eat bats” there.

  • After months of referring to it as the coronavirus, Trump continued to tweet calling the disease the “Chinese virus.” Asked at the press briefing whether he was putting Asian Americans at risk by calling the virus the “Chinese virus,” Trump said “Not at all. I think they probably would agree with it.” Trump complained that China should have given the US much “earlier notice” about the virus. Kellyanne Conway downplayed Trump’s use of the phrase saying, “I’m married to an Asian.”

By The Numbers
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 8:00 AM
Number of US cases reported: 8,317
Number of US deaths: 147
Total Number of People Tested in US: 82,571 (may not include private labs) 

Axios: Americans are losing their sense of invincibility toward coronavirus
New York Times: Younger Adults Comprise Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.

Federal Health Response
Affordability and Inequality
Axios: How to protect the homeless from the coronavirus
New York Times (Opinion): This Is One Anxiety We Should Eliminate for the Coronavirus Outbreak
Los Angeles Times (Editorial): Coronavirus makes jails and prisons potential death traps. That puts us all in danger

Immigration and Travel
Bloomberg: Americans Stuck Abroad Told Not to Wait for U.S. Assistance
Buzzfeed: A Local Sheriff Said No To More Immigrant Detainees Because Of Coronavirus Fears. So ICE Transferred Them All To New Facilities.
Buzzfeed: Trump Translated His English-Only Guidance On The Coronavirus Into Spanish After Members Of Congress Complained
Los Angeles Times: Trump Administration Takes Steps To Close Border To Migrants, Citing Coronavirus
New York Times: Americans Stranded Abroad: ‘I Feel Completely Abandoned’
ProPublica: The Trump Administration Drove Him Back to China, Where He Invented a Fast Coronavirus Test
Reuters: U.S. limits Mexico guest worker visas, sends farmers scrambling
Washington Post: ICE to stop most immigration enforcement inside United States, will focus on criminals during coronavirus outbreak

National Security
CNN: Esper confirms Navy hospital ships won’t treat coronavirus patients and will take weeks to deploy
Defense One: US Air Force Flew Half a Million Coronavirus Test Swabs From Italy to Tennessee
NBC News: DHS Faces Coronavirus With Scores Of Vacancies And A Leadership Vacuum
New York Times: Coronavirus Disrupts Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan
Newsweek: Exclusive: Inside The Military’s Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples The Government
Politico: ‘It is not science fiction anymore’: Coronavirus exposes U.S. vulnerability to biowarfare
Politico: Documents show undisclosed coronavirus cases at DHS
Reuters: U.S. sanctions Iran, seeks release of Americans amid coronavirus outbreak

Bloomberg: Virus Pandemic Exercise Got One Thing Wrong: the U.S. Response
Foreign Policy (Voice): Sorry, America, the Full Lockdown Is Coming
The Hill: Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing
The Independent: ‘Act like you have the virus’: US surgeon general says 15-day lockdown won’t be enough as coronavirus cases rise
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus forces reckoning for Trump’s healthcare cuts
New York Times: As Schools Look for Guidance, Educators Are Left Asking, ‘What?’
New York Times (Opinion): The Coronavirus Is Here to Stay, So What Happens Next?
Politico: Auto industry could shift to make ventilators
ProPublica: Letter Carriers Say the Postal Service Pressured Them to Deliver Mail Despite Coronavirus Symptoms — and Often Without Hand Sanitizer
Reuters: Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus
Talking Points Memo: Census Suspends 2020 Count’s Field Operations Until April Due To COVID-19
Washington Post: Coronavirus Closures Accelerate Nationwide, But Wide Gaps Remain

Shortages and Testing
Bloomberg: Trump Gives U.S. Broad Control Over Health-Care Supply Chain
CNN: Severe shortages of swabs and other supplies hamper coronavirus testing
Kaiser Health News: As Coronavirus Testing Gears Up, Specialized Swabs Running Out
Politico: FDA turns to Twitter to help track testing supply shortages
Sports Illustrated: How Have NBA Players Been Able to Access Coronavirus Tests?
Vice: How the CDC Botched Basic Science in Its Attempt to Make a Coronavirus Test
Wall Street Journal: How Washington Failed to Build a Robust Coronavirus Testing System
Washington Post: Trump ban on fetal tissue research blocks coronavirus treatment effort

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg: Mnuchin Warns Virus Could Yield 20% Jobless Rate Without Action
Bloomberg: Despite Global Crisis, Trump Resists Calls for Tariff Relief
Bloomberg: Taxpayers Can Delay Payments for 90 Days, Must File by April 15
New York Times: Andrew Yang May Be Out, but His Basic Income Idea Is Getting a Second Look
New York Times: Washington Weighs Big Bailouts to Help U.S. Economy Survive Coronavirus
Politico: Governors brace for coronavirus budget cliff as tax dollars evaporate
Reuters: U.S. airlines shares plunge after cash-free Washington rescue proposal
Time: USDA Fights for Food Stamp Changes That Could See Hundreds of Thousands Lose Assistance Amid the Pandemic
Wall Street Journal: The Government Wants to Send You Money—but How Soon Will It Arrive?
Washington Post: Trump’s $1 trillion stimulus is a gamble for reelection — and a sea change for Republicans once opposed to bailouts
Washington Post: HUD orders 60-day foreclosure moratorium for homeowners affected by coronavirus

Bloomberg: Melania Trump to Appear in Coronavirus Public Service Ads
The Bulwark: COVID-19 and the Missing Call to Sacrifice
CNN (Analysis): Trump, finally, takes the coronavirus emergency seriously
NBC News: Timeline: Trump administration’s response to coronavirus
New York Times: The President vs. the Experts: How Trump Downplayed the Coronavirus
Politico: Trump team’s new mission: Defend the ‘wartime president’
Politico: Trump adopts the greatest hits of the 2020 Dems
Vox: Trump spent weeks downplaying the coronavirus. He’s now pretending that never happened.
Washington Post: Kushner coronavirus team sparks confusion, plaudits inside White House response efforts

Buzzfeed: Despite The Coronavirus Outbreak, Senators Said They Will Keep Going To Capitol And Voting Together
HuffPost: Congress Passes Coronavirus Aid Bill, Sends It To Trump’s Desk
Miami Herald: Miami’s Mario Diaz-Balart is first member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sen. Ron Johnson is telling people to keep coronavirus in perspective
NBC: Sen. Cornyn: China to blame for coronavirus, because ‘people eat bats’
NPR: 2 Members Of Congress Test Positive For COVID-19, Others Quarantine After Contact
New York Magazine (Column): GOP Senator Upbeat Coronavirus May Kill ‘No More Than 3.4 Percent of Our Population’
New York Times: Congress Races To Respond While Defying Ban On Mass Gatherings
Roll Call: White House halts participation in Hill’s coronavirus hearings
Vox: Exclusive: Sen. Warren to ask Trump to deploy Army Corps of Engineers for coronavirus help
Vox: Pressure is growing to allow members of Congress to vote remotely amid coronavirus concerns
Washington Post: Negotiations intensify on Capitol Hill over massive stimulus legislation as coronavirus fallout worsens

ABC: The Battle To Protect Healthcare Workers On The Front Lines Of The Coronavirus Pandemic
Associated Press: US nursing homes warn of looming shortage of masks and gowns
Bloomberg: Hospitals, Cities Hit by Surging Interest Rates in 2008 Echo
HuffPost: How To Get More Ventilators And What To Do If We Can’t
NBC: ‘A death sentence’: Critically ill patients denied transplants amid coronavirus outbreak
New York Magazine: The Hospital Deluge Is Coming. Washington Has Done Almost Nothing to Prepare.
New York Times: Doctors Fear Bringing Coronavirus Home: ‘I Am Sort of a Pariah in My Family’
New York Times: There Aren’t Enough Ventilators to Cope With the Coronavirus
Politico: Hospitals need a surge – of doctors
Stat: Frustrated and afraid about protective gear shortages, health workers are scouring for masks on their own
Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Facing Coronavirus Are Running Out Of Masks, Other Key Equipment

Associated Press: Carlson says he felt obligation to meet with Trump on virus
Buzzfeed: “I’m Not An Epidemiologist But…”: The Rise Of The Coronavirus Influencers
CNN: New polls show effect of right-wing media’s dismissive and conspiratorial coronavirus coverage
CNN: Facebook has a coronavirus problem. It’s WhatsApp.

Campaigns and Elections
Arizona Republic: Sen. Martha McSally suspends TV ads, door-to-door canvassing amid coronavirus pandemic
Associated Press: Switching Remaining Primaries To Vote-By-Mail Not So Easy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Democrats sue to extend Wisconsin’s deadlines for online voter registration and counting absentee ballots
The Intercept: Illinois Used Nearly 50 Facilities For Low-income Seniors In Chicago As Polling Locations On Tuesday
New York Times: How Much Does Voting Spread Viruses?
New York Times (Opinion): No Stimulus Without Election Protection
Washington Post: Nationwide drive to safeguard voting intensifies as coronavirus spreads
Washington Post: For Biden and Sanders, campaigning during coronavirus can be awkward

Axios: Timeline: The early days of China’s coronavirus outbreak and cover-up
Bloomberg: China May Help Hard-Hit Carmakers by Relaxing Emission Curbs
Buzzfeed: Everyone In Iceland Can Get Tested For The Coronavirus. Here’s How The Results Could Help All Of Us.
Financial Times: Aggressive testing helps Italian town cut new coronavirus cases to zero
Foreign Affairs: The Coronavirus Could Reshape Global Order
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus Poses Dreadful Choice For Global Leaders: Wreck Your Economy Or Lose Millions Of Lives
New York Times: China Hits a Coronavirus Milestone: No New Local Infections
New York Times: Power Struggle Hampers Iran’s Coronavirus Response
New York Times (Opinion): I’m a Doctor in Italy. We Have Never Seen Anything Like This.
Vice: 3.5 Million Iranians Could Die From Coronavirus If The Outbreak Is Not Controlled
Wall Street Journal: Lessons From Italy’s Hospital Meltdown. ‘Every Day You Lose, the Contagion Gets Worse.’
Wall Street Journal: Lockdown of Recovering Italian Town Shows Effectiveness of Early Action

Economic Impacts
ABC News: Small Business Owners Tapping Into Personal Savings, 401(K)S And More Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Bloomberg: Traders ‘Liquidating Positions Everywhere’ Upend Markets
Buzzfeed: These Retailers Have Been Staying Open. Employees Say They’re Afraid For Themselves And Others.
Buzzfeed: They Still Have Jobs At Grocery Stores And Pharmacies. Does That Mean They’ll Catch The Coronavirus?
CNBC: NYSE to temporarily close floor, move to electronic trading after positive coronavirus tests
Detroit Free Press: Detroit automakers Ford, General Motors, FCA agree to close all US plants
HuffPost: Guns, Ammo Retailers Report Sales Surge Across U.S. Amid Coronavirus Fears
HuffPost: Hospitality Workers Union Estimates 80% To 90% Of Members Will Lose Jobs During Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: Amid coronavirus outbreak, drive-in theaters unexpectedly find their moment
Mother Jones: Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers
New York Magazine: Is Anyone Even Listening? The restaurant industry is begging for help. Its cries have been met with a deafening silence.
New York Times: Pandemic Erodes Gig Economy Work
Politico: No need to hoard: There’s plenty of food in the system
Popular Information: Publix health
Slate: It’s Staggering How Many Coronavirus-Related Layoffs Have Already Happened
Wall Street Journal: As Coronavirus Empties Workplaces, Some Holdouts Have Wanted Employees to Show Up

The Guardian: Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China
New York Times: Can Smart Thermometers Track the Spread of the Coronavirus?

Social Impacts
CNN (Opinion): Grieving for my mother in the age of Covid-19
HuffPost: Panic Attacks And Night Terrors: The Mental Health Toll Of Coronavirus
Time: As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look For A Way Out
Vox: What it’s like to have a baby during the coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post: Millions of U.S. grandparents care for young kids — and are high risk for covid-19

Personal Preparedness
New York Times: Is It OK to Take a Walk?
The Wirecutter: How to Properly Care for a Sick Person at Home (and Not Get Sick Yourself)

In The States
Colorado Sun: Coronavirus is running so rampant in Colorado’s mountains residents, visitors should “minimize all contact with other people”
Denver Post: ICE immigration arrests continuing in Denver despite coronavirus outbreak

AFP: On Miami Beach, the party’s over — almost
Tampa Bay Times: More than 200 Pinellas inmates sleep on floor as coronavirus creates bottleneck

New Jersey
New York Times: Coronavirus Ravages 7 Members of a Single Family, Killing 2

New York
New York Times: My Coronavirus Test: 5 Days, a Dozen Calls, Hours of Confusion
New York Times: Coronavirus in N.Y.: ‘Huge Spike’ in Brooklyn Hasidic Community
Wall Street Journal: New York City Residents May Have To Shelter In Place, De Blasio Says

WCPO: DeWine closes salons, urges only highest-risk Ohioans to seek COVID-19 testing

Associated Press: Sick staff fueled outbreak in Seattle-area care centers

Trump Tweets
“I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“Today I spoke with American physicians and nurses to thank them for their tireless work. Doctors and nurses are at the front lines of this war and are true American HEROES! With their help, America will WIN.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“I want all Americans to understand: we are at war with an invisible enemy, but that enemy is no match for the spirit and resolve of the American people. It cannot overcome the dedication of our doctors, nurses, and scientists — and it cannot beat the LOVE, PATRIOTISM, and DETERMINATION of our citizens. Strong and United, WE WILL PREVAIL!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“Thank you to our great American businesses for going above and beyond to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]


Driving the Day: According to the New York Times, “Trump Slowly Enlisting More Agencies in ‘Whole of Government’ Response to Virus…Hospital ships stayed at port, veterans hospitals awaited orders and requests for help went unanswered, as much of the government remained on the sidelines.”

What to Watch For: On Wednesday, the president will hold telephone briefings with business executives, physicians, and nurses. The coronavirus task force will hold a press briefing at 11:30 AM. The Senate is in session and expected to vote on the phase two relief package after a delay orchestrated by Senator Rand Paul.

Coronavirus Update:

  • At a lengthy afternoon press conference, President Trump praised his administration’s efforts to fight the virus saying “the only thing we haven’t done well is to get good press.” Although just weeks he was calling the virus a “hoax” being inflamed by the “fake news media,” Trump claimed that, “I’ve always known this is a pandemic… I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” Trump said he’s been “very tough” on states that haven’t been aggressive enough in their response, and then praised Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia for doing a good job since the state has no reported cases. Hours later, West Virginia reported its first case.

  • Trump again urged Americans to stay home and “enjoy their living room” and said that domestic travel restrictions were still “possible.”

  • Trump claimed that the Department of Homeland Security did an “incredible” job screening passengers at airports, despite reports of hours long backups and crowds of people standing shoulder to shoulder at O’Hare and DFW. Trump concluded his press conference by saying that no offer was ever made for the US to use the WHO-certified tests and added that it was a “bad test.” In fact, the US did reject the WHO-certified test, which is considered the gold standard test for coronavirus, and it was the initial CDC test that was actually “bad.”

  • Vice President Pence asked construction companies to donate their industrial masks to the medical community and to forgo additional orders of masks at this time. Dr. Deborah Birx asked hospitals and dentists not to do procedures over the next two weeks that don’t need to be done, and emphasized that young people are the “core group” that will stop coronavirus if they take steps to protect their parents and grandparents.

  • At the Tuesday briefing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin backed “sending checks to Americans immediately” as estimates for the next stimulus package topped $1 trillion. Trump said that the administration is “going big” with a “big infusion” rather than an incremental approach. At the Senate lunch, Mnuchin warned that the US could possibly see unemployment rise as high as 20 percent if strong action is not taken.

By The Numbers
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 8:00 AM
Number of US cases reported: 5,881
Number of US deaths: 107
Number of states with confirmed cases: 50 + Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
Total Number of People Tested in US: 58,536 (may not include private labs)

Talking Points Memo: Placing Ourselves in Time in A World We Never Imagined
Stat: A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

Federal Health Response
Associated Press: To keep seniors safe at home, Medicare expands telemedicine
The Atlantic (Ideas): NIH Director: ‘We’re on an Exponential Curve’
Axios: Tech’s moment to shine (or not)
Bloomberg: In Coronavirus Testing Ramp-Up, U.S. Called Private Sector in Late
Buzzfeed: US Immigration Offices Are Going To Temporarily Close Due To The Coronavirus Pandemic
Buzzfeed: Immigrants Waiting At The Mexican Border Are At High Risk Of Contracting The Coronavirus, Experts Warn
CNBC: Group run by former Google CEO to hold meeting with venture capitalists about ways to fight coronavirus
CNN: US and Canada preparing to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries
The Hill: Millennials are ‘core group’ that will stop coronavirus, White House task force says
Los Angeles Times: He gave his wife CPR as she died after contracting coronavirus. Officials won’t test him
New York Magazine (Column): Part of the Coronavirus Conventional Wisdom Has Become Too Pessimistic
New York Times: Trump Slowly Enlisting More Agencies in ‘Whole of Government’ Response to Virus
New York Times: Once Political B-Listers, Governors Lead Nation’s Coronavirus Response
New York Times: U.S. Lags in Coronavirus Testing After Slow Response to Outbreak
New York Times: Did Federal Officials Really Question W.H.O. Tests for Coronavirus?
New York Times: U.S. Virus Plan Anticipates 18-Month Pandemic and Widespread Shortages
New York Times: Citing Coronavirus, Trump Will Announce Strict New Border Controls
New York Times (Editorial): Stop Saying That Everything Is Under Control. It Isn’t.
Politico: Trump’s immigration crackdown could hurt coronavirus containment efforts
Politico: Schools complain of ‘total confusion’ over White House, CDC guidelines on coronavirus
Vox: 7 potentially deadly errors the US is making in its coronavirus response
Washington Post: Pentagon offers respirators, ventilators and labs in expanding coronavirus response
Washington Post: Pence asks construction companies to donate masks to hospitals as shortages loom
Washington Post: Federal personnel chief quits abruptly amid coronavirus planning for the workforce of 2.1 million
Yahoo: Pentagon has tested fewer than 500 for the coronavirus

Federal Economic Response
The Atlantic (Ideas): The Coming Bailout Is a Moral Failure
Bloomberg: Bank of America Pledges $100 Million to Fight Health Crisis
Politico (Magazine): Republicans Adopt Andrew Yang’s Cause. He Isn’t Celebrating.
Politico: Mnuchin: ‘We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately’
Politico: Coronavirus layoffs surge across America, overwhelming unemployment offices
Wall Street Journal (Editorial): The Fiscal Stimulus Panic

CNN: Fact check: Trump tries to erase the memory of him downplaying the coronavirus
Daily Beast: Mar-a-Lago Was a Petri Dish. Testing Nearby Is Still a Mess.
Bloomberg: Trump Pushed Aides to Seek a Trillion Dollars in Virus Response
Kaiser Health News: The High Cost Of Being Trump’s Enemy
New York Times: At Party for Donald Trump Jr.’s Girlfriend, Donors Helped Pick Up the Tab
New York Times: Trump Now Claims He Always Knew the Coronavirus Would Be a Pandemic
NPR: Poll: As Coronavirus Spreads, Fewer Americans See Pandemic As A Real Threat
Politico: Poll: Most Americans don’t trust Trump on coronavirus information
Washington Post: As much of America takes drastic action, some Republicans remain skeptical of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post: The Coronavirus Show has but one star — and the rest are supporting players

HuffPost: Conservatives Worry Too Much Coronavirus Relief Will Make People Lazy
NBC: Senate coronavirus vote delayed after Rand Paul pushes doomed amendment
New York Times: Congress Is Knitting a Coronavirus Safety Net. It Already Has Big Holes.
Politico: Republicans suddenly find a bailout they can back
Politico: Cory Gardner self-quarantines after coronavirus exposure
Politico: Democrats say Mnuchin squeezed paid sick leave program
Politico: Emergency stimulus to soar above $1 trillion
Politico (Magazine): Washington Learns to Love ‘Money for Everyone’
Politico (Magazine): Pelosi Has Trump Over a Barrel

Bloomberg: Hospital Workers Make Masks From Office Supplies Amid U.S. Shortage
CBS: Coronavirus pandemic straining medical supplies, forcing nurses to reuse masks with “no protection”
The Hill: Critical supplies shortage hampers hospitals, health providers
New York Times: These Places Could Run Out of Hospital Beds as Coronavirus Spreads
ProPublica: Are Hospitals Near Me Ready for Coronavirus? Here Are Nine Different Scenarios.
Roll Call: Bracing for coronavirus, hospitals call for more funding
The Verge: Medical company threatens to sue volunteers that 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments
Vox: US hospitals are struggling to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic

Democratic Response
The Hill: Obama urges Americans to ‘model’ behavior on health professionals
Washington Post: Democratic groups to spend millions hitting Trump over coronavirus response
Washingtonian: Hell Yes, Democrats Should Politicize Coronavirus

ProPublica: Inside the Pro-Trump Facebook Group Where First Responders Call Coronavirus a Hoax
Vanity Fair: “Dishonesty…Is Always an Indicator of Weakness”: Tucker Carlson on How He Brought His Coronavirus Message to Mar-a-Lago
The Verge: Facebook was marking legitimate news articles about the coronavirus as spam due to a software bug

Campaigns and Elections
Politico: Maryland postpones primary, shifts special election to mail voting over coronavirus
Politico (Opinion): Don’t stop the primaries!
Politico: Welcome to the zombie coronavirus campaign of 2020
Time: Coronavirus Is Already Affecting Voter Turnout in Primaries. And There Are Many More To Go
USA Today: As coronavirus pandemic delays 2020 primaries, is it time to worry about the November election?

Axios: Coronavirus could fuel Middle East unrest
Axios: It isn’t democracy vs. authoritarianism
New York Times: Watch the Footprint of Coronavirus Spread Across Countries

Economic Impacts
Arizona Republic: American Red Cross faces ‘severe blood shortage’ due to coronavirus cancellations
Axios: Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Americans hit by stress, job losses
Bloomberg: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Declare Global Recession Under Way
Business Insider: Amazon is suspending all shipments other than medical supplies and household staples to its warehouses amid coronavirus crisis — read the memo it just sent sellers
Business Insider: Trader Joe’s is paying bonuses to store employees amid an ‘unprecedented’ sales increase, as some workers demand ‘hazard pay’
Buzzfeed: Bar And Restaurant Staff Are Terrified Of How They’ll Pay Rent This Month Because Of The Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: Restaurants are pivoting to takeout and delivery. Will it be enough to survive?
Los Angeles Times: Bidet sales soar as toilet paper sells out amid coronavirus fears
NPR: Poll: Nearly 1 In 5 Households Have Lost Work Because Of Pandemic
New York Times (Opinion): Our Internet Isn’t Ready for Coronavirus
New York Times: They Clean the Buildings Workers Are Fleeing. But Who’s Protecting Them?
Vice: Amazon’s Supply Chain Is Breaking and Small Businesses Are Screwed
Vice: Best Buy Is Working ‘Full Capacity’ During Coronavirus, Despite Huge Risks
Vice: Restaurant Owners and Staff Are About to Go Broke Because of Coronavirus: ‘The Abyss We’re Going Into Is the Scary Part’
Vox: A grocery store clerk explains what it’s like on the front lines of coronavirus panic

Vox: Scientists warn we may need to live with social distancing for a year or more
Washington Post: Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults

Social Impacts
HuffPost: Abortion Access Is Under Threat As Coronavirus Spreads
New York Times: Kevin Durant Says He Has Tested Positive for the Coronavirus
New York Times: How Cardi B’s Off-the-Cuff Video Became a Coronavirus Anthem
New York Times (Opinion): They Went Off the Grid. They Came Back to the Coronavirus.
Washington Post: It’s ‘quarantini’ time. People say cheers to video happy hours when they’re stuck at home.
Washington Post: This is not the end of the world, according to Christians who study the end of the world

Personal Preparedness
Buzzfeed: When The People You Love Can’t Accept That They Need To Stay Home
Fast Company: Want to do something good during your coronavirus quarantine? Do mutual aid
New York Times (Essay): Someday, We’ll Look Back on All of This and Write a Novel
New Yorker: How to Practice Social Distancing
Slate: You Don’t Have to Work All the Time Now

In The States
Buzzfeed: An ER Doctor Was Diagnosed With COVID-19 — After Attending A National Conference For ER Doctors
Los Angeles Times: With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests on first day of California coronavirus lockdown

Hartford Courant: Connecticut unemployment claims reach 30,000 since Friday as coronavirus takes toll on state’s economy

Miami Herald: Three deaths at one Fort Lauderdale ALF stoke coronavirus fears

CNN: A coronavirus patient refused to quarantine, so deputies are surrounding his house to force him to
New York Times: ‘All Around Us Is Chaos’: Inside a Rural Town Upended by the Virus

Stat: Hospital in Boston will be converted into Covid-19 treatment center

New York
New York Times: N.Y. May Need 18,000 Ventilators Very Soon. It Is Far Short of That
New York Times: M.T.A., Citing Huge Drop in Riders, Seeks $4 Billion Virus Bailout
New York Times: In Virus Hot Spot, Lining Up and Anxious at Drive-in Test Center

Washington Post: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus response has become a national guide to the crisis

Washington, DC
DCist: Coronavirus Is Causing Industry-Wide Layoffs In D.C., Hitting Service Workers Particularly Hard
WAMU: One Type Of Small Business That’s Thriving During Coronavirus? Locally-Owned Grocery Stores
WAMU: Facing Likely Economic Downturn From Coronavirus, D.C. Council Passes Emergency Relief Bill
Washington Post: Testing positive: One woman’s journey from perfect health to the coronavirus

West Virginia
CNN: West Virginia was the 50th state to report a coronavirus case. This may be the reason it took so long
Washington Examiner: ‘Go to Bob Evans and eat’: West Virginia governor breaks with other states on coronavirus guidance

Trump Tweets
“I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“I will be having a news conference today to discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/18/20]

“The world is at war with a hidden enemy. WE WILL WIN!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/17/20]

“Federal Government is working very well with the Governors and State officials. Good things will happen! #KILLTHEVIRUS” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/17/20]

“Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive. We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/17/20]

“Cuomo wants “all states to be treated the same.” But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big “hotspot”, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it….”


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]


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]


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