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By March 10, 2020No Comments

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

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
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

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

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

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

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]