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By March 12, 2020No Comments

Driving the Day: After a brief address to the nation last night, the AP analyzed how President Trump’s “tactics fall short.” According to the AP, “The escalating coronavirus crisis is presenting President Donald Trump with a challenge for which he appears ill-equipped, his favorite political tactics ineffective and his reelection chances in jeopardy.”

What to Watch For: President Trump will meet with the Prime Minister of Ireland, a country which is excluded from the president’s impending ban on travel by foreign nationals from Europe despite reporting at least 43 cases of coronavirus and one death. Joe Biden will give remarks at 1:00 PM on the coronavirus crisis. The House will vote on a coronavirus relief package. The Senate Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on coronavirus and the small business supply chain

Coronavirus Update

  • In a brief address to the nation Wednesday night, President Trump emphasized the “foreign” nature of the coronavirus and announced a 30 day ban on “all travel from Europe,” which was later clarified to mean travel by foreign nationals from Europe, not including the UK or other countries not in the Schengen Area. The president announced a ban on cargo as well, but White House officials later clarified that the restrictions will only apply to passengers. In a late night statement, the State Department urged Americans to reconsider all international travel due to coronavirus, a recommendation not mentioned in Trump’s address. In Europe, Americans rushed to airports and jammed airline phone lines trying to get home.

  • Trump’s speech did not mention mitigating the disease that is already spreading in the US or addressing the ongoing delays and issues with testing in this country. Trump announced that health insurers “have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments,” but AHIP immediately clarified that the waived cost-sharing only applies to testing and not treatment.

  • In his address, Trump emphasized that the economic situation is “not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment in time,” and then requested that Congress pass “immediate payroll tax relief” Trump pledged emergency action for workers who stay home, but did not specify what it would be. At remarks earlier in the day, the president emphasized that the virus was “a problem that four weeks ago nobody ever thought would be a problem” and dismissed as “fake news” a question about whether he is taking the crisis seriously enough.

  • Very late Wednesday night House Democrats released their coronavirus bill, which includes free testing, paid sick leave, food security and unemployment benefits. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer also released a joint statement criticizing President Trump for not saying “how the administration will address the lack of coronavirus testing kits” in his address to the nation.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before the House Oversight Committee and said that the worst is still yet to come in the American outbreak. Fauci recommended that the NBA hold games without crowds. By Wednesday evening, the NBA announced that it would suspend the entire season after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

  • Testifying at House Oversight Committee, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the agency has no plans to establish drive through testing centers like those in South Korea and Italy because “We’re trying to maintain the relationship between individuals and their healthcare providers.” Despite this statement from the CDC, drive up testing facilities opened yesterday in Minnesota and Colorado. HHS Secretary Alex Azar appeared on CBS this morning and said that four million coronavirus tests will be distributed by the end of the week, but only around 8,500 tests have been performed. Azar insisted that, “Any doctor who believes that a test is clinically indicated can get that test done.”

  • Vice President Pence was asked if he was personally concerned about continuing to hold campaign rallies amid the outbreak. Pence said, “I’m not concerned, but we’ll follow the facts every single day about what makes the most sense for the American people.” It was announced that Pence will travel to Wisconsin on March 19 for a GOTV rally for special election candidate Tom Tiffany. The special election for WI-07 is not until May 12. Although a Trump campaign spokesperson insisted that Trump’s events were proceeding normally and they are not “caving” to media and Democratic pressure for cancellations, late Wednesday night, the White House announced that the president will cancel upcoming travel to Colorado and Nevada this weekend as well as the recently announced Catholics for Trump event in Milwaukee on March 19.

  • Joe Biden named a public health advisory council to advise the campaign on safety for staff and supporters and announced plans to hold virtual events instead of rallies.

By The Numbers
Thursday, March 12, 2020, 7:00 AM
Number of US cases: 1,257
Number of US deaths: 37
Number of states with confirmed cases: 44
Number of specimens tested: CDC: 3,791; Public Health Labs: 7,288

Federal Health Response
Bloomberg: CDC Takes Heat on Capitol Hill Over Coronavirus Testing Kits
Daily Beast: Dr. Fauci Schools Hannity on Dangers of Coronavirus
The Hill: Trump’s national security adviser says China ‘covered up’ coronavirus
McClatchy: Trump warns coronavirus masks cannot meet demand as manufacturers fear lawsuits
NBC: Many private labs want to do coronavirus tests. But they’re still facing obstacles and delays.
New York Times: Coronavirus Spurs U.S. Efforts to End China’s Chokehold on Drugs
NPR: Don’t Expect A Coronavirus Test Just Because Your Doctor Requests It
Politico: ‘It’s going to get worse’: Health officials warn of coronavirus escalation
Politico: Coronavirus on the high seas: Why the U.S. can’t touch cruise lines
Reuters: White House told federal health agency to classify coronavirus deliberations – sources
Toronto Star: Canadian officials reviewing border policy as COVID-19 spreads across the U.S.
Vox: Trump’s Europe travel ban might not do much to stop the coronavirus’s spread in the US
Wall Street Journal: U.S. to Ban Travel From Europe for 30 Days Due to Coronavirus
Washington Post: Europe blindsided by Trump’s travel restrictions, with many seeing political motive
Washington Post: Coronavirus may have a seasonal cycle, but that doesn’t mean it will go away this summer, experts warn
Washington Post: Coronavirus forecasts are grim: ‘It’s going to get worse’
Washington Post: White House asks Silicon Valley for help to combat coronavirus, track its spread and stop misinformation
Washington Post (Opinion): It’s now or never for the U.S. if it hopes to keep coronavirus from burning out of control
Washington Post (Opinion): South Korea shows that democracies can succeed against the coronavirus

Federal Economic Response
Bloomberg (Opinion): Don’t Cut the Payroll Tax. Just Send People Money
Bloomberg: Trump Sell-Off Shows Fear Governments Can’t Save Markets
Bloomberg: Trump’s Economic Plan Seen Lacking Power to Stem Virus Downturn
CNBC: Stock futures tank, hit ‘limit down’ halt after Trump speech; Dow set to fall 1,100 points
Fern’s Ag Insider: SNAP eligibility rules will tighten despite coronavirus outbreak
Huffington Post: Senate GOP Blocks Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill From Moving Forward
Modern Healthcare: Healthcare Not Top Priority In COVID-19 Economic Relief Talks
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Travel Restrictions Fuel Fresh Global Selloff

1100 Pennsylvania: Trump, Pence posed with Brazilian official now suspected of having coronavirus
ABC News: Trump Says He’s OK With Coronavirus Test But Doesn’t Need One: ‘I Feel Extremely Good’
Associated Press (Analysis): Facing virus outbreak, Trump’s tactics fall shor
The Atlantic: Trump’s Dangerously Effective Coronavirus Propaganda
Bloomberg: U.S. Virus Response Marred by Overconfidence and Delays
Bloomberg: Trump’s Error-Laden ‘Foreign Virus’ Speech Has Investors Spooked
CNN: Fact check: A list of 28 ways Trump and his team have been dishonest about the coronavirus
New York Magazine: Trump Waiting on Public Health Expert Jared Kushner Before Deciding on Coronavirus Emergency: Report
New York Times (Analysis): Presidents Forge Their Legacies in Crises
New York Times (Analysis): A Fumbled Global Response to the Virus in a Leadership Void
New York Times: How Right-Wing Pundits Are Covering Coronavirus
New York Times: In Rare Oval Office Speech, Trump Voices New Concerns and Old Themes
New York Times: Trump’s Re-election Chances Suddenly Look Shakier
Politico: Trump fears emergency declaration would contradict coronavirus message
Politico: Trump’s travel ban sidesteps his own European resorts
Politico: Trump’s European flight ban roils markets, spooks travelers
Politico: A remote White House? Trump team weighs teleworking
Talking Points Memo: Trump Is Slow Rolling A COVID-19 Emergency Declaration For The Worst Possible Reasons
Time: Why President Trump Wants to Frame COVID-19 as a ‘Foreign Virus’
Vox: Trump’s coronavirus speech was laced with xenophobia
Wall Street Journal: Trump Struggles To Balance Mitigating Epidemic, Protecting Economy
Washington Post: Trump urged Mnuchin to pressure Fed’s Powell on economic stimulus in explosive tirade about coronavirus
Washington Post: Besieged Trump announces drastic measures in effort to stem coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post (Analysis): Trump’s rhetoric on coronavirus often ignores the rate at which the disease is spreading

Axios: Congressional doctor predicts 70-150 million U.S. coronavirus cases
CNN: ‘A lot more hand washing’: Lawmakers try to guard against coronavirus on Capitol Hill
Politico: U.S. Capitol to stop all public tours amid coronavirus outbreak
Politico: House Democrats introduce multi-billion dollar coronavirus package
Politico: Pelosi ignores Trump taunts as she steers through another crisis
Roll Call: Senate staffer tests positive for COVID-19, first coronavirus case on Hill
Talking Points Memo: Dem Sens Will Urge Trump To Declare National Emergency For Coronavirus
Washington Post: U.S. Senators Press Betsy DeVos For Answers On Education Department’s Coronavirus Response
Washington Post: GOP congressman — who warned Trump about pandemics — offers pointed criticism of proposed CDC cuts

Affordability and Access
Associated Press: At White House, Insurers Again Pledge No-Cost Virus Tests
Axios: Coronavirus exposes the digital divide’s toll
Modern Healthcare: AMA fast-tracks code to bill for coronavirus testing

Campaigns and Elections
Axios: Exclusive: DNC chair says he’s “not contemplating” an online convention
Birmingham News: Election Day epidemic? Alabama has no plan
Politico: Trump cancels Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin campaign events as coronavirus spreads
Roll Call: Campaigns Grapple With Uncertainty Amid New Coronavirus Concerns
Washington Post: Elections officials scramble for options as coronavirus worries mount

Economic And Social Impacts
ABC: NBA suspends season due to coronavirus
The Atlantic: What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?
The Atlantic: The Coronavirus Customer Service Crisis
Axios: How newsrooms are preparing for coronavirus while also covering it
Axios: Brace for coronavirus supply shocks
Axios: Hospitals’ next steps for coronavirus influx
Buzzfeed (Essay): The Coronavirus Isn’t Just About You
New York Times: Banned Events, Empty Arenas: U.S. Cities Retrench in the Face of Coronavirus
New York Times: Tom Hanks Says He Has Coronavirus
New York Times: Doctors and Patients Turn to Telemedicine in the Coronavirus Outbreak
New York Times (Opinion): Please, Listen to Experts About the Coronavirus. Then Step Up.
Washington Examiner (Opinion): Face it: Coronavirus is about to shut down your daily lives
Washington Post: Norwegian Cruise Line managers urged salespeople to spread falsehoods about coronavirus
Washington Post: NCAA basketball tournaments will be played with no fans
Washington Post (Opinion): When a danger is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesn’t
Washington Post: The first U.S. layoffs from the coronavirus are here
Washington Post: Dow enters bear market after coronavirus declared pandemic

In The States
The Hill: Three TSA Employees In California Test Positive For Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: Large gatherings should be canceled due to coronavirus outbreak, California Gov. Gavin Newsom says
Politico: Local leaders take coronavirus fight into own hands absent federal direction
San Jose Spotlight: San Jose adopts a ban on evictions amid coronavirus outbreak
San Francisco Chronicle: SF to ban all large gatherings, including Warriors games, to curb coronavirus spread

New York
Wall Street Journal: New York City Eyes Measures To Stop Virus Spread To Jails

Willamette Week: Oregon Governor Bans Crowds Larger Than 250 People for the Next Month

CNBC: Amazon and Gates Foundation may team up to deliver coronavirus test kits to Seattle homes
New York Times: A ‘New Normal’ for Hospitals on the Front Lines Fighting Coronavirus

Washington, DC
Washingtonian: Coronavirus Could Wipe Out the Busiest Season for DC’s Professional Tour Guides
Washington Post: D.C. declares state of emergency as concerts, parades, church services are canceled

Trump Tweets
“Nancy Pelosi all of a sudden doesn’t like the payroll tax cut, but when Obama proposed it she thought it was a brilliant thing that all of the working families would benefit from because if you get a paycheck, you’re going to take home more money.” @kilmeade @foxandfriends [@realDonaldTrump, 3/12/20]

“Hoping to get the payroll tax cut approved by both Republicans and Democrats, and please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“The Media should view this as a time of unity and strength. We have a common enemy, actually, an enemy of the World, the CoronaVirus. We must beat it as quickly and safely as possible. There is nothing more important to me than the life & safety of the United States!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“I am fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“I want to thank all of our Great Government officials on the CoronaVirus Task Force who are working around the clock, in response to the CoronaVirus. Continue to check for updates, and follow all recommendations that are available. We have the greatest healthcare system, experts, scientists and doctors anywhere in the world. Together, we will PREVAIL!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“America is the Greatest Country in the world. We have the best scientists, doctors, nurses and health care professionals. They are amazing people who do phenomenal things every day. .Together we are putting into policy a plan to prevent, detect, treat and create a vaccine against CoronaVirus to save lives in America and the world. America will get it done!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“Someone needs to tell the Democrats in Congress that CoronaVirus doesn’t care what party you are in. We need to protect ALL Americans!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]

“Vanity Fair Magazine, which will soon be out of business, and their third rate Fake reporters, who make up sources which don’t exist, wrote yet another phony & boring hit piece. The facts are just the opposite. Our team is doing a great job with CoronaVirus!” [@realDonaldTrump, 3/11/20]