Skip to main content


By March 17, 2020No Comments

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]