CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — APRIL 14, 2020

18 mins read

Driving the Day:

By the Numbers

Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 AM 
Number of US cases reported: 582,594
Number of US deaths: 23,649
Total Number of People Tested in US: 2,964,726 (may not include all labs) Axios: Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index Week 5: Americans face the risks

What to Watch For

Trump will meet with patients who have recovered from COVID-19 at the White House at 11:30 AM and meet with health care executives at 3:30 PM. The coronavirus task force will brief the press at 5:00 PM.

Must Read Stories

Trump Turns The Coronavirus Task Force Briefing Into An Unhinged Campaign Rally

  • USA Today (Analysis): Trump On The Defensive: A White House Coronavirus Briefing Becomes A Campaign Rally:  It was a White House briefing like no other. President Trump late Monday turned a White House briefing on the coronavirus into a fervent defense of his actions to respond to the deadly pandemic and an attack on reporters who posed skeptical questions. “You know you’re a fake, your whole network,” the president snapped at Paula Reid, a White House correspondent from CBS, not responding directly to her questions about whether his administration had squandered time to prepare hospitals and ramp up testing for COVID-19. A chyron on CNN, which has been tough on fact-checking the president, read: “Trump melts down in angry response to reports he ignored virus warnings.”
  • Washington Post: The Me President: Trump Uses Pandemic Briefing To Focus On Himself: “Everything we did was right,” Trump said, during a sometimes hostile 2½ -hour news conference in which he offered a live version of an enemies list, brooking no criticism and repeatedly snapping at reporters who dared to challenge his version of events. Trump has always had a me-me-me ethos, an uncanny ability to insert himself into the center of just about any situation. But Monday’s coronavirus briefing offered a particularly stark portrait of a president seeming unable to grasp the magnitude of the crisis — and saying little to address the suffering across the country he was elected to lead.
  • Associated Press: Trump Uses Pandemic Virus Briefing To Air Laudatory Video: President Donald Trump on Monday used the daily White House briefing to air a taxpayer-funded promotional video praising his own handling of the coronavirus outbreak and slamming his critics and the press. In a highly unusual move at a briefing meant to inform Americans about the pandemic, the lights in the briefing room dimmed for a video running more than 3 minutes that was a montage of officials offering laudatory comments about the president and of Trump discussing his steps to contain the virus. “Everything we did was right,” Trump said, complaining at length about negative press coverage. He said of the video, “I’ve think I’ve educated a lot of people as to the press.”

Trump Claims “Total Authority” Over Reopening Economy As Conservative Groups Push Him To Override Governors

  • New York Times: Trump Leaps to Call Shots on Combating Coronavirus, Setting Up Standoff With Governors:  There once was a time when President Trump made clear that governors were the ones mainly responsible for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. But that was Sunday. On Monday, he declared that he was really in charge and would make the decision about when and how to reopen the country. The president’s reversal raised profound constitutional questions about the real extent of his powers and set him once again on a potential collision course with the states. For weeks, he sought to shift blame to the governors for any failures in handling the virus, presenting himself as merely a supporting player. Now as the tide begins to turn, he is claiming the lead role. “The president of the United States calls the shots,” he said at his evening news briefing. “They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”
  • Washington Post: White House Aides, Outside Groups Launch Effort To Reopen Economy, But Mnuchin Says Decision Poses Risks: Senior White House officials briefed President Trump on Monday about his looming decision regarding how to eventually jump-start the economy, presenting him with a list of 100 business executives that could serve in an advisory panel. In a sign of how fluid things remain, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said these executives have not yet been formally notified that they could serve in an advisory role. The comments, made at a White House briefing, came as multiple leading conservative advocacy groups plan to announce a joint coalition to demand the reopening of the U.S. economy despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, pushing for government authorities to loosen restrictions against the warnings of leading public health experts, according to three people with knowledge of the coming announcement.

Trump’s Hatred for Obamacare Is Hindering Response 

  • Associated Press:  Trump’s Disdain For ‘Obamacare’ Could Hamper Virus Response: The Trump administration’s unrelenting opposition to “Obamacare” could become an obstacle for millions of uninsured people in the coronavirus outbreak, as well as many who are losing coverage in the economic shutdown. Experts say the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets provide a ready-made infrastructure for extending subsidized private coverage in every state, allowing more people access to medical treatment before they get so sick they have to go to the emergency room. In about three-fourths of the states, expanded Medicaid is also available to low-income people. But the Trump administration has resisted reopening the ACA’s HealthCare.gov marketplace for uninsured people who missed the last sign-up period. And it doesn’t seem to be doing much to inform people who lost job-based coverage that they’re eligible for insurance now through the ACA.
  • Bloomberg:  Newly Unemployed Scramble to Enroll in Obamacare in Time: The NC Navigator Consortium, led by Legal Aid of North Carolina, which helped Phillips enroll, typically gets between 40 and 50 requests for assistance with HealthCare.gov in a given week outside of the normal open enrollment period. Calls doubled last week and this week’s are on pace to double again, said the organization’s director Mark Van Arnam. “We have a lot of people who are calling, young and healthy people, who really didn’t think they needed insurance and now they’re scared and understandably so,” he said. “There’s just nothing we can do about that since the feds did not open up a more generalized special enrollment period.”

Promises Broken

NPR: A Month After Emergency Declaration, Trump’s Promises Largely Unfulfilled: One month ago today, President Trump declared a national emergency. In a Rose Garden address, flanked by leaders from giant retailers and medical testing companies, he promised a mobilization of public and private resources to attack the coronavirus. “We’ve been working very hard on this. We’ve made tremendous progress,” Trump said. “When you compare what we’ve done to other areas of the world, it’s pretty incredible.” But few of the promises made that day have come to pass.

Worth Watching

Across the country Republican governors are behaving like mini Trumps, resisting stay at home orders, silencing critics, doing favors for their political allies and putting their constituents at risk:

  • Iowa Starting Line: Louisa County COVID-19 Rate Now Worse Than New York State
  • Newsweek: Florida Surgeon General Removed From Governor Desantis’ Coronavirus Briefing After Saying Social Distancing Necessary Until There’s A Vaccine
  • Miami Herald: DeSantis deems pro wrestling ‘essential business’ amid statewide stay-at-home order
  • Washington Post: South Dakota’s governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spots.

Other News

Trump’s Failures

Associated Press: Navy Reports First Coronavirus Death From Roosevelt Crew
Associated Press: Trump’s disdain for ‘Obamacare’ could hamper virus response
Axios: Diagnostic testing supply shortages threaten coronavirus response
Bloomberg: Trump’s Key 2020 States Reel Under Twin Blows of Virus, Job Loss
Bloomberg: Trump Declares He Has Power to ‘Open Up’ States, Not Governors
Buzzfeed: Immigrants Are Scared Of Getting Coronavirus Treatment Because Of Trump’s Crackdown, Doctors And Lawyers Say
New York Times (Analysis): Trump Leaps to Call Shots on Combating Coronavirus, Setting Up Standoff With Governors
New York Times: 3 Vans, 6 Coolers, a Plane, a Storm and 2 Labs: A Nasal Swab’s Journey
New York Times: Navarro Calls Medical Experts ‘Tone Deaf’ Over Coronavirus Shutdown
New York Times (Opinion): When Will Life Be Normal Again? We Just Don’t Know
Politico: Trump’s grand reopening council triggers a slew of new questions
Politico: Trump claims ‘total authority’ over state decisions
Politico: Trump admin requests delays in census deadlines
Politico: The next coronavirus testing debacle
San Diego Union Tribune: Navy battling growing COVID-19 outbreak on hospital ship Mercy as 7 test positive
Stat: ‘We need an army’: Hiring of coronavirus trackers seen as key to curbing disease spread
Wall Street Journal: States Move to Coordinate on Reopening Plans
Wall Street Journal: Trump Funding Threat Against World Health Organization Linked to Hiring Practices
Wall Street Journal: The Coronavirus Economic Reopening Will Be Fragile, Partial and Slow
Washington Monthly: Here’s How Much Trump’s Mishandling of COVID-19 Will Cost the Economy
Washington Post: Former FDA chief grabs spotlight with coronavirus plans to ‘turn the lights back on’
Washington Post: State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses
Washington Post: Big business has its own plan to reopen economy
Washington Post (Analysis): Asked what his administration did to address coronavirus in February, Trump doesn’t answer

Trump’s Lies and Misinformation 

Associated Press: Trump uses pandemic virus briefing to air laudatory video
NPR: A Month After Emergency Declaration, Trump’s Promises Largely Unfulfilled
New York Post: Trump will not fire Anthony Fauci despite #FireFauci retweet: White House
USA Today (Analysis): Trump on the defensive: A White House coronavirus briefing becomes a campaign rally
Washington Post: The Me President: Trump uses pandemic briefing to focus on himself
Washington Post: Anti-malarial drug touted by Trump was subject of CIA warning to employees
Washington Post (Analysis): The reality of coronavirus testing continues to differ from Trump’s claims
Washington Post: Trump calls Fauci a ‘wonderful guy’ the day after promoting a tweet that called for him to be fired
Washington Post (Opinion): Trump’s latest rage-fest is one of his most absurd and dangerous yet

Trump and the GOP Not Looking Out For You 

Bloomberg: Businesses Lobby to Make Trump’s List of ‘Essential’ Industries
The Guardian: Death penalty states urged to release stockpiled drugs for Covid-19 patients
Miami Herald: HHS to change coronavirus funding after Miami hospitals get less than expected
Miami Herald: DeSantis deems pro wrestling ‘essential business’ amid statewide stay-at-home order
McClatchy: Abortion opponents’ newest weapon in the battle to shut down clinics? Coronavirus
Newsweek: Florida Surgeon General Removed From Governor Desantis’ Coronavirus Briefing After Saying Social Distancing Necessary Until There’s A Vaccine
Vox: Trump sent Arizona a fraction of the ventilators it sought. Republicans still framed it as a big win.
Washington Post: Conservative groups mobilize and push White House to try and reopen economy despite coronavirus pandemic
Washington Post: South Dakota’s governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spots.

Affordability And Access
Bloomberg: Newly Unemployed Scramble to Enroll in Obamacare in Time
The Hill: 12 governors press Trump for special ObamaCare enrollment period amid coronavirus pandemic

Business
Wall Street Journal: Amazon to Expand Shipments of Nonessential Items, Continue Adding Staff

Campaigns and Elections
CNN: State election officials scramble to ‘not become Wisconsin’ amid coronavirus fears
New York Times: Upset Victory in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Gives Democrats a Lift
Politico: Democrats fear for November after Wisconsin voting spectacle
WMAQ: Poll Worker at Chicago Voting Site Dies of Coronavirus, Election Officials Say

Congress
Los Angeles Times: Members of Congress learn to work from home during coronavirus crisis
Washington Post: House delays return until at least May amid coronavirus pandemic

Democratic Response
Bloomberg: Coronavirus Forces Health Groups to Pivot on Pitch to Lawmakers
Politico: Pelosi looks to seize Trump’s bully pulpit

Economic Impact
Bloomberg: Over a Fourth of Michigan’s Workforce Has Filed for Unemployment
Foreign Policy (Voice): The Normal Economy Is Never Coming Back
Washington Post: More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls due to coronavirus, new survey finds, with many planning cuts and layoffs

Education
Boston Globe: Already, universities are planning for a fall without students on campus — just in case

Hospitals and Health Care Workers
CNN: In shutting out threat, seniors in retirement communities feel isolated
HuffPost: For West Virginia’s Hospitals, The Financial Crisis Came First
New York Times: ‘I Cried Multiple Times’: Now Doctors Are the Ones Saying Goodbye
Politico: Rural hospitals shut out of stimulus loans face financial crisis

Inequality
Associated Press: Virus exposes US inequality. Will it spur lasting remedies?
New York Times: Black-Owned Businesses Could Face Hurdles in Federal Aid Program
Politico: Public health officials prod Trump’s team for minority data

In the States
Iowa Starting Line: Louisa County COVID-19 Rate Now Worse Than New York State
Los Angeles Times: New signs suggest coronavirus was in California far earlier than anyone knew
New York Post: Virginia pastor who defiantly held church service dies of coronavirus
New York Times: How a Premier U.S. Drug Company Became a Virus ‘Super Spreader’
Tampa Bay Times: Does our government have what it takes to get Florida’s economy open again?
Washington Post: Over 1 in 100 New York residents have now tested positive for coronavirus

Media
HuffPost: The Pandemic Is Crushing The Journalism Industry. The Government Could Save It.
New York Magazine: Where the Risk of Coronavirus Comes With Unparalleled Access

Science
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus infection may cause lasting damage throughout the body, doctors fear
New York Times (Opinion): Who Is Immune to the Coronavirus
Washington Post (Perspective): Keep parks open. The benefits of fresh air outweigh the risks of infection.


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