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Coronavirus Update
May 5, 2020
Driving the Day:

By the Numbers

Tuesday, May 5, 2020,  7:30 AM 
Number of US cases reported: 1,180,634
Number of US deaths: 68,934
Total Number of People Tested in US: 7,285,178 (may not include all labs) 

Associated Press: Malls, movies and more: A look at reopenings by state in US
FiveThirtyEight: Where The Latest COVID-19 Models Think We’re Headed — And Why They Disagree
New York Times: Coronavirus in the U.S.: An Unrelenting Crush of Cases and Deaths

What to Watch For

President Trump will travel to Phoenix, Arizona for a tour of a Honeywell mask assembly facility and a roundtable discussion on supporting Native Americans.

Must Read Stories

Trump And Republicans Ignore Their Own Guidance And Voters And Race To Reopen 

  • CNN: Chris Christie Pushes To Reopen Country Despite Dire Covid-19 Projections: ‘There Are Going To Be Deaths’: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that the country needs to reopen, despite separate key coronavirus models forecasting that thousands may die daily in the United States from Covid-19 and that more than 100,000 may die in total. “Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can — but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?” Christie, a Republican tapped to lead President Donald Trump’s presidential transition team in 2016, told CNN’s Dana Bash on The Daily DC Podcast. “Are there ways that we can… thread the middle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what?”
  • Politico: ‘Viewers Will Get Tired Of Another Season’: Trump And Governors Shrug Off White House Guidance: President Donald Trump and many governors are heralding a reopening of the American economy — even though a majority of states ending their coronavirus shutdowns this week have not met the White House’s most basic thresholds for testing, tracing and a prolonged drop in new cases. The White House has tried to distance itself from governors’ actions by insisting its reopening guidelines are merely suggestions, not the rule of law. But Trump is latching himself on to the message that America is ready to reopen, traveling on Tuesday to Arizona — one of the states not yet meeting all of the administration’s criteria — to visit a Honeywell plant and promote the reopening of huge swaths of the nation.
  • Washington Post: Trump Cheers On Governors Even As They Ignore White House Coronavirus Guidelines In Race To Reopen: States across the country are moving swiftly to reopen their economies despite failing to achieve benchmarks laid out by the White House for when social distancing restrictions could be eased to ensure the public’s safety during the coronavirus pandemic. These governors’ biggest cheerleader is President Trump. A slew of states — such as Texas, Indiana, Colorado and Florida — have pushed forward with relaxing social distancing guidelines even as the number of people testing positive in many states has increased in recent weeks and testing continues to lag behind. White House recommendations released last month encouraged states to wait to see a decline in cases over a two-week period, as well as having robust testing in place for front-line workers before entering “Phase One” of a gradual comeback. But Trump and some of his aides have backed away from their own guidelines, opting instead to hail the broad economic reopening that health experts say has started too quickly. The dichotomy comes as the White House also tried to distance itself from a draft federal government report predicting an explosion of new coronavirus cases and 3,000 daily deaths by June 1.
  • Washington Post: Americans Widely Oppose Reopening Most Businesses, Despite Easing Of Restrictions In Some States, Post-U. Md. Poll Finds: Americans clearly oppose the reopening of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses, even as governors begin to lift restrictions that have kept the economy locked down in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll. The opposition expressed by sizable majorities of Americans reflects other cautions and concerns revealed in the survey, including continuing fears among most people that they could become infected by the coronavirus, as well as a belief that the worst of the medical crisis is not yet over.

Leaked White House Model Predicts Tens of Thousands More Deaths And Cases Around The Country Are Soaring 

  • Washington Post: Draft Report Predicts Covid-19 Cases Will Reach 200,000 A Day By June 1: A draft government report projects covid-19 cases will surge to about 200,000 per day by June 1, a staggering jump that would be accompanied by more than 3,000 deaths each day. The document predicts a sharp increase in both cases and deaths beginning about May 14, according to a copy shared with The Washington Post. The forecast stops at June 1, but shows both daily cases and deaths on an upward trajectory at that point. The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disavowed the report, although the slides carry the CDC’s logo. The creator of the model said the numbers are unfinished projections shown to the CDC as a work in progress.
  • New York Times: Models Project Sharp Rise in Deaths as States Reopen: As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750. The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.
  • New York Times: Coronavirus in the U.S.: An Unrelenting Crush of Cases and Deaths: In New York City, the daily onslaught of death from the coronavirus has dropped to half of what it was. In Chicago, a makeshift hospital in a lakefront convention center is closing, deemed no longer needed. And in New Orleans, new cases have dwindled to a handful each day. Yet across America, those signs of progress obscure a darker reality. The country is still in the firm grip of a pandemic with little hope of release. For every indication of improvement in controlling the virus, new outbreaks have emerged elsewhere, leaving the nation stuck in a steady, unrelenting march of deaths and infections. As states continue to lift restrictions meant to stop the virus, impatient Americans are freely returning to shopping, lingering in restaurants and gathering in parks. Regular new flare-ups and super-spreader events are expected to be close behind. Any notion that the coronavirus threat is fading away appears to be magical thinking, at odds with what the latest numbers show.

The Rules Don’t Apply To The Trump Administration 

  • The Hill: White House Prohibits Coronavirus Task Force Members From Testifying Before Congress In May: White House coronavirus task force members are prohibited from testifying before Congress this month under new guidance issued by the Trump administration Monday. Task force members and key deputies have been instructed not to accept invitations to participate in congressional hearings in May, while other agencies responding to the pandemic are being advised to limit the number of hearings they attend. Top administration officials argue the coronavirus task force and the primary agencies responding to the pandemic need to focus their attention and resources on response efforts, and that having them testify could use up critical hours.
  • New York Times: Most Events in the Lincoln Memorial Are Banned. Trump Got an Exception: As President Trump’s aides ran down the list of possible backdrops for his latest Fox News event, they eventually landed on their favorite: the Lincoln Memorial, an iconic tribute to an American life, and one of Mr. Trump’s preferred places to add a prime-time touch of drama to his presidency. There was just one catch: While Mr. Trump and many other presidents have hosted inauguration concerts and gatherings on the memorial’s steps, any event meant to draw an audience inside the interior near Daniel Chester French’s sculpture of a seated Lincoln is prohibited. The area beginning with the marble staircase where the columns start constitutes a boundary protected by federal law. So on Sunday, when the president sat down with two Fox News anchors at Lincoln’s marbled feet during a coronavirus focused virtual “town hall,” it was because a directive issued by David Bernhardt, the secretary of the interior, had allowed them to do so. Mr. Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist whose Senate nomination was contested by Democrats who pointed to multiple accusations of conflicts of interest and ethical violations, ordered the memorial temporarily closed for the event, citing the coronavirus. “Given the extraordinary crisis that the American people have endured, and the need for the president to exercise a core governmental function to address the nation about an ongoing public-health crisis,” Mr. Bernhardt wrote in an order issued Friday, “I am exercising my authority to facilitate the opportunity for the president to conduct this address within the Lincoln Memorial.”

There’s No Evidence For Mike Pompeo’s Claims That The Virus Was Created In A Chinese Lab 

  • National Geographic: Fauci: No Scientific Evidence The Coronavirus Was Made In A Chinese Lab: Anthony “Tony” Fauci has become the scientific face of America’s COVID-19 response, and he says the best evidence shows the virus behind the pandemic was not made in a lab in China. Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shot down the discussion that has been raging among politicians and pundits, calling it “a circular argument” in a conversation Monday with National Geographic. “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated … Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species,” Fauci says. Based on the scientific evidence, he also doesn’t entertain an alternate theory—that someone found the coronavirus in the wild, brought it to a lab, and then it accidentally escaped.
  • CNN: Intel Shared Among US Allies Indicates Virus Outbreak More Likely Came From Market, Not A Chinese Lab: Intelligence shared among Five Eyes nations indicates it is “highly unlikely” that the coronavirus outbreak was spread as a result of an accident in a laboratory but rather originated in a Chinese market, according to two Western officials who cited an intelligence assessment that appears to contradict claims by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “We think it’s highly unlikely it was an accident,” a Western diplomatic official with knowledge of the intelligence said. “It is highly likely it was naturally occurring and that the human infection was from natural human and animal interaction.” The countries in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing coalition are coalescing around this assessment, the official said, and a second official, from a Five Eyes country, concurred with it. The US has yet to make a formal assessment public.

Worth Watching

Amidst the pandemic, the Trump administration is plotting more regulatory rollbacks — including at nursing homes: 

  • Politico: Trump team plots tax cuts and regulatory suspensions to boost a coronavirus recovery
  • USA Today: ‘It makes no sense’: Feds consider relaxing infection control in U.S. nursing homes

Other News

Trump’s Failures 
Bloomberg: State Reopenings Muddy Trump’s Projection of 100,000 Dead
CNN: Intel shared among US allies indicates virus outbreak more likely came from market, not a Chinese lab
CNN: Timeline: Tracking Trump’s rising coronavirus death toll estimates
The Hill: White House prohibits coronavirus task force members from testifying before Congress in May
National Geographic: Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab
New York Post: Trump says coronavirus comeback underway: People are ‘starting to feel good’
New York Times: F.D.A. Orders Companies to Submit Antibody Test Data
New York Times: Most Events in the Lincoln Memorial Are Banned. Trump Got an Exception.
New York Times: Models Project Sharp Rise in Deaths as States Reopen
Politico: ‘Viewers will get tired of another season’: Trump and governors shrug off White House guidance
Politico: States were supposed to team up on reopening. It hasn’t gone as planned.
Politico: How a 96-hour project helped Trump’s team reverse its testing debacle
USA Today: ‘It makes no sense’: Feds consider relaxing infection control in U.S. nursing homes
Washington Post: Trump cheers on governors even as they ignore White House coronavirus guidelines in race to reopen
Washington Post: Draft report predicts covid-19 cases will reach 200,000 a day by June 1
Washington Post: Before pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.

Trump and the GOP Not Looking Out For You 
CNBC: Carnival Cruise Line says it will sail again Aug. 1, a week after coronavirus no-sail order due to expire
CNN: Chris Christie pushes to reopen country despite dire Covid-19 projections: ‘There are going to be deaths’
New York Times: How Bailout Backlash and Moral Hazard Outrage Could Endanger the Economy
Politico: Trump team plots tax cuts and regulatory suspensions to boost a coronavirus recovery
Talking Points Memo: Mnuchin Urges People To ‘Explore’ US Despite CDC Warning Against Non-Essential Travel

Affordability and Access
Associated Press: In a time of COVID-19, ‘Obamacare’ still part of the action
Colorado Sun: Colorado Democrats abandon 2020 effort to pass public health insurance option

Politico: ‘This is weird’: The Senate returns amid the pandemic

Democratic Response 
New York Times: For A.O.C., ‘Existential Crises’ as Her District Becomes the Coronavirus Epicenter
Politico: Democrats aim to squeeze Republicans on next coronavirus relief package

Economic Impact
The Atlantic (Ideas): The Bridge to the Post-pandemic World Is Collapsing
New York Times: The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office

HuffPost: You Can’t Reopen The Economy Without Child Care

CNN: More than 370 workers at a pork plant in Missouri tested positive for coronavirus. All were asymptomatic

Health Impact
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Sick Georgians avoiding ER, doctors’ offices due to fear of COVID-19
Washington Post: The coronavirus pandemic is pushing America into a mental health crisis

Hospitals and Health Care Workers
Buzzfeed: The Mental Health Crisis For Frontline Workers Has Already Begun
New York Times: 3 Hospital Workers Gave Out Masks. Weeks Later, They All Were Dead.
Washington Post: Historic financial decline hits doctors, dentists and hospitals — despite covid-19 — threatening overall economy

Reuters: After Retesting Samples, French Hospital Discovers COVID-19 Case From December
Reuters: Internal Chinese report warns Beijing faces Tiananmen-like global backlash over virus
Vox: Canada succeeded on coronavirus where America failed. Why?
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Sweeps Across Brazil, a Land Ill-Equipped to Fight It

In the States
New York Times: 15 Children Are Hospitalized With Mysterious Illness Possibly Tied to Covid-19
Politico: Kemp dismisses ‘ridiculous’ criticism of Georgia, other states moving to reopen

Nursing Homes
The Atlantic: Nuns vs. the Coronavirus

Axios: Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, Week 8: Second-guessing the death toll Washington Post: Americans widely oppose reopening most businesses, despite easing of restrictions in some states, Post-U. Md. poll finds

The Hill: GOP Ohio state lawmaker refuses to wear face mask because faces are the ‘likeness of God’

Science and Technology
New York Times: Pfizer Begins Human Trials of Possible Coronavirus Vaccine

Social Impact
New York Times: Social Distancing Informants Have Their Eyes on You

CNBC: Amazon engineer quits after he ‘snapped’ when the company fired workers who called for coronavirus protections
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus energizes the labor movement. Can it last?

Trump Tweets 

A group of RINO Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, “Morning in America”, doing everything possible to get even for all of their many failures. You see, these loser types don’t care about 252 new Federal Judges, 2 great Supreme Court Justices, a rebuilt military, a protected 2nd Amendment, biggest EVER Tax & Regulation cuts, and much more. I didn’t use any of them because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe. I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad. John Weaver lost big for Kasich (to me). Crazed Rick Wilson lost for Evan “McMuffin” McMullin (to me). Steve Schmidt & Reed Galvin lost for John McCain, Romney’s campaign manager (?) lost big to “O”, & Jennifer Horn got thrown out of the New Hampshire Republican Party. They’re all LOSERS, but Abe Lincoln, Republican, is all smiles! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/5/20

MSDNC and FAKE NEWS CNN are going wild trying to protect China! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/4/20

Interesting? By Congress not wanting the special 5 minute testing apparatus, they are saying that they are not “essential”.  In any event, we have great testing capacity, and have performed 6.5 million tests, which is more than every country in the world, combined! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/4/20

Mexico is sadly experiencing very big CoronaVirus problems, and now California, get this, doesn’t want people coming over the Southern Border. A Classic! They are sooo lucky that I am their President. Border is very tight and the Wall is rapidly being built! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/4/20

Getting great reviews, finally, for how well we are handling the pandemic, especially our strong production of desperately needed ventilators, the building of field hospitals & beds, and soon, the great things we are doing on testing. People are really working well together! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/4/20]

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