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Coronavirus Update
May 27, 2020
Driving the Day:

By the Numbers

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 7:30 AM 
Number of US cases reported: 1,681,418
Number of US deaths: 98,929
Total Number of People Tested in US: 14,907,041 (may not include all labs) 

NPR: Nearing 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths, U.S. Is Still ‘Early In This Outbreak’
Reuters: Where U.S. coronavirus cases are on the rise

What to Watch For

President Trump will meet with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) in the Oval Office at 11:00 AM and then will travel to Florida to view the launch of SpaceX’s test mission to the International Space Station.  The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the disparate impact of the pandemic on communities of color.

Must Read Stories

USA Likely To Reach 100,000 Coronavirus Fatalities Today

USA Today: US Deaths Near 100K: The national coronavirus toll was closing in on a stunning 100,000 deaths Wednesday as states slowly reopened their economies while attempting to control the number of new infections, hospitalizations and fatalities. […] Globally, Brazil was fast becoming the pandemic’s latest epicenter. There are more than 5.6 million confirmed cases around the world, with nearly 1.7 million in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. More than 350,000 people have died worldwide. The U.S. has reported more than 98,900 dead in a span of less than four months, more than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.

Trump’s Administration Is Utterly Failing To Protect Frontline Health Care Workers 

  • NPR: Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19: When President Trump took office in 2017, his team stopped work on new federal regulations that would have forced the health care industry to prepare for an airborne infectious disease pandemic such as COVID-19. That decision is documented in federal records reviewed by NPR. “If that rule had gone into effect, then every hospital, every nursing home would essentially have to have a plan where they made sure they had enough respirators and they were prepared for this sort of pandemic,” said David Michaels, who was head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration until January 2017. There are still no specific federal regulations protecting health care workers from deadly airborne pathogens such as influenza, tuberculosis or the coronavirus. 
  • New York Times: They Evoke Darth Vader, But these Masks May Save Your Doctor’s Life: Government-supported research predicted over a decade ago that a pandemic would cause a dire shortage of disposable masks, and multiple federal agencies urged hospitals and policymakers to consider stockpiling elastomerics, which are designed to be cleaned and reused for years and are government-certified to protect at least as well as N95s. Last year, researchers simulating a pandemic found that health care workers could be rapidly fitted and trained to use the masks, and last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published guidance on deploying them in response to the coronavirus. But only a handful of U.S. hospitals are using the masks widely, and the federal government — including the agency that manages the Strategic National Stockpile — has made no effort to boost production or facilitate their distribution, an examination by The New York Times found. At the same time, the shortage of disposable N95s is so severe that federal regulators have taken the extraordinary step of allowing them to be used multiple times with little-tested decontamination methods.

Trump Mockery of Mask Wearing Increasingly Puts Him On An Island & Puts Americans At Risk 

  • Washington Post: Trump’s Mockery Of Wearing Masks Divides Republicans:  A growing chorus of Republicans are pushing back against President Trump’s suggestion that wearing cloth masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus is a sign of personal weakness or political correctness. They include governors seeking to prevent a rebound in coronavirus cases and federal lawmakers who face tough reelection fights this fall, as national polling shows lopsided support for wearing masks in public. “Wearing a face covering is not about politics — it’s about helping other people,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said Tuesday in a plea over Twitter, echoing comments by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) last week. “This is one time when we truly are all in this together.” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who faces a tough reelection fight, has added “#wearyourmask” to his Twitter handle, after photographing himself earlier the month wearing a mask in an airport as part of an appeal for the public to “remain vigilant.” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate who is running for reelection this year, shared a photo of himself in a mask on Monday, asking others to adopt the practice. “We all have to do our part. Maintain social distancing but if you can’t, do this,” Cornyn wrote on Instagram. “Easy peasy. Go for it.” The comments come as Trump continues to treat face masks as something to mock, refusing to wear one in public and joining his staff and family in ridiculing his Democratic rival Joe Biden for doing otherwise.
  • New York Times: Biden, Urging Face Masks, Calls Trump a ‘Fool’ for Not Wearing One:  Joseph R. Biden Jr. laced into President Trump on Tuesday, calling him an “absolute fool” for refusing to wear a mask in public on Memorial Day and for appearing to scoff at the former vice president for wearing one. “He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way,” Mr. Biden said in an interview with Dana Bash of CNN, his first in-person interview since the coronavirus crisis took him off the campaign trail. Castigating Mr. Trump for “this macho stuff,” Mr. Biden accused him of “stoking deaths” and aggravating cultural divisions over mask-wearing. The interview, conducted outside Mr. Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del., and with Mr. Biden and Ms. Bash seated 12 feet apart, occurred a day after he appeared in public for the first time in more than two months, visiting a veterans memorial in Delaware. He and his wife, Jill Biden, both wore black masks as they laid a wreath, cutting a stark visual contrast with Mr. Trump, who has largely declined to wear a mask in public despite federal health recommendations.

With Cases Surging In Charlotte, Trump Is Trying To Bully NC Governor Roy Cooper Into Bringing Tens Of Thousands Of People To Town For A Super Spreader Republican National Convention

  • Associated Press: Trump’s Convention Demand Comes Amid Charlotte Virus Surge: President Donald Trump’s demand for a full-capacity Republican convention in August is putting pressure on North Carolina health officials — and local Republicans — as coronavirus cases surge in the host county and statewide. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has refused to give in, though, responding with a letter demanding a written safety plan from organizers of the Republican National Convention, slated for August in Charlotte. Even local Republican officials note that Trump doesn’t have the power to unilaterally move the event scheduled to start in 90 days after two years of planning.
  • Vox: Packing 20,000 People Into An Arena For The RNC Is A Bad Idea. Trump Wants It To Happen Anyway:  The idea of 20,000 people traveling from all parts of the United States to pack themselves into an arena amid an outbreak of a highly communicable, deadly disease that spreads especially efficiently indoors might sound ill-advised to most of us. But most of us are not President Donald Trump. Ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, the GOP planned to have its 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. For obvious reasons, that’s no longer a sure thing — and Trump isn’t coping well with the uncertainty. Despite new coronavirus cases continuing to show an upward trajectory in the state, Trump on Monday demanded immediate assurances from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper that more than 20,000 people will be allowed to pack into Charlotte’s Spectrum Center for the RNC in August. In a string of tweets, Trump threatened that without such a guarantee, “We will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”

Trump’s Pandemic Policies Are Causing Untold Cruelty To Children 

  • New York Times: Hunger Program’s Slow Start Leaves Millions Of Children Waiting: As child hunger soars to levels without modern precedent, an emergency program Congress created two months ago has reached only a small fraction of the 30 million children it was intended to help. The program, Pandemic-EBT, aims to compensate for the declining reach of school meals by placing their value on electronic cards that families can use in grocery stores. But collecting lunch lists from thousands of school districts, transferring them to often-outdated state computers and issuing specialized cards has proved much harder than envisioned, leaving millions of needy families waiting to buy food. Congress approved the effort in mid-March as part of the Families First act, its first major coronavirus relief package. By May 15, only about 15 percent of eligible children had received benefits, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Just 12 states had started sending money, and Michigan and Rhode Island alone had finished.
  • Los Angeles Times: Family Separation Returns Under Cover Of The Coronavirus: Three of the children — ages 10, 14, and 16 — just joined their father, Jose, after winning release from a government shelter where they had been held for more than two months. Now, they have deportation orders hanging over their heads. U.S. officials are fighting in court to take the three children and deport them to El Salvador — to no one. […] This is the new family separation, two years after taking kids from their parents at the border blew up into a crisis for the Trump administration. Citing the coronavirus to seal the border to an unprecedented extent, the administration is engaged in a pressure campaign against immigrant parents to get them to give up either their kids or their legal claims to protection in the U.S. Scores of migrant families across the country are being targeted, according to court documents and more than 20 officials, judges, lawyers and migrants.

New Research Highlights More Missed Opportunities To Stop The Coronavirus Outbreak In The U.S. 

Stat: New Research Rewrites History Of When Covid-19 Arrived In U.S. — And Points To Missed Chances To Stop It:  New research has poured cold water on the theory that the Covid-19 outbreak in Washington state — the country’s first — was triggered by the very first confirmed case of the infection in the country. Instead, it suggests the person who ignited the first chain of sustained transmission in the United States probably returned to the country in mid-February, a month later. The work adds to evidence that the United States missed opportunities to stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus from taking root in this country — and that those opportunities persisted for longer than has been recognized up until now.

Worth Watching

What we could be learning from other countries:  test widely, quarantine aggressively, treat early, and ban dangerous quack cures:

  • Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Doesn’t Have to Be So Deadly. Just Look at Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • New York Times: Here’s How Wuhan Tested 6.5 Million for Coronavirus in Days
  • Politico: France bans use of hydroxychloroquine to cure coronavirus

Other News

Trump’s Failures 
New York Times: They Evoke Darth Vader, But these Masks May Save Your Doctor’s Life 
NPR: Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19
Philadelphia Inquirer: Some Pa. seniors are turning on Trump. That could be a problem for his reelection.
Politico: HHS watchdog vows independence amid Trump actions
Stat: New research rewrites history of when Covid-19 arrived in U.S. — and points to missed chances to stop it
Vox: Trump dismisses his own government’s guidance about masks as “politically correct”

Trump’s Lies and Misinformation
CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims California is sending mail-in ballots to undocumented immigrants
New York Times: Biden, Urging Face Masks, Calls Trump a ‘Fool’ for Not Wearing One
Politico: France bans use of hydroxychloroquine to cure coronavirus
Washington Post: Trump’s mockery of wearing masks divides Republicans
Washington Post: Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time
Washington Post: Trump calls mask wearing ‘politically correct,’ Biden calls him a ‘fool’

Trump and the GOP Not Looking Out For You 
Associated Press: Trump’s convention demand comes amid Charlotte virus surge
Los Angeles Times: Family separation returns under cover of the coronavirus
New York Times: In Audacious Move, Georgia and Florida Governors Offer to Host G.O.P. Convention
New York Times: Republicans Plan to Sue Pelosi to Block House Proxy Voting During Pandemic
New York Times: Hunger Program’s Slow Start Leaves Millions of Children Waiting
ProPublica: Bill Barr Promised to Release Prisoners Threatened by Coronavirus — Even as the Feds Secretly Made It Harder for Them to Get Out
Vox: Packing 20,000 people into an arena for the RNC is a bad idea. Trump wants it to happen anyway.
Yahoo: Calls in Congress for probe on how former Trump aide won $3 million respirator contract
Wall Street Journal: Landlords Were Never Meant to Get Bailout Funding. Many Got It Anyway.

Affordability and Access

Kaiser Health News: COVID-Like Cough Sent Him To ER — Where He Got A $3,278 Bill

Associated Press: Congress weighs choice: ‘Go big’ on virus aid or hit ‘pause’

Economic Impact
New York Times: The Price of a Virus Lockdown: Economic ‘Free Fall’ in California
Wall Street Journal: Amtrak Prepares to Cut 20% of Workforce

NPR: A Looming Financial Meltdown For America’s Schools

Health Impact
Kaiser Health News: Nearly Half Of Americans Delayed Medical Care Due To Pandemic
Washington Post: A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic

Time: As Washington D.C. Weighs Reopening, African Americans in the Nation’s Capital Brace for the Worst
Vice: ‘In Survival Mode’: The Pandemic Is Devastating the Black LGBTQ Community

New York Times: Here’s How Wuhan Tested 6.5 Million for Coronavirus in Days
Reuters: Special Report: Bolsonaro brought in his generals to fight coronavirus. Brazil is losing the battle
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Doesn’t Have to Be So Deadly. Just Look at Hong Kong and Singapore.
Washington Post: The pictures say it all: How South Korean schools are reopening
Washington Post: The largest lockdown in the world is ending. India is bracing for what comes next.

In the States
Alabama Political Reporter: “We’re surging:” Alabama reports largest COVID-19 increases to date
Axios: New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March
CNN: Ohio Republican governor says wearing a mask is ‘about loving your fellow human being’
New York Times: After Crowding at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri Officials Urge Quarantine
WRAL (Editorial): Don’t be fooled. If GOP abandons Charlotte, it will be on President Trump

Associated Press: AP-NORC poll: Half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine
Politico: Poll: Despite Trump’s endorsement, few voters support use of hydroxycholoroquine

Science and Technology
Associated Press: Dangerous blood clots pose a perplexing coronavirus threat
Wall Street Journal: Why Coronavirus Tests Give Some People a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’

Trump Tweets 

We pass 15,000,000 Tests Today, by far the most in the World. Open Safely! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/27/20

Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!  [@realDonaldTrump, 5/27/20

Great News: The boring but very nasty magazine, The Atlantic, is rapidly failing, going down the tubes, and has just been forced to announce it is laying off at least 20% of its staff in order to limp into the future. This is a tough time to be in the Fake News Business! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

.@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

Didn’t Obama, whose Administration has now been caught cold illegally spying on the Trump campaign, recently also get caught playing golf on a course in Virginia, despite his wife Michelle urging people to stay home, before and after his round, in a major public service message? A total double standard. The only thing the Dems have going for them is their very close relationship with the Fake News Lamestream Media!   [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

For all of the political hacks out there, if I hadn’t done my job well, & early, we would have lost 1 1/2 to 2 Million People, as opposed to the 100,000 plus that looks like will be the number. That’s 15 to 20 times more than we will lose. I shut down entry from China very early! One person lost to this invisible virus is too much, it should have been stopped at its source, China, but I acted very quickly, and made the right decisions. Many of the current political complainers thought, at the time, that I was moving far to fast, like Crazy Nancy!  [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

We made most Governors look very good, even great, by getting them the Ventilators, unlimited Testing, and supplies, all of which they should have had in their own stockpiles. So they look great, and I just keep rolling along, doing great things and getting Fake Lamestream News! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

Stock Market up BIG, DOW crosses 25,000. S&P 500 over 3000. States should open up ASAP. The Transition to Greatness has started, ahead of schedule. There will be ups and downs, but next year will be one of the best ever! [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!  [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

Joe Biden’s handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. Even polls on the matter were terrible!  [@realDonaldTrump, 5/26/20]

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Donald Trump’s failure to prepare America for this crisis makes us less safe. Now all Americans are paying the price.
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