CORONAVIRUS UPDATE — JUNE 22, 2020

26 mins read

Coronavirus Update
June 22, 2020
Driving the Day:

By the Numbers


Monday, June 22, 2020 7:30 AM
Number of US cases reported:2,280,969
Number of US deaths: 119,977
Total Number of People Tested in US: 27,084,900 (may not include all labs)

What to Watch For

Today: President Trump has no public events scheduled today. 

Tuesday:  Trump will travel to Arizona for a briefing on wall construction in Yuma, a roundtable on border security, and to speak at the Students for Trump convention in Phoenix. 

Hearings 

Wednesday: Trump will hold a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda

Thursday: Trump will visit Fincantieri Mariette Marine in Mariette, Wisconsin. 

Friday: Trump will deliver remarks at the American workforce policy advisory board meeting.

Sunday: Mike Pence will travel to Texas for “Freedom Sunday” at First Baptist Dallas.

Must Read Stories

At Failed Tulsa Rally Trump Says He Asked Officials To “Slow Down” Testing So He Would Look Better

  • Axios: Trump Says He Asked Officials To Slow Coronavirus Testing Down:  President Trump told the crowd at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday that he asked officials to “slow the testing down” for the novel coronavirus. […] At the rally, Trump reiterated his claims that ramped up testing was to blame for the U.S. having the world’s highest number of COVID-19 cases, and he again blamed China for the pandemic — which he continued to refer to using terms the World Health Organization has said could stigmatize individuals with Chinese ancestry. He also referred to COVID-19 as “kung flu,” a term White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has previously called “highly offensive.” Trump said the virus was a “double-edged sword” because it counts cases like a “young man, 10 years old” who “got the sniffles, he’s gonna recover in about 15 minutes.”
  • Washington Post: Democrats, Public Health Experts Decry Trump For Saying He Asked Officials To Slow Down Coronavirus Testing: President Trump’s Saturday night remark that he asked officials to “slow the [coronavirus] testing down” sparked harsh rebukes from experts and frustration from his own staffers, who say it undercuts their efforts to reassure Americans as the disease surges around the country. The president’s comment, which came on the same day that eight states reported their highest-ever single-day case counts, drew a chorus of criticism from congressional Democrats and public health officials, who worry the president is more concerned with saving face than combating the pandemic. “Looking at it as a scoreboard is the wrong way to think about it,” said Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “To think of it as something you can manipulate or slow down based on what the numbers look like speaks to a complete misunderstanding of what an infectious-disease response should be.”
  • NBC: Top Democrats Say Trump Sitting On $14 Billion For Coronavirus Testing, Contact Tracing: The Trump administration has been sitting on nearly $14 billion in funding that Congress passed for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, according to Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Patty Murray of Washington. The top Democrats said in a letter Sunday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the Trump administration has “still failed” to distribute more than $8 billion out of $25 billion appropriated by Congress to expand testing and contact tracing. The letter indicated that Congress passed these funds as part of a coronavirus relief bill in April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also hasn’t awarded nearly $4 billion for surveillance and contact tracing at the state and local levels and tribal territories, they said, and very little of $2 billion set aside for free testing for uninsured people has been disbursed.

US Cases Continue To Surge Across The South And West 

  • CNN: Nearly Half Of Us States Are Reporting A Rise In New Coronavirus Cases: The first wave of coronavirus in the US isn’t over.: Nearly half of states are reporting a rise in new cases and some continue to break records in their daily reported cases. In the South, officials say more young people are testing positive. And across the US, experts continue to repeat warnings highlighting the need for social distancing and face covers. And while some point to the rise in numbers as a result of more testing, health officials say more tests are only partly to blame. “More testing does in fact turn out more cases. However … if widespread testing was the entire reason for the rise in cases, you’d expect to see the proportion of positive tests go down or at the very least remain steady. We’re not seeing that,” says Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, a specialist in internal medicine at the California Pacific Medical Center.
  • CNN: More Young People Across The South Are Testing Positive For Coronavirus, Officials Warn: Officials in states across the South are warning that more young people are testing positive for coronavirus. The shifts in demographics have been recorded in parts of Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and other states — many of which were some of the first to reopen. And while some officials have pointed to more widespread testing being done, others say the new cases stem from Americans failing to social distance.
  • Wall Street Journal: White House Preparing for Second Wave of Coronavirus, Trade Adviser Says: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that the Trump administration is preparing for a second wave of coronavirus infections. “We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall. We are doing everything we can beneath the surface, working as hard as we possibly can,’’ Mr. Navarro told CNN. “You prepare—you prepare for what can possibly happen. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but of course you prepare.’’ In a statement later, Mr. Navarro said: “We don’t necessarily expect a second wave but prudence dictates that we plan for it. There is no contradiction.” There have been 2,269,463 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and 119,868 deaths, according to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University. Among U.S. states, coronavirus infections are growing fastest in Arizona, South Carolina, Florida and Texas, according to Johns Hopkins. In Arizona, the total number of Covid-19 cases have nearly doubled in the last two weeks.

Local Leaders And Businesses Act To Protect Citizens And Workers Even As GOP Governors And The Federal Government Sit On Their Hands

  • Bloomberg: Masks Are Mandated Even in Red States, With Covid Cases Soaring: The sharp resurgence of Covid-19 in Sunbelt states is prompting a new spate of face-mask mandates as governments try to curb the pandemic without reverting to lockdowns that wrought havoc on their economies. In some cases, the orders have reinforced the politicization of public-health measures, with President Donald Trump mostly refusing to wear face masks in public and declaring in May that he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure” of seeing him in one. But with infections hitting record levels, Democratic mayors in some Republican-run states are going out on their own to demand the face coverings — and some governors are going along. Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey changed course and gave local governments the power to require masks. Texas’s Greg Abbott said mayors couldn’t require citizens to mask up, but allowed them to sanction businesses that permitted patrons to enter unprotected.
  • NBC: Cruise Lines Voluntarily Suspend All Trips Out Of U.S. Ports Until Sept. 15, Trade Group Says:  Major cruise lines have agreed to voluntarily extend a suspension of operations out of U.S. ports until Sept. 15, the Cruise Lines International Association announced Friday. “Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations,” CLIA, which represents the largest cruise companies in the world, said in a statement. “It is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.”
  • Wall Street Journal: Apple Closes Retail Stores in Four States as Coronavirus Cases Rise: Apple Inc. said it would re-close nearly a dozen stores across four states where cases of the coronavirus have climbed, showing wariness in the business community about the safety of reopening in some places. Retailers from Best Buy Co. to Macy’s Inc. have set plans to reopen hundreds of U.S. locations by the end of June. Those that were forced to close in March have taken various approaches to reopening, with some wanting to move faster or more deliberately than local policy makers would allow. Apple has taken a more conservative to store operations than other retailers. In mid-March, it was among the first to close its roughly 270 stores in the U.S., and upon reopening some stores in May, it required that staff and customers and staff wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The closure of 11 of its stores—two near Charlotte, N.C., one near Greenville, S.C., two near Naples, Fla., and six across Arizona—showed that it is evaluating local information about positive Covid-19 test results and taking measures to protect staff and customers from infection, as well as its brand from negative publicity of an outbreak at stores, analysts said.

Shortages And Testing Problems Continue To Pile Up

  • Daily Beast: Problems With Trump-Touted COVID-19 Test Pile Up: In mid-May, the Food and Drug Administration issued a rare public warning about an Abbott Laboratories COVID-19 test that for weeks had received high praise from the White House because of its speed: Test results could be wrong. The agency at that point had received 15 “adverse event reports” about Abbott’s ID NOW rapid COVID test suggesting that infected patients were wrongly told they did not have the virus, which had already led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. The warning followed multiple academic studies showing higher “false negative” rates from the Abbott device, including one from New York University researchers who found it missed close to half of the positive samples detected by a rival company’s test. But then, in a move that confounded lab officials and other public health experts, a senior FDA official later that month said coronavirus tests provided outside lab settings would be considered useful in fighting the pandemic even if they miss 1 in 5 positive cases—a worrisome failure rate. The FDA has now received a total of 106 reports of adverse events for the Abbott test, a staggering increase. The agency has not received a single adverse event report for any other point-of-care tests meant to diagnose COVID-19, an agency spokesperson said.
  • ABC: Strained Supply Chain For Glass Vials Could Delay Coronavirus Vaccine:  Even though many potential COVID-19 vaccines require different pharmaceutical ingredients and processes, drugmakers the world over have found themselves racing to acquire a key ingredient without which they can’t distribute their live-saving drugs: glass. With at least 11 novel coronavirus vaccines having advanced to clinical trials, companies and governments are working to avoid a life-threatening bottleneck in the supply chain that could prevent the medicine from finding its way into the glass vials used to give patients shots. The glass market is relatively fixed and slow-growing, making it prone to shortages, according to BIO Vice President of Infectious Diseases Phyllis Arthur. Glass manufacturers, of which there are few, could have trouble sourcing thousands of vaccine doses, let alone billions. “That is an extraordinary surge in demand for that product, that specific piece of material,” Arthur said. The urgent demand for vials could not only overwhelm the U.S. market but trigger a global shortage, which is why scientists, manufacturers and government officials are sounding the alarm — and not just for glass.
  • Wall Street Journal: Pence Overstates Coronavirus Supplies Delivered by Administration’s ‘Airbridge’ Program: Vice President Mike Pence has overstated the amount of coronavirus-related medical equipment distributed by a Trump administration program on multiple occasions, according to public data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an Opinion article published by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Mr. Pence praised the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, and singled out Project Airbridge, a public-private partnership championed by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Mr. Pence wrote that as of June 12, Project Airbridge had delivered more than 143 million N95 masks, 598 million surgical and procedural masks, 20 million eye and face shields, 265 million gowns and coveralls and 14 billion gloves. According to FEMA data, through June 18 the program had delivered 1.5 million N95 masks, 113.4 million surgical masks, 2.5 million face shields, 50.9 million gowns, 1.4 million coveralls and 937 million gloves. The total number of those supplies is about 7%—or one-thirteenth—of the numbers cited in Mr. Pence’s article. A Pence official acknowledged the error on Thursday and said the numbers that Mr. Pence used in the Opinion article represent all supplies delivered by the federal government for the coronavirus reponse, including the supplies delivered through Project Airbridge and the major medical-surgical distributors that it partnered with.

Between 70 and 99 Percent Of American Lives Lost Could Have Been Saved With A Faster Response 

Stat (Opinion): How Many Needless Covid-19 Deaths Were Caused By Delays In Responding? Most Of Them: More than 120,000 Americans have now perished from Covid-19, surpassing the total number of U.S. dead during World War I. Had American leaders taken the decisive, early measures that several other nations took when they had exactly the same information the U.S. did, at exactly the same time in their experience of the novel coronavirus, how many of these Covid-19 deaths could have been prevented? That isn’t a hypothetical question. And the answer that emerges from a direct comparison of the fatalities in and policies of the U.S. and other countries — South Korea, Australia, Germany, and Singapore — indicates that between 70% and 99% of the Americans who died from this pandemic might have been saved by measures demonstrated by others to have been feasible.

Worth Watching

New analysis shows Maine has the widest coronavirus racial disparity gap in the country: 

  • Associated Press: Maine has widest coronavirus racial disparity gap in the country

Other News

Trump’s Failures 
ABC: Strained supply chain for glass vials could delay coronavirus vaccine
Axios: Trump says he asked officials to slow coronavirus testing down
Axios: U.S. coronavirus cases are increasing, but deaths aren’t — yet
Bloomberg: Masks Are Mandated Even in Red States, With Covid Cases Soaring
CNN: More young people across the South are testing positive for coronavirus, officials warn
Daily Beast: Problems With Trump-Touted COVID-19 Test Pile Up
NBC: Cruise lines voluntarily suspend all trips out of U.S. ports until Sept. 15, trade group says
NBC: Top members of coronavirus task force advised against Trump’s Tulsa rally
Politico: How the U.S. and Italy traded places on coronavirus
Politico: Trump trade adviser: Rally comment on reducing Covid testing was just a joke
Politico: NIH halts hydroxychloroquine study
Politico: Trump rejects Fauci’s warning about football’s return
Politico: Navy upholds firing of carrier captain who warned of coronavirus
Stat (Opinion): How many needless Covid-19 deaths were caused by delays in responding? Most of them
Wall Street Journal: White House Preparing for Second Wave of Coronavirus, Trade Adviser Says
Wall Street Journal: The Virus Is Still Winning. Sports May Have to Wait.
Wall Street Journal: Pence Overstates Coronavirus Supplies Delivered by Administration’s ‘Airbridge’ Program
Wall Street Journal: Apple Closes Retail Stores in Four States as Coronavirus Cases Rise
Washington Post: Democrats, public health experts decry Trump for saying he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing
Washington Post: In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm
Washington Post: Public health experts warn Pence’s sunny approach to pandemic ignores possibility of dark days ahead

Trump and the GOP Not Looking Out For You 
Politico: Treasury, SBA cave to demands for bailout transparency

Campaigns And Elections 
Politico: Sign of the times: The return of campaign door knockers

Economic Impact 
New York Times: Vast Federal Aid Has Capped Rise in Poverty, Studies Find

Health Impact
NBC: 10,000 more cancer deaths predicted because of COVID-19 pandemic

Inequality
Associated Press: Maine has widest coronavirus racial disparity gap in the country
Stat: As Covid-19 devastates communities of color, the government’s minority health experts are conspicuously quiet

International
Associated Press: WHO reports largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases
Associated Press: Virus cases surge in US, India, but slow in China, Korea


In The States

Arizona Republic: In national spotlight with COVID-19, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey avoids aggressive response
Los Angeles Times: Mysterious deaths of infants, children raise questions about how early coronavirus hit California
NBC: As the coronavirus surges in Oklahoma, rising fears of outbreaks in nursing homes
New York Times: N.Y.C. Hired 3,000 Workers for Contact Tracing. It’s Not Going Well.
Politico: DeSantis pivots on Covid-19 surge, says testing doesn’t account for spike
Tampa Bay Times: Florida closing in on 100,000 coronavirus infections after adding 3,494 cases Sunday

Nursing Homes
NBC: Nursing homes represent more than 1 in 4 COVID-19 deaths in U.S.
New York Times: ‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents

Science and Technology
Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Research Opens to Little-Studied Group: Pregnant Patients
Washington Post: People probably caught coronavirus from minks. That’s a wake-up call to study infections in animals, researchers say.

Trump Tweets


RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES! [@realDonaldTrump, 6/22/20

Our Coronavirus testing is so much greater (25 million tests) and so much more advanced, that it makes us look like we have more cases, especially proportionally, than other countries. My message on that is very clear! [@realDonaldTrump, 6/22/20

“His (President Trump’s) policies set a foundation that allowed us to survive the pandemic.” @HeyTammyBruce @SteveHiltonx @FoxNews  True, we built something so strong that we are now setting economic growth records again – Jobs & Growth!!! [@realDonaldTrump, 6/22/20

Informed Dr. Fauci this morning that he has nothing to do with NFL Football. Forced Democrat run Minnesota to bring in the National Guard & end rioting & looting after seeing the destruction & crime in Minneapolis. 100% successful! Waiting to hear from Dem run Washington State as to whether they want help in taking back Seattle. Ready to move quickly! Damage to various Democrat run Cities & States, including statue demolition, should not be allowed to happen. Ready to solve problem quickly! Federal Government is Ready, Willing & Able!@TuckerCarlson [@realDonaldTrump, 6/19/20

Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!! [@realDonaldTrump, 6/19/20


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