Coronavirus Report

Ready Responders CEO Justin Dangel stresses importance of Medicaid population; Fauci says he won’t attend Trump rally this weekend


> Trump touts nonexistent ‘AIDS vaccine’ as proof scientists can develop coronavirus vaccine 

> ‘Of course not’: Fauci says he would not attend Trump’s Tulsa rally amid virus concerns 

> Local officials at odds with governors over reopening, rising cases 

> US borders with Canada, Mexico to remain closed to nonessential travel 

> Zoom fundraisers and empty offices: How campaigns are adjusting to COVID-19 

> 16 friends infected after partying at Florida bar now say they regret going out 

> Airlines ban alcohol on planes in response to COVID-19 

> Eiffel Tower to reopen after longest closure since WWII 

> The president of Honduras has tested positive for the coronavirus 

> Ready Responders co-founder and CEO Justin Dangel stresses importance of Medicaid population, says home-delivered urgent care relieves stress on overtaxed health system, claims promising new COVID-19 tests will deliver results in 15-30 minutes, adds some large networks moving too slowly to cover new providers reaching vulnerable populations


Justin Dangel, co-founder and CEO, Ready Responders

Ready Responders CEO Justin Dangel stresses importance of Medicaid population, says home-delivered urgent care relieves stress on overtaxed health system, says promising new COVID-19 tests will deliver results in 15-30 minutes, adds some large networks moving too slowly to cover new providers reaching vulnerable populations. 





Watch the full interview here.


Welcome to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report. It’s Wednesday, June 17.

Editor’s Note. 


In his novel “The Plague,” Albert Camus writes something appropriate to the stressful challenges science is under today. 


“But again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death. The schoolteacher is well aware of this. And the question is not one of knowing what punishment or reward attends the making of this calculation. The question is one of knowing whether two and two do make four.”  


On Tuesday, as part of the forthcoming Collision from Home conference, I had the opportunity to speak jointly with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Toronto Mayor John Tory. Both said that to help guide their cities through the torments of the time — a pandemic that is preying on the elderly, the homeless, and others with health challenges baked in and the broad swath of “vulnerable communities” — they are keenly watching the data coming in to them. Lightfoot said early on said she saw data showing that black infection and mortality rates were seven times greater than white victims at the early stages of this crisis. These two mayors have been working with medical and public health experts and scientists to help their cities contain the virus, to communicate with the public, and to create health guardrails for safely reopening most of the economy. But they are making the choice to listen to those who know that two and two make four.


Some other parts of the government don’t operate from the same foundation. President Trump on Tuesday said that scientists would create a coronavirus vaccine like the “AIDS vaccine.” Only problem is there is no AIDS vaccine. He may have been referring to the HIV-deterring drug called PrEP, taken as a pill on a daily basis. But set that aside for the moment. 


The president wants big rallies and one is planned for Tulsa, Okla., this weekend. Experts are worried this kind of event will set the country back in terms of infections. Anthony Fauci said that he is among those who are a “vulnerable community” as he is 79 years old, adding he would not attend such a rally in Tulsa.


There are many questions about Saturday’s rally, such as, how many people will be wearing masks? There is now a very clear partisan divide in the country on the perceived efficacy of wearing masks, something every credible public health official I have seen on Fox, CNN or MSNBC has said is vital for safely reopening the country. But a significant majority of Republican voters do not believe in mask wearing and don’t want to do it.


Back to Camus. It’s vital in times of stress that society not allow the truth of what is happening or how to fix things to be triangulated politically. Two plus two equals four has to be the frame for Republicans, for Democrats, for everyone.


– Steve Clemons

Your Coronavirus Report team includes Steve Clemons, editor-at-large of The Hill, and researcher Andrew Wargofchik. Follow us on Twitter at @SCClemons and @a_wargofchik


Click here to subscribe to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report

Click here to subscribe to our Overnight Healthcare Newsletter to stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus


ICYMI: Catch up on last month’s programs




On May 21, The Hill hosted “A National Virtual Summit on Advancing America’s Economy,” a forum to discuss a responsible reopening of the U.S. economy anchored by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.   Watch the full program video here


On May 20, The Hill hosted “The Vir[Tech]tual World of Tomorrow.”    Watch the full program video here

We want to hear from you! Follow us @TheHillEvents and keep the conversation going using #TheHillVirtuallyLive


There are 8,261,260 reported cases of COVID-19 throughout the world and 445,468 have lost their lives from the virus as of the time of this newsletter. 


The U.S. is reporting 2,148,357 casesand 117,290 deaths. Brazil 923,189. Russia 552,549. India 354,065. U.K. 300,715. Spain 244,683. Italy 237,828. Peru 237,156. Iran 195,051. France 194,347. Germany 188,604. 


Elsewhere around the world: 


> New Zealand has announced changes to the country’s quarantine policy after two women, who traveled from Britain on a special exemption to visit a dying relative, tested positive for COVID-19. The two women came into contact with at least 320 people. 

> Australia will keep its borders closed through the start of 2021. 

> Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández has tested positive for the coronavirus.  

> Olena Zelenska, the wife of the president of Ukraine, has been hospitalized after testing positive for the virus last week. 

> Hong Kong will relax some social distancing restrictions on Thursday. 

> Kenya is investigating the attempted theft of personal protective equipment donated by the Chinese government. 


New York is reporting 385,142 cases. New Jersey 167,703. California 159,232. Illinois 133,639. Massachusetts 105,885. Texas 93,044. Pennsylvania 84,225. Florida 82,719. Michigan 66,269. Maryland 62,969. Georgia 59,078. Virginia 55,775. Louisiana 48,634. North Carolina 46,733. Connecticut 45,349. Ohio 42,010. 


Here at home: 


> Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Tuesday that the state will not shut down again. 

> Arizona, Florida and Texas all set records for the most reported new cases in a single day on Tuesday. 

> In Oklahoma, a group of Tulsa residents and business owners is suing to prevent President Trump from holding a large indoor campaign rally there on Saturday. 

> New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) says “we did everything we could” for COVID-19 victims in an interview reflecting on 100 days of shutdown. 


The U.S. is reporting the results of 24,449,307 COVID-19 deaths and 583,503 full recoveries from the virus.


Fauci says he wouldn’t go to Trump’s Tulsa rally over coronavirus concerns. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that if he had the opportunity, he would not attend President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., this weekend due to coronavirus concerns. “I’m in a high-risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not,” the 79-year-old physician told the Daily Beast. (The Hill)


New battle emerges over COVID-19 tests. A new battle is emerging over the cause of a surge in coronavirus cases in numerous states across the country. President Trump and Vice President Pence, aided by GOP governors, argue the surge is due to increased testing. “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” Trump, who has been eager to open up the country given the calamitous effects that coronavirus-fueled lockdowns have had on the economy, said Monday. (The Hill)


Powell presses Congress for more coronavirus support. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned senators that the U.S. economy still needs support from Congress and the central bank in the coronavirus recession fight despite a recent uptick in hiring and retail sales. (The Hill)


Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) 

@NydiaVelazquez I’m so glad that, thanks to adjustments we passed to the #PPP initiative, nonprofits like @GrandStSttlment can continue their vital work helping our neighbors. As our City recovers from #COVID19, we need community anchors like these more than ever!


Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) 

@SenBillCassidy Louisiana is reopening. The peak has passed, and we’ve flattened the curve. There’s still much work to be done to overcome #COVID19, but I’m excited to see lives return to normal and our economy bounce back. 


Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) 

@RepAngieCraig COVID19 has affected all of us, but it’s not stopping my work for folks in #MN02. Today, I’m fighting for infrastructure investments at one of the first-ever virtual U.S. House Committee markups. Follow along here as we consider the #INVESTAct.


U.S. borders with Canada, Mexico to remain closed to nonessential travel. The United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to extend restrictions to keep their shared borders closed to nonessential travel for an additional 30 days in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (The Hill)


Local officials clash with governors over reopening. Local officials in Arizona and Texas who want to impose tighter restrictions as coronavirus cases spike in their communities are clashing with GOP governors who won’t allow them to do so. (The Hill)


How campaigns are adjusting to COVID-19. Fundraisers held on Zoom. Leaflets left on doors that go unknocked. Volunteers phone banking from home. Cavernous offices empty but for a few socially distanced staffers. Welcome to campaigning in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, a bizarre landscape in which all that is ordinary has been upended and candidates and their aides must find new ways of interacting with voters, volunteers and donors without the benefit of a handshake or a high-five. (The Hill

16 friends say they were infected with the virus after a night partying in a Florida bar. A  night of partying on the weekend that bars in Florida reopened resulted in a group of 16 friends becoming infected with the novel coronavirus and regretting the decision to go out, they said. On June 6, Erika Crisp and her friends visited a crowded Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The pub was packed with other celebrators who weren’t wearing masks, she told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time” on Tuesday. (CBSMiami)


The president of Honduras has tested positive for the coronavirus. Juan Orlando Hernández, the president of Honduras, announced late Tuesday that he, the first lady and two aides had tested positive for COVID-19. In a televised statement, Hernández said he began feeling unwell over the weekend, and the diagnosis was confirmed Tuesday. He said he is well enough to continue working remotely and will be examined to determine the next steps. (New York Times


Latvia unveils statue to COVID-19 medics. “The people of Latvia are thankful to the medics in Latvia and all over the world for their selfless service during the COVID-19 pandemic and have put up a monument by a famous Latvian artist to health care personnel, supported by donations of almost 20 local companies,” said a release from the organizers of the initiative. The 6-meter-high sculpture “Medics to the World” shows a female medic who has just come out of the treatment room and is getting ready for her next shift. (Latvian Public Broadcasting)

Eiffel Tower to reopen after longest closure since WWII. Workers are preparing the Eiffel Tower for reopening next week, after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War II. (Fortune/AP)


Contact tracing, essential to fight against coronavirus, hits roadblocks. One of the most crucial parts of the fight against the spread of COVID-19 relies on significant cooperation from the public, and so far, the results are mixed. Public health workers are trying to break the chains of COVID-19 transmission by reaching out to people who have tested positive for the disease and asking them to both self-isolate for two weeks and provide a list of people they had contact with 48 hours before becoming sick, who will, in turn, also get a call. (The Hill)


Doctors view dexamethasone results on COVID-19 with excitement and skepticism. Doctors in the United States are cautiously optimistic about clinical trial results from the University of Oxford in England that suggest that a commonly used drug may have a real, measurable impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. But they need to see the data first. The drug, a steroid called dexamethasone, reduced deaths among the sickest COVID-19 patients by a third.  (NBC News)

Trump uses nonexistent ‘AIDS vaccine’ as proof scientists can develop COVID-19 vaccine. President touted the development of an “AIDS vaccine” on Tuesday as he predicted that scientists will create a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of the year. An AIDS vaccine does not yet exist. “These are the people — the best, the smartest, the most brilliant anywhere,” Trump said Tuesday during his signing of an executive order on policing. (The Hill)


Target increased minimum hourly wage to $15, gives bonuses. Target is permanently raising its minimum wage from $13 to $15 an hour, following a temporary pay increase offered in March because of the pandemic. The retailer said the starting rate will apply to all store and distribution center workers, beginning July 5. It will give all hourly employees a $200 one-time bonus to recognize their work during the coronavirus pandemic and extend special benefits, such as free counseling and backup child care. (CNBC


Airlines ban alcohol on planes in response to COVID-19. Alcohol sales may have boomed during lockdown, but our return to air travel will be an altogether more sobering experience. Airlines including Easyjet and KLM in Europe, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines in the United States, and Asia’s Virgin Australia, are suspending all or part of their alcoholic drinks service in response to COVID-19. It’s part of a widespread revision of the industry’s food and drink service to minimize interaction between crew and passengers and to ensure a safer journey for all. (CNN)


What should cities look like after COVID-19? Like so many New Yorkers — more than one-third, in fact — I found my way to the greatest city in the world from another country. Born and raised in rural Canada, I studied landscape architecture in Ontario before making my way to New York six years ago via Los Angeles and Baltimore. Over the course of 18-years, I built a career with EDSA as a landscape architect. I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs in New York over the years, but like everyone else, I never imagined what a pandemic like COVID-19 would look like and how it would reshape the landscape of this city. (Derek Gagne for The Hill

U.N., WHO, WWF all agree: Pandemics are caused by humanity’s destruction of nature — and the coronavirus is a warning. Pandemics like the coronavirus are a result of humanity’s destruction of the environment –– and the world has continuously ignored the alarm, turning its back on our delicate relationship with nature. Officials from the U.N., WHO and WWF International say the coronavirus outbreak is due to human activity, namely increasing deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade. Both destructive acts expose humans to emerging infectious diseases, they assert. (The Hill Read the full report here.


Google offers nonprofits $200 million in ad grants. Google is offering an additional $200 million in advertising grants for nonprofit organizations and is releasing several new ad features for small businesses to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The internet giant said it would expand its annual commitment of free advertising for nonprofits fighting things like COVID-19 and racial injustice. (CNBC)


> Steve interviews New American CEO ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER 

> Steve interviews Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN 

> Steve interviews MInnesota Attorney General KEITH ELLISON  

> Steve interviews Kansas City, Mo., Mayor QUINTON LUCAS 

> Steve interviews Eurasia Group President IAN BREMMER 

> Steve interviews former Obama Ebola czar RON KLAIN 

> Steve interviews Rep. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-N.Y.) 

Watch all Coronavirus Report interviews here.


SEND US YOUR OWN PICS – from your own walks or adventures – during this time of physical distancing but social connection. And SEND US YOUR STORIES of how teleworking is going, what you have learned from homeschooling, new ways to exercise, and special moments or standout heroism you want to share. What’s working for you? What’s comic in these dark days? 


Send to Our thoughts are with you, our readers, and we hope and trust that no matter the weight of burdens on you now — and it’s not a good story for everyone we know — that we all stand together, resilient and confident, on the other side of this. There will be another side.

Click here to subscribe to The Hill’s Coronavirus Report

Click here to subscribe to our Overnight Healthcare Newsletter to stay up-to-date on all things coronavirus


Tags Andrew Cuomo Anthony Fauci Bill Cassidy Chris Cuomo Coronavirus Coronavirus Report Donald Trump Justin Dangel Keith Ellison Ron DeSantis Steven Mnuchin

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