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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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05/06/2020

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Key Updates:

  • House Democrats are preparing to introduce a new relief bill by the end of the week. The bill is not expected to have any Republican support meaning the bill has no chance of advancing beyond the House. However, the bill would provide an indication of the Democrat’s priorities ahead of eventual negotiations with Republicans on relief legislation.
    • The House has not returned to the Capitol yet. The Senate returned yesterday and is mostly focusing on confirmation hearings for administration nominees.
    • Medical staff for Congress warn that it could be over a year before the Capitol complex returns to pre-coronavirus normalcy.
  • The White House is considering phasing out its coronavirus taskforce and transitioning its federal response coordination duties to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • On May 12th, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing that features testimony from:
    • Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
    • Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
    • Adm. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • CDC Principle Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., discussed in an interview what steps should be taken over the summer to best prepare for a potential second wave of infections in the fall.
  • An analysis of CDC data shows that shelter in place orders resulted in a 43.7 percent reduction in COVID-19 cases.
  • The CDC updated its website that tracks race and ethnicity data for COVID-19 deaths. Data from various sources has shown that COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities of color
  • A leaked CDC COVID-19 mortality model showed that the number of deaths could increase to 3,000 per day and that total deaths would increase from earlier models. However, Johns Hopkins University, which compiled the data, said that the model is being misinterpreted. The model was used for policy planning purposes. It was not intended to be an accurate prediction of future mortality rates.
  • A decline in spending on healthcare services was a significant contributor to the decline in GDP in the first quarter of 2020.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a new report indicating consumer debt increased in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Major airline companies are imposing new safety requirements for travelers such as requiring all passengers wear masks on planes.