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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Fauci testifies | Says he’s ‘Cautiously optimistic’ about a vaccine by end of the year | Says 250+ have signed up for clinical trials | 6 MLB teams no longer playing today | $600 unemployment benefit expires at midnight | Duckworth in the running for Biden VP | National Avocado Day
ON CAPITOL HILL
Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump says he can’t assure school safety amid pandemic: ‘Can you assure anybody of anything?’ Overnight Health Care: Race for vaccine faces daunting distribution challenges | Hotspots ease, but officials say normal a long way off | Birx recommends face shields with masks The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute MORE, talk us down, please:
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield are testifying today before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus.
NEWS FROM THE HEARING:
Fauci on when we will have a vaccine: “The response that was induced [from one of the vaccine trials] was really quite favorable … There’s never a guarantee that you’re going to get a safe and effective vaccine, but from everything we’ve seen now in the animal data, as well as the early human data, we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021.”
Fauci on the rapid pace of the vaccine development: “I know to some people this seems like it is so fast that there might be compromising of safety and scientific integrity. I can tell you that is absolutely not the case.” (Via CQ’s Mary Ellen McIntire) https://bit.ly/2D5RoWb
Redfield on schools reopening: “It’s in the public health best interest of K-12 students to get back in face-to-face learning.” More from Redfield on schools: https://bit.ly/3jYsjxa
Fauci on Americans’ willingness to help with the vaccine trials: “There is a website called coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org where individuals can actually indicate their willingness to participate in the clinical trials and to make sure we have a diverse representation.” Wow: Fauci said as of last night, more than 250,000 people have signed up.
WATCH THE HEARING:
Here’s the livestream: https://bit.ly/3i6qrRh
Happy Friday! Today is the last day of July. Wow. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to firstname.lastname@example.org — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’ll be off Monday — Wednesday of next week, so the 12:30 Report will not publish. Don’t get into too much trouble without me — and feel free to send me any cute animal videos that you think I shouldn’t miss 😉
Facebook’s Summer of Support program helps small businesses
As many storefronts remain closed, Boost with Facebook’s Summer of Support program is helping millions of people and small business owners gain skills and find resources they need to grow and transition online.
Learn more about the program.
NEWS THIS MORNING
Another MLB game has been postponed today:
Via ESPN, “The St. Louis Cardinals have had two players test positive for COVID-19, resulting in Major League Baseball postponing Friday afternoon’s game at the Milwaukee Brewers, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.” https://es.pn/3k1pUBw
This is not a good sign — six teams are no longer playing today: “That brings the number of teams being held out of action on Friday to six. The Brewers and Cardinals will join the Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays in teams affected by the fallout from positive tests.”
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF NEGOTIATIONS
At midnight tonight — the enhanced unemployment benefits expire:
Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, the $600 additional unemployment benefit passed by Congress in March is expiring tonight at midnight as lawmakers are in a standoff over the next coronavirus relief package. https://bit.ly/2Pe58k0
Welp: “Lawmakers had hoped the deadline, which was known for months, would result in the kind of eleventh-hour agreement that was once commonplace in Washington. But in a sign of how far apart negotiators are, the Senate left town for the week on Thursday, ensuring Congress will careen over the fast-approaching unemployment cliff.”
This is a pretty big deal: “The consequences of inaction are severe: After trending downward since March, unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row, according to Labor Department data released Thursday morning. Roughly 30 million Americans have filed jobless claims since the pandemic began.”
LAST NIGHT — DEMS REJECTED A SHORT-TERM DEAL:
“Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocrats reject short-term deal ahead of unemployment deadline Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy Shaheen, Chabot call for action on new round of PPP loans MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDemocrats reject short-term deal ahead of unemployment deadline Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy Senate rejects dueling coronavirus bills as unemployment cliff looms MORE said on Thursday night that Democrats rejected a short-term deal as negotiators remain at loggerheads over the next coronavirus relief bill.” https://bit.ly/2DoN7wG
THE CORONAVIRUS RECESSION HAS HIT SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE AND HIGHWAY FUNDING:
Via The Hill’s Niv Elis: https://bit.ly/2ECQ5hY
Soooo, what about August recess:
House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerCongress rightfully rejects dangerous effort to cut defense budget by 10 percent GOP hunts for ‘Plan B’ as coronavirus talks hit wall Pelosi to require masks on House floor MORE (D-Md.) said his chamber will not leave Washington without a coronavirus deal.
Hoyer said on the House floor this morning: “We will not start the August District work period until we pass appropriate COVID-19 relief to meet the current health and economic crisis confronting our people and our country.” https://bit.ly/2DhH9xL
He added: “Members are further advised as conversations surrounding [additional] coronavirus relief legislation continue, it is expected the House will meet during the month of August…No one should schedule themselves for next week or until such time as we adopt COVID-19 legislation.” https://bit.ly/2PiE2It
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 4,496,737
U.S. death toll: 152,074
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
DEMOCRATS ARE LOOKING TO GO ON OFFENSE OVER REOPENING SCHOOLS THIS FALL:
Facebook launches Global State of Small Business Report
Together with the World Bank and the OECD, we surveyed businesses in 50+ countries and regions to understand the challenges they face and how we can support them.
Go further: Read the first report.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Duck, duck, Duckworth, duck, HARRIS:
Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Alexander Bolton, don’t count out Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds | Flint class action suit against Mich. officials can proceed, court rules | Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill GOP lawmaker says he will oppose any attempts to delay election MORE (D-Ill.) as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign cancels ad buys to review messaging strategy: report Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Poll: Plurality of ‘Gen Z’ voters say they see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE’s running mate. https://bit.ly/2EwiBBG
The other top contenders on Biden’s list: “Biden likes Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFox’s Perino says Biden won’t pick Susan Rice because of fire from right Should Biden win, why do some assume he’ll only serve one term? The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden closes in on vice presidential pick MORE’s (D-Mass.) ideas and proposals. He admires Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds | Flint class action suit against Mich. officials can proceed, court rules | Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill Fox’s Perino says Biden won’t pick Susan Rice because of fire from right MORE’s (D-Calif.) lawyerly straightforwardness and moxie. Susan Rice, President Obama’s former national security adviser, worked alongside him in the White House and Biden has seen her work ethic up close.”
But what Duckworth: She “represents something close to Biden’s heart: She’s an American hero. The Illinois Democrat, a veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war and received the Purple Heart, is on Biden’s shortlist. And some in Biden World who know the former vice president will say Duckworth is exactly the kind of partner who is well-suited to the former vice president.”
What, are they going to figure out Apple’s face recognition next?
The House is in. The Senate is out. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign cancels ad buys to review messaging strategy: report Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Poll: Plurality of ‘Gen Z’ voters say they see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE is in Tampa, Fla. this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.
10 a.m. EDT: First votes in the House.
11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with The National Association of Police Organizations Leadership in the Cabinet Room.
Noon – 2 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House. The House’s full schedule today: https://bit.ly/3hRDshg
1 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Tampa, Fla.
2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.
3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a campaign coalitions event with Florida sheriffs.
3:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Belleair, Fla.
5 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters, followed by speaking at a fundraising dinner in Belleair.
5 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence hosts a call with “Law Enforcement for Trump.”
10:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the White House.
WHAT TO WATCH:
10:30 a.m. EDT: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/2EDHZWj
4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a roundtable on COVID-19 and storm preparedness. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3jWy9io
11 p.m. EDT Monday: Axios’s exclusive interview with President Trump airs on HBO. Preview: https://bit.ly/33f0evs
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…:
Today is National Avocado Day! And for weekend planning purposes, tomorrow is National Mustard Day and Sunday is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!
And to get your weekend off on the right foot, here’s a baby deer chomping on some snacks: https://bit.ly/314ea8R