COVID-19 Federal Responses: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

House Democrats are preparing to introduce a new relief bill by the end of the week. Without Republican support, however, the bill has no chance of advancing beyond the House. In any case, the bill would provide an indication of the Democrats’ priorities ahead of eventual negotiations with Republicans on relief legislation.

  • The House has not returned to the Capitol yet. The Senate returned May 4 and is mostly focusing on confirmation hearings for administration nominees.
  • Medical staff for Congress warn that it could be more than a year before the Capitol complex returns to pre-coronavirus normalcy.

The White House is considering a transition of the federal response coordination duties  from the coronavirus task force to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

On May 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing to develop protocol for getting back to work and school. It will feature 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 Diseases.
  • Adm. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., discussed in an interview the steps that 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.