The Recovery Report is a weekly newsletter about America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (SSOCC) Republicans.
Coronavirus Facts of the Week:
- Moderna’s vaccine was co-designed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
- Moderna has received millions in federal funding as part of the Trump Administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” to develop and deliver a safe and effective vaccine by January, 2021.
This is huge news. The Trump Administration has led a historic push to develop a safe and effective vaccine on an unheard-of timeline and has assured the United States remains the global leader in medical research and development.
Coronavirus Quote of the Week:
“Our strategy to safely reopen schools mirrors our approach nationwide. As we race toward the completion of a vaccine and therapeutics, the responsible path is to shelter those at highest risk, while allowing those at lower risk — much lower, in the case of young children — to resume work and school and — as long as everyone practices vigilant hygiene and social distancing.” — President Trump in remarks at the White House on July 23rd
Bogus Narrative of the Week:
Democrats cynically attacked President Trump on his evidence-based push to reopen schools this fall because “He ignored the science” and “is “Desperate . . . to save his reelection.”
Why it’s false:
Democrats are the ones who need to pay listen to the science. As argued by four professors at the Harvard School of Public Health, “Listen to the science and reopen schools.”
The science says:
- “Listen to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which argued for focusing on science and not politics in supporting a return to in-person schooling with new investments in safety, describing in-person school as ‘fundamental’ to the well-being of the nation’s children.”
- “Prolonged time away from schools has led to months of lost learning and widened gaps in educational achievement, especially for some students of color and those in lower income households. Adding months more to this toll will be an educational disaster that some children may never recover from. School closures also threaten some children’s safety, due to increased child neglect, hurt children’s mental health, and keep many from getting enough to eat.”
- “Multiple studies show that children are not only less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19, they are also only half as likely to get infected in the first place. Overall, the rate of infection requiring hospitalization among US school-age children (5 to 17) since the beginning of the pandemic though July 4 was roughly 1 in 20,000.”
- “What about the risk to teachers and staff? Again, listen to the science. A report led by the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Obama concluded that children appear less likely than adults to transmit COVID-19 to others — unlike other viruses like influenza — though this evidence is still limited and preliminary. Studies examining schools with known cases of COVID-19 have shown low transmission rates — for instance, in one case, just two students and no teachers infected out of 863 close contacts. Others show zero confirmed infections even among teachers and students who sat in the same classroom with a symptomatic child.”
- “Finally, what about impacts on the community as a whole? Studies show that social distancing measures have been critical to flattening the curve of COVID-19 infection, but school closures may be among the least effective of those measures. A study of county rates of COVID across the United States from earlier this year found ‘no evidence that school closures influenced the growth rate’ in COVID infections, and two international studies similarly found large reductions in COVID spread from social distancing policies in general, but no significant effect from school closures on their own.”
- “We are not advocating a return to schools as usual. Schools must aggressively implement proven risk reduction strategies. A layered approach should include rapid testing and contact tracing, physical distancing when possible, mask-wearing with breaks built into the day, frequent hand hygiene, and well-ventilated spaces. Districts should consider adding tents and trailers and converting gyms, cafeteria, and libraries to expand learning spaces. Staggering arrival and dismissal times and prohibiting parents from entering schools will limit one of the highest risks — having large numbers of adults in indoor spaces.”
- “Reopening schools should not be an us-versus-them argument. It’s not a Democratic vs. Republican argument. It’s about our children and about the evidence. We should be following the science that says in-person schooling for our kids is too valuable to give up and that the risks of school-based transmission appear to be low. We should be investing in adequate testing and tracing resources, making our physical school environments safer, and encouraging a practical balance of social distancing in the classroom with learning and the reality of children’s lives.”
- “One important strategy that administrators can consider is cohorting (or ‘pods’), where a group of students (and sometimes teachers) stay together throughout the school day to minimize exposure for students, teachers, and staff across the school environment.”
- “Arrival and drop-off times or locations by cohort or put in place other protocols to limit contact between cohorts and direct contact with parents as much as possible.”
- “Physical distancing within buses, classrooms and other areas of the school.”
- “A single case of COVID-19 in a school would not likely warrant closing the entire school, especially if levels of community transmission are not high,”
- “Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example by opening windows and doors.”
This Week’s SSOCC Highlights:
The Select Subcommittee will hold a hearing this Friday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m ET, on “The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus.” Witnesses will include Trump Administration officials: Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Robert R. Redfield, M.D., Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Some Vaccine Makers Say They Plan to Profit From Coronavirus Vaccine (New York Times)
- U.S. accuses China of sponsoring criminal hackers targeting coronavirus vaccine research (Washington Post)
- National security adviser Robert O’Brien tests positive for coronavirus (New York Post)
- EXCLUSIVE: White House Privately Warns 11 Cities Must Take “Aggressive” Action Against Coronavirus (The Center for Public Integrity)
- Domestic violence soared during coronavirus in NYC, experts say (New York Post)
- NYC’s 47 shootings last week are 176 percent increase since last year (New York Post)
- Is There a Connection between Coronavirus and Air Conditioning? (National Review)
- Report: Marlins Home Opener Canceled as Eight More Players Test Positive for Coronavirus (Breitbart)
- Nancy Pelosi Vows to Block Coronavirus Liability Protections (Breitbart)
- CONFIRMED: Dogs Can Sniff Out Coronavirus Infections, German Study Shows(Bloomberg)
- Janice Dean: COVID-19 killed my in-laws after Cuomo’s reckless New York nursing home policy (USA Today)
- Listen to the science and reopen schools (The Boston Globe)
- I Can’t Keep Doing This. Please Open the Schools. (The Atlantic)
- Why New York business leaders need to push hard to reopen fast (New York Post)
- What Else Cuomo Crushed (Wall Street Journal)
- ‘We have, it seems, given up on defeating the pandemic’: Readers grapple with reopening businesses and schools amid spiking coronavirus cases. (Washington Post)
- There have been over 4.2 million cases and over 147,000 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins. There have been over 16 million cases and over 650,000 deaths worldwide.
- The number of cases nationwide has begun to level off. The number of deaths reported each day is increasing.
- The US is now performing around 800,000 COVID-19 tests per day. Growth in the nationwide positivity rate, or percentage of tests coming back positive results, has begun to decline — another hopeful sign though in some states the positivity rate remains near 20%.
Select Subcommittee member Rep. Mark Green brought the heat to House Democrats for failing to hold China accountable despite lying about coronavirus, hoarding PPE, and trying to steal our vaccine research.
Rep. Luetkemeyer also took to Twitter to emphasize that border security is health security. Democrats’ “No Ban Act” is playing games with Americans’ security and Americans’ health.
Republican Whip and Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Steve Scalise hasn’t given up the pressure on Governor Cuomo for his deadly “must admit” nursing home order and the ensuing cover-up.
Whip Steve Scalise made a strong case for Republicans’ focus on reopening our schools and rebuilding our economy in upcoming relief legislation.
Whip Scalise also used this moment to demonstrate how important school choice is: if your child’s school won’t reopen, you should be able to send your child to a school that will safely reopen. Americans’ tax dollars shouldn’t be going to schools unwilling to utilize the available science to reopen.
Other Coronavirus Activity This week:
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee
“Experiences of Vulnerable Populations During Disaster.” (10 a.m. ET)
House Rules Committee
“H.R. 7617—Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2021 [Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2021]” (11 a.m. ET)
Joint Economic Committee
“Hearings to examine reducing uncertainty and restoring confidence during the Coronavirus recession.” (POSTPONED)
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee: Health Subcommittee
“Who’s in Charge? Examining Oversight of State Veterans Homes During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (10 a.m. ET)
House Small Business Committee: Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship Subcommittee
“Kick Starting Entrepreneurship and Main Street Economic Recovery” (10 a.m. ET)
House Energy and Commerce Committee: Health Subcommittee
“Improving Access to Care: Legislation to Reauthorize Key Public Health Programs” (10 a.m. ET)
House Financial Service Committee
“Protecting Consumers During the Pandemic? An Examination of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (12:30 p.m. ET)
House Oversight and Reform Committee: Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
“The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus” (9:00 a.m. ET)