The Hill’s 12:30 Report: ‘Positive’ sign for possible COVID-19 treatment

Geoffrey Rowland

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Gilead touts ‘positive data’ for possible COVID-19 treatment | Fauci says second wave is ‘inevitable’ | U.S. economy shrinks by 4.8 percent | Early studies show promise in immunity | GOP optimistic about in-person convention, Dems weary | Prince William, Kate Middleton’s wedding anniversary



Some good news from Gilead — and not the Handmaid’s Tale kind:


Gilead Sciences said this morning that it is “aware of positive data” about whether remdesivir can be used as a treatment for COVID-19.

The positive data: The data is from a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) study on the drug. 

From the company: “We understand that the trial has met its primary endpoint, and that NIAID will provide detailed information at an upcoming briefing.”

So… how bad is the damage?:

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, the U.S. economy shrank by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic that forced thousands of businesses to close and millions of Americans to lose lobs.

For context: This is the first quarter of negative gross domestic product in the U.S. since 2014. 

The full data from the Commerce Department:


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a press conference. Livestream:

It’s Wednesday — I can’t believe it’s almost May…  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  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook. 

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Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 1,014,568 

Deaths in the U.S.: 58,529

Breakdown of the numbers:


Uncle Tony says a second wave is inevitable:

Via CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFive things to know about where the US stands on COVID-19 tests Fauci says US will have needed tests by end of May, beginning of June The Hill’s Campaign Report: Hillary Clinton endorses Biden MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said that a second wave of the coronavirus is “inevitable.”

In Fauci’s words: “If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well. If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”

It’s early, but a promising sign about immunity:

Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson, “Scientists examining the coronavirus and the impacts of COVID-19 on the human body are scrambling to understand whether people are at risk of infection even if they have already contracted and recovered from the virus.”

What about “immunity passports?”: “The question [of immunity] was thrown into stark relief over the weekend, when the World Health Organization (WHO) warned governments against issuing ‘immunity passports’  to those who have recovered from the illness so that they could then return to work. The WHO said not enough is known yet about how the virus leaves the human body.”  

Keep in mind — even if exposure does give immunity: “Different viruses convey different levels of immunity. Those who contract a common virus like chicken pox can remain immune for life. Vaccines against the measles can give humans immunity for decades. And someone who recovers from a common cold — potentially caused by a different, more ordinary strain of coronavirus — might have some protection against that same virus for a year or so.” 

^ I.e.: “Where the coronavirus lands on that broad spectrum is not yet known.”


*Cue the Arby’s voice* … ‘We [will] have the meats’:


President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeat and poultry industry groups applaud Trump for keeping processing plants open FBI releases documents showing Roger Stone, Julian Assange communications Approval for Trump’s handling of coronavirus drops 10 points: poll MORE signed an executive order yesterday to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to designate meat processing plants as essential infrastructure and to order the plants to stay open.

Why: Meat suppliers are warning of shortages as a number of processing plant employees have been sick with COVID-19.


Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, Meat and poultry groups applauded President Trump for signing the executive order to keep meat processing plants open.



The GOP convention could look veryyy different than the Democratic convention:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley, “Democrats are talking about scaling back their presidential convention or taking it completely online, while Republicans say it’s full steam ahead with their plans for an in-person convention in late August.” 

Keep in mind: Democrats already pushed their planned convention from July to August.  

From the RNC Chair: Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel told reporters last week that her party is moving “full steam ahead” with an in-person convention. 

Meanwhile: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenApproval for Trump’s handling of coronavirus drops 10 points: poll Yang sues over New York canceling Democratic primary Amash launches exploratory committee for Libertarian presidential run MORE predicted earlier this month that Democrats may have to shift to a “virtual convention.” 

How this could play out:


Tidbit — remember open air concepts?:




For all the fans of ‘The Good Place’ — This is too real…: 



The House and Senate are out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. 

10 a.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence spoke with food and agriculture industry leaders.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).  

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoAfghans and Americans both deserve better Afghan leadership Trump wants to pull troops from Afghanistan over coronavirus: report House Foreign Affairs Committee launches inquiry into Trump’s halting of WHO funds MORE.

1 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks with governors and meat industry leaders. 

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room. 

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a roundtable with industry leaders to discuss re-opening the country.


10 a.m. EDT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a news conference. Livestream:

2 p.m. EDT: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell draws ‘red line’ on coronavirus bill: It won’t pass without ‘liability protection’ House reverses, but Senate to return despite COVID threat The Memo: Will Clinton’s endorsement help Biden? MORE (D-Calif.) holds a news conference. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a press conference. Livestream:


Today is National Shrimp Scampi Day.

To hide from the news lately — nine years ago today!:

Today is the ninth wedding anniversary of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Here are photos of the day:

Video from the royal wedding:

And because you made it this far, here’s a cat’s game of ‘Mario Cart’:

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About the Author: Geoffrey Rowland

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