U.S. Congress, President Trump, Administration Officials Struggle To Address Coronavirus Outbreak, Media Outlets Report

POLITICO: Hill leaders struggle with twin coronavirus challenges: Protect the nation — and themselves
“Congressional leaders face an increasingly irreconcilable challenge: insulating the nation from the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic while protecting themselves from contracting the illness. Speaker Nancy Pelosi made clear Monday there are no plans to shut down the Capitol — or restrict public visitors — even as roughly a half-dozen lawmakers announced plans to self-quarantine and alarm spread across Capitol Hill and the country about the fallout from the virus…” (Caygle/Cheney, 3/9).

STAT: Coronavirus spread could last into next year, but impact could be blunted, CDC official says
“Atop federal health official said Monday that the evolving coronavirus outbreak could persist in the United States into next year, while stressing that public health interventions could still reduce the spread of the virus and cases of illness and death…” (Joseph, 3/9).

TIME: The Trump Administration Is Stalling an Intel Report That Warns the U.S. Isn’t Ready for a Global Pandemic
“An annual intelligence report that has been postponed without explanation by President Donald Trump’s administration warns that the U.S. remains unprepared for a global pandemic, two senior government officials who have reviewed a draft of the report tell TIME. The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was scheduled to deliver the Worldwide Threat Assessment to the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 12 and the hearing has not been rescheduled, according to staffers and members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. The DNI’s office declined requests for a comment on the status of the report…” (Walcott, 3/9).

Washington Post: From tweet eruptions to economic steps, Trump struggles for calm amid market meltdown and coronavirus crisis
“President Trump confronted one of the most perilous days of his presidency Monday by first erupting in a barrage of commentary that failed to calm the cratering financial markets, struggling to inspire confidence that his administration could stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. But by the time the sun set in Washington, Trump sounded momentarily chastened by the turbulence and previewed a raft of emergency measures to shore up the economy. ‘We have a very strong economy,’ the president told reporters, ‘but this blindsided the world.’ Trump’s overall handling of the converging crises — while spreading misinformation and blaming others — has unsettled many of his Republican allies on Capitol Hill and even inside the White House, where some aides acknowledged that the president is compounding problems with his grievances and conspiratorial mind-set…” (Rucker et al., 3/9).

Additional coverage of the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak is available from Al Jazeera, The Hill (2), MSNBC, New York Times (2) (3), NPR, Reuters, Salon, and Science.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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