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COVID-19 response memo, 7/27/20

79 Percent Support National Face Mask Mandate

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COVID-19 response memo, 7/27/20

Local, state, and federal highlights in today’s memo include:

  • Senate Aims to Pare Back Unemployment, Include Second Stimulus Payment

  • 79 Percent Support National Face Mask Mandate: Poll

  • Pelosi: House Will Stay in Session Longer to Complete COVID-19 Relief Bill if Necessary

  • Local Chambers of Commerce Are Failing Due to PPP Ineligibility

  • Rep. John Lewis, Congressman and Civil Rights Icon, Lays in State at US Capitol

  • Trump National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Tests Positive for Coronavirus

  • Miami Marlins Postpone Game as Coronavirus Spreads

  • Spartz Issues Three-Debate Challenge

  • Notre Dame Withdraws as Host of First Presidential Debate

  • Fed to Meet this Week

  • World’s Largest Covid-19 Vaccine Study Underway

  • Important Dates

  • Daily Numbers

    Let’s dive in.


Senate Aims to Pare Back Unemployment, Include Second Stimulus Payment


Breaking: Today, details of the emerging Senate Republicans pandemic relief plan is emerging.

As reported by Axios, Senate Republicans' coronavirus relief proposal will include a provision to cut federal weekly unemployment benefits from $600 to $200, the Washington Post reports, citing two people familiar with the plan.

How it works: The reduction would be a temporary measure in place until states implement a more targeted system that pays individuals 70% of their lost weekly wages, which they would be given two months to do. The federal benefits are supplemental to existing unemployment insurance, which varies by state.

The big picture: The measure is part of a $1 trillion stimulus proposalRepublicans are expected to unveil Monday. The $600 weekly supplemental benefits included in the CARES Act passed in March are set to expire on July 31.

  • Republicans have said they are opposed to extending the $600 benefits because they believe it disincentives some Americans from returning to work, where their wages may be lower than what they receive on unemployment.

  • But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Democrats will not accept a short-term extension of the aid and that she supports maintaining the $600-per-week benefits in the next stimulus.

The bottom line: More than 31 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits of some form, and roughly 2.3 million filed new applications to receive them in the most recent week of data released by the Labor Department.

Go deeper: More details on the Senate Republicans' expected proposal


79 Percent Support National Face Mask Mandate: Poll


What’s new: A vast majority of voters say they support a national face mask mandate amid skyrocketing coronavirus cases in parts of the United States that have the nation going in the wrong direction compared to many other countries.

A new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill found that 79 percent of respondents said they would support such a mandate, while another 70 percent said they supported the idea of local governments imposing fees on individuals who do not wear masks.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,932 registered voters was conducted on July 21-23. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. 

Politico/Morning Consult survey conducted earlier this month found that 53 percent of registered voters said they were in favor of statewide mask mandates that if violated result in fines or jail time. (The Hill)


Pelosi: House Will Stay in Session Longer to Complete COVID-19 Relief Bill if Necessary


What’s New: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House could stay in session longer if necessary to arrive at a deal with Senate leaders for a new coronavirus relief package. “We have been ready for two months and 10 days,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” referencing the $3 trillion relief bill — dubbed the HEROES Act — the House passed in May. “We can’t go home without” a deal, she added. “It’s so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their life.” (The Hill


Local Chambers of Commerce Are Failing Due to PPP Ineligibility


What’s new: As the economy struggles through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, chambers of commerce and associations are feeling the pain, as they were left out of the Paycheck Protection Program eligibility. 

If local chambers start failing, small businesses nationwide could struggle. A 2012 survey by Atlanta-based consulting firm the Schapiro Group notes that chamber membership increases consumer awareness of a company by 73 percent--and the likelihood of a consumer choosing to do business with that company rises by 80 percent.

In early May, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Congress on behalf of all nonprofits ineligible for the PPP. It was signed by more than 4,000 organizations, including 2,000-plus chambers of commerce--roughly a third of all local chambers nationwide. 

Such advocacy hasn't yet succeeded. Sullivan says some lawmakers see chambers of commerce primarily as lobbying organizations, and don't want to give bailouts to lobbyists. Their reticence is further compounded by a tax designation issue: Chambers are 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations, alongside real estate boards and professional football leagues.  Read the full article in INC magazine here.


Rep. John Lewis, Congressman and Civil Rights Icon, Lays in State at US Capitol


In Memorium: United States Representative John Lewis’s casket arrived at the U.S. Capitol today to lay in state. Lewis is a civil rights icon and had represented the 5th district of Georgia in the US House of Representatives since 1986. Lewis passed away on July 17 of pancreatic cancer. 

Why it matters: Lewis is the second black lawmaker to lay in state and the first to rest in the Capitol Rotunda.


Trump National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Tests Positive for Coronavirus


President Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for COVID-19, according to people familiar with his situation. O’Brien has been out of the office since late last week, one of the people said. O’Brien came down with the coronavirus after a family event and has been isolating at home while still running the National Security Council, doing most of his work by phone, according to one of the people. (Bloomberg


Miami Marlins Postpone Game as Coronavirus Spreads


The Miami Marlins's home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night has been postponed, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan, as coronavirus cases continue to pop up among the team. Eight more players and two coaches with the Marlins have tested positive for the coronavirus, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN. Monday’s scheduled game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies was also postponed. (ESPN)


Spartz Issues Three-Debate Challenge


State Sen.Victoria Spartz, the Republican nominee for Indiana’s 5th District seat, today challenged Democratic nominee Christina Hale to at least three debates before the Nov. 3 general election.

Spartz suggested a September debate hosted by Indiana Town Halls and challenged Hale to agree to at least two more debates hosted by neutral organizations and moderators. (Current in Carmel)


Notre Dame Withdraws as Host of First Presidential Debate


The University of Notre Dame has become the second university to withdraw as the host of one of this fall’s three scheduled presidential debates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The university was set to host the inaugural contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Sept. 29. The first debate will now be hosted by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday. The commission has selected Cleveland Clinic as its health adviser for all three presidential debates and the one scheduled vice presidential debate.

In a release, Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins said the university made “this difficult decision because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus.”

The University of Michigan was scheduled to host the second presidential debate but withdrew last month. That debate will now be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. (Indianapolis Business Journal)


Fed to Meet this Week


Officials at the central bank are set to meet this week, facing growing doubts about the prospect of a quick and sustained economic recovery due to uneven public health responses to Covid-19 across the United States. Officials have warned this month in speeches and interviews that the economy likely faces a deeper downturn and more difficult recovery than initially thought if the country does not take more effective action to slow the spread of the virus.

The Fed is not likely to roll out new stimulus measures, but is debating how to provide additional support to the economy once the outlook becomes clearer.


World’s Largest Covid-19 Vaccine Study Underway


A Covid-19 vaccine study got underway this morning with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the American government. The National Institutes of Health and Moderna developed the vaccine together — one of numerous candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.

Several other vaccines made by China and by Britain’s Oxford University earlier this month began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries.


Important Dates


Wednesday, September 2 - 10:00 am.                                                                   Pension Management Oversight Study Committee - Senate Chamber

Thursday, September 3 - 10:00 am                                                                       Pension Management Oversight Study Committee - Room 404

Wednesday, October 14 - 10:00 am                                                                       Pension Management Oversight Study Committee - Room 404


By The Numbers …


COVID-19 Cases

New cases: 561

Total cumulative cases reported Monday: 62,907

Total cumulative cases reported Sunday: 62,372

Increase in cumulative cases: 535

Increase in cases reported July 21-July 27: 5,701

Increase in cases reported July 14-20: 5,169

COVID-19 Deaths

New deaths: 3

Total deaths: 2,709

Increase in deaths reported July 21-July 27: 77

Increase in deaths reported July 14-20: 63

County Numbers

Marion County cumulative cases: 13,818 (increase of 118)

Marion County new deaths: 1

Marion County cumulative deaths: 713

Hamilton County cumulative cases: 2,253

Johnson County cumulative cases: 1,555

U.S. and Worldwide Numbers As of Monday, from Johns Hopkins University:

U.S. cases: 4,238,500

U.S. deaths: 146,968

Global cases: 16,296,635

Global deaths: 649,662

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