INFORMS Open Forum

7-21 Daily COVID-19 Update

  • 1.  7-21 Daily COVID-19 Update

    Posted 07-21-2020 21:28
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    Good evening,

    Please find today's Daily COVID-19 Update for July 21 below and attached. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

    Thank you,
    Jeff Cohen

    INFORMS Members in the News

    Member: Julie Swann


    U.S. Federal Policy Update 

    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined key components of the fourth coronavirus relief package – which should be publicly released in the next few days – during his floor speech this morning. Majority Leader McConnell stated that the $1 trillion package will include broad liability protections, $105 billion in funding for the education system, another round of direct payments to Americans, another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding "with a special eye towards the hardest-hit businesses," and additional funds to support hospitals and coronavirus testing efforts. 
    • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicated that she hopes that Democrats and Republicans in both chambers can come to an agreement on the above proposal through negotiations this week and next week. She stated that they "will begin [their] conversations today," with the "hope that [they] can resolve differences and have a bill by the end of next week."
    • The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing this morning entitled "Pathway to a Vaccine: Efforts to Develop a Safe, Effective and Accessible Covid-19 Vaccine." The hearing featured witnesses from the following pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, and Pfizer – all of whom are engaged in developing COVID-19 vaccines. While the witnesses varied on the progress they have reached, they all agreed that they hope to have a vaccine approved by the end of 2020 – but this is dependent on the results of their ongoing trials.
    • The Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a National Testing Implementation Forum, which will convene stakeholder groups to share information and provide input to federal leaders on the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The White House published remarks from Vice President Mike Pence's roundtable discussion with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on safely reopening schools. 
    • Democrats from the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter to the Labor Department requesting information regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act's paid-leave program's implementation. The program was intended to mandate that businesses provide two weeks of fully paid leave to workers that have been impacted by the coronavirus. The members voiced their concerns that the Labor Department's implementation "has effectively given businesses the unchecked ability to carve out a large swath of American workers from receiving emergency paid leave."


    Global Response 

    • Leaders from the European Union announced that they have reached a consensus on a 750 billion euro stimulus package to provide relief to the bloc from the coronavirus pandemic. The funds would be distributed to member states through grants and loans, which would work to help them recover from the economic consequences of the virus and to prevent future outbreaks. European Council President Charles Michel touted the deal, stating that it "is the right deal for Europe right now," and "Europe is strong and united."
    • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Carissa Etienne cautioned that the COVID-19 pandemic is "showing no signs of slowing down in the region," as "most countries in the Americas are witnessing a surge in cases."
    • The Chinese Civil Aviation Authority announced that they will now require any travelers into the country to provide proof that they have tested negative for coronavirus within five days of their arrival. 
    • Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza commended the country for being "out of the storm" of the coronavirus pandemic, "even if [they're] not yet in a safe haven." However, he added that "the international situation is worrying, as we are in the worst moment of the pandemic in the world."
    • Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that masks will again be mandatory in public spaces – effective on July 24th. This is due to a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.
    • The Zimbabwean government announced that the country would implement a dusk-to-dawn curfew on its citizens in an attempt to enhance their coronavirus restrictions. 


    State Update 

    • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 10 more states are being added to the quarantine travel advisory list: Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Washington. Travelers from these states will now also be required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival into the state of New York. The current travel advisory list contains 31 states. 
    • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the resurgence of the coronavirus has led to the state pausing its reopening process for an additional two weeks. Louisiana will remain in phase 2 during this time, with a mask mandate in place across the state. 
    • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a call to Congress to extend the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program, which provides an additional $600 in unemployment benefits per week to workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized that "this program has been a lifeline for families and their communities, giving people the ability to pay their rent or utilities, to put food on the table, and to make ends meet," and thus he is "urging Congress to act quickly to extend this benefit."
    • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that the state will extend its moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through October 17th. 
    • Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman announced that school staff across the state will be allowed to take an unlimited number of emergency days for COVID-19. 
    • Hidalgo County in Texas issued a shelter-at-home for all residents of the county. 
    • New Orleans Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis announced that all public schools in the city will start the school year with remote learning. 

    Economic Update

    • U.S. stocks were volatile today, with the three indices closing with mixed results. The Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.8%, while the S&P 500 rose by 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.6%.


    Latest Impact Data 

    • In the United States: Over 4,025,460 cases and 144,904 deaths in 50 states, 4 territories, and Washington, D.C.
    • Worldwide: Over 15,080,534 and 618,405 deaths in at least 204 countries and territories.


    In the News                

    Jeffrey M. Cohen, MBA
    Director, Public Affairs & Marketing


    7-21 update.pdf   111K 1 version