By Capitol Associates, Inc.
- Negotiations over a new COVID-19 relief bill are still at an impasse. Both Republicans and Democrats have revised their opening offers as an attempt to bring the other side back to the negotiating table. So far, those efforts have not been successful.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is urging Congressional Democrats and the White House to restart negotiations.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) described the two sides as “miles apart” from an agreement.
- Both the House and Senate have returned to their districts until after Labor Day for their regular August recess. Both Chambers will return to Washington to vote on a COVID-19 relief bill if negotiations resume and produce legislation.
White House and Federal Agencies
- President Trump signed an Executive Order to provide several forms of economic relief for Americans. The provisions include a temporary suspension of the employee’s portion of the payroll tax as well as a federal moratorium on evictions. President Trump signed the Executive Order in response to inaction by Congress on relief legislation that would address these issues.
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application period expired with over $134 billion in unspent funding. It is not clear how that funding will be repurposed.
- The White House has released a fact sheet on the Administration’s Coronavirus response.
- The Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) released a new fact sheet on explaining Operation Warp Speed, its goals, actions thus far, and the timeline on those actions.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated COVID-19 FAQs on Medicare fee-for-service (FSS) billing.
- HHS publicly posted the July through December COVID-19 Testing Plans from all states, territories, and localities on HHS.gov. The State Testing Plans serve as a roadmap developed in partnership with the Federal government for each jurisdiction’s monthly 2020 testing strategy for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- HRSA released a dashboard that provides a high-level view of total COVID-19 tests conducted by federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and their distribution of positive COVID-19 tests by race/ethnicity.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates
- CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield reiterated his warning that the combination of COVID-19 with the fall flu season will be very dangerous.
- The CDC says one in four young adults (age 18-24) contemplated suicide in the last month due to the pandemic.
- The CDC says that masks that include a vent are ineffective for preventing COVID-19 spread.
- The CDC updated information on reporting COVID-19 laboratory data. The CDC also updated information on electronic laboratory reporting implementation by state.
- CDC updated considerations for wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and information on how to wear masks.
- CDC updated FAQs on traveling domestically and abroad during COVID-19. CDC also updated guidance for steps to take after you travel.
- The CDC published new infographics that illustrate:
- CDC updated interim guidance and criteria for returning to work for healthcare personnel with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- CDC updated guidance for businesses and workplaces to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19.
Reopening, Testing and Treatment
- Moderna and BioNTech are using revolutionary technology for the COVID-19 vaccines they are developing.
- The number of unemployment claims continued to decline last week and dipped below one-million for the first time in months.
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