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COVID-19 Update
June 15, 2020

IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.

If your company is helping respond to COVID-19, IowaBio wants to know about it. Please, send any information about what your biotechnology company or organization is doing to help, to Jessica Hyland at

If IowaBio can assist you in getting information out, connecting with public officials, or support your company in another way, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Past IowaBio COVID-19 Update newsletters are now available at and can be found under the Industry News tab on the IowaBio website.

Iowa Update

Currently, IDPH has reported on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, 23,959 Iowans have tested positive, up 834 from our update Friday morning, with a total of 225,791 tested.  11 more deaths were reported since our update Friday, bringing the total to 652 deaths. Now 14,409 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.

The Iowa Legislature Adjourned Sine Die Sunday afternoon, after an unusual and unprecedented legislative session, interrupted by COVID-19. IowaBio members can join us for a Legislative Wrap Up call this Friday at 9:30 a.m.. RSVP here! Subscribe to the Bill Tracker Newsletter to get the IowaBio post-session report.

Test Iowa sites in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids have now moved locations. You can find the list of all Test Iowa locations here.

Federal Legislation
Supplemental IV
Timeline/Process/Politics: As the May jobs numbers did take some pressure off Congress to move forward immediately, we’ll likely see a bill on the floor at the end of July, with August recess/party convention as a backstop. Leader Schumer sent a letter to the President and Leader McConnell, calling for immediate action on the Heroes Act and highlighting to the disproportionate impact inaction on a bill is having on communities of color.
While there’s a broad consensus among congressional Republicans and the White House around the next bill totals around $1 trillion, there’s nowhere near bipartisan consensus on what will be contained in that bill. In his testimony on the Hill this week, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin asked Congress to pump more money into the economy, emphasizing the need for economic stimulus. $1 trillion may be seen better as the floor for the next bill rather than its ceiling.
Policy: Republicans continue to push for liability protections and are working on strategies to combat the incentive structure of the federal boost to unemployment insurance. While the Heroes Act will not be taken up by the Senate (as Sen. McConnell has indicated), it can serve as an outline of Democratic priorities. Heroes Act text (as of 5/12/2020) here. Section by section here. One pager here. State and Local one pager here. NCAI’s summary on tribal provisions here. Manager’s amendment here. House Rules Committee report here.
Legislation to Watch
Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act
Senators Coons (D-DE), Shaheen (D-NH), and Cardin (D-MD) released a PPP bill that would allow some small businesses to get a second PPP loan. One-pager here.
The forgivable PPP loans would be available to small businesses and nonprofits who are still suffering from the pandemic/recession. Highlights below:
  • Applicants would have to show that business activity is still down at least 50 percent.
  • Loans would be capped at $2 million or 250 percent of monthly payroll costs.
  • Loans would not be available to publicly traded companies.
Passed Legislation
 New Implementation Information and Guidance
  • 6/11 – Treasury announced it will be releasing the second tranche of funding for Tribes as early as today and “no later than Monday, June 15."
Hearings/Floor Activity:
House is in pro forma session this week, with no votes scheduled. Leader Hoyer announced that members will meet to vote on the Justice in Policing Act on June 25 and 26. Last week a bicameral group of legislators released the bill in response to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The Senate is in session this week.
SAC plans to markup bills late June, though it may slip to July. The subcommittee markup schedule has been reported as E&W, THUD, and Leg Branch on June 25; Interior, CJS, Ag, DHS on July 2; and the remaining bills to be determined. SAC is unlikely to markup the Homeland Security and MilCon/VA bills. SAC-D will likely not markup prior to August recess and may have to post a Chairman’s mark. 
Subcommittees will poll their members rather than meet in person and save the in-person markups for full committee, to minimize the number of times that committee members have to gather.
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey has sent out a Dear Colleague outlining that she plans to hold subcommittee and full committee markups the weeks of July 6 and 13. From there, the Committee is aiming to push all the bills to the House floor during the last two weeks of July. Majority Leader Hoyer has said he wants to pass all the appropriations bills before the August recess.
Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the Senate’s FY21 National Defense Authorization Act. SASC plans to file the bill on June 15 to set up floor time the following week. HASC Chairman Adam Smith and Ranking Member Thornberry announced that HASC will be marking up the bill the week of June 22, with the full markup on June 24.
Members of Congress in Quarantine or Treatment (new additions in bold)
Tested Positive (0):
Currently Self-Quarantined (0):
Recovered (7): Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
Completed Quarantine (38): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Rep. David Price (D-NC), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Other Federal Actions
  • The NIH has posted updated guidelines for COVID-19 treatment. Some of the key updates to existing sections include considerations for children and potential antiviral drugs under evaluation, and there are a few new sections on acute kidney injury and renal placement therapy and testing for the virus. 
  • Here is this week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • At its first full briefing in over three months, the CDC released new guidance regarding COVID-19. The agency is urging organizers of large gatherings to "strongly encourage" the use of face masks. The new guidance also provides information about how to reduce risk of illness during everyday activities. The audio recording of today's telebriefing is available here
  • The CDC updated its dashboard with 22 new guidance documents and details today. Most recently, the agency posted updated guidance for deciding to go out and going out, some additional considerations for gatherings, and update guidance on caring for your family
  • The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at HHS issued guidance on how the HIPAA Privacy Rule permits covered health care providers to contact their patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to inform them about how they can donate their blood and plasma containing antibodies to help other patients with COVID-19.
  • We are now looking ahead to COVID-19 hearings slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Education and Labor, "Budget Cuts and Lost Learning: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Education."
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Intelligence, "Impact of COVID-19 on Sub-Saharan Africa."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy industry."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Financial Services, "Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Energy and Commerce, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector.”
    • Wednesday (6/17) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine telehealth, focusing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • Wednesday (6/17) 11:30 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System."
    • Thursday (6/18) 4 PM House Homeland Security, "Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era.”
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 2,063,812 total cases and 115,271 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • Texas and Florida both recorded new daily highs of new cases of COVID-19. 
  • The Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs have been canceled according to the Illinois Agricultural Department.
  • Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said the state will move into stage four of its reopening plan, which includes bars and entertainment venues at 50 percent, movie theaters and bowling alleys at 50 percent, restaurants at 75 percent capacity, and allows gatherings of up to 250 people with social distancing guidelines.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the reopening of schools, gyms, movie theaters, and bars. The Bay Area will hold off on reopening some businesses and services until later this summer.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced the reopening of the state's television, film, and streaming production industry.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) has issued a new state of emergency Friday, as part of an EO that also allows the reopening of bowling alleys and lifts restrictions on retail business capacity limits
  • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced the state’s emergency public health order will be amended to permit a limited reopening for breweries this weekend followed by a broader reopening on June 15th.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has implemented a one-week pause on pending county applications for reopening due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed amended green phase orders for the 12 counties moving to green today. The counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming, and York.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that five regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier - will enter phase three of reopening today.
  • Useful state data:
    • The NYT is tracking which states are reopening and which are still shut down.
    • These charts show cumulative coronavirus cases and deaths for metropolitan areas over time.
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers, and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country.
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This resource from Bloomberg Law is a database of State Quarantine and Public Health Laws related to the COVID-19 response.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19, and this tracker, created and maintained by MultiState Associates, has an up-to-date list of executive orders and various travel restrictions.
    • Finally, this site offers COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing and can be broken down by state.
International Affairs
  • Canada has agreed to contribute over $5 million to the WHO Regional Office for the Americas to support COVID-19 response activities, including increasing access to PPE and other critical supplies. The contribution will focus on supporting marginalized and vulnerable communities in 23 countries in the Americas.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is switching to a "special work mode" after his wife tested positive for COVID-19. The president tested negative shortly after. Under the Ukrainian constitution, the president cannot delegate his powers to anyone, and situations of self-isolation and quarantine were not laid out.
  • Japan will ease travel restrictions by letting in up to 250 foreign travelers per day from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • At least 58 members of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei's staff have tested positive for COVID-19. This makes it one of the world’s largest outbreaks to erupt at a nation’s center of elected power.
  • Venezuelan authorities extended the country’s lockdown through mid-July, restricting movement outside the home to essential chores like grocery shopping, going to the bank, or doctor visits. Venezuela has had more than 2,800 confirmed cases and 23 deaths.
  • According to the country's chief medical officer, Australia has eliminated COVID-19 in many areas. More than half of the 38 cases reported over the past week were travelers returning from abroad and remaining quarantined.
  • Hundreds of doctors in southern India ended a two-day strike on Friday that had left hundreds of virus patients without care. The strike by doctors at several hospitals in Telangana State began after some of them were assaulted by relatives of a 55-year-old patient at Gandhi General Hospital in the state capital.
  • Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll overtook Britain’s today to become the second highest in the world after the U.S.
  • Global Cases:  7,935,698        Total Deaths:  433,930
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • The Labor Department reported that more than 1.5 million Americans filed new state unemployment claims last week. While this is the lowest number since the crisis began, it is still far above normal levels. Even though many businesses are starting to reopen, those that were crippled by the economic hardships of lockdown restrictions are starting to have to lay off employees. 
  • The newest CDC forecasts suggest that the U.S. will likely see 124,000 to 140,000 COVID-19 deaths by the Fourth of July.
  • Between May 5th and 20th, a survey among adults in New York City and Los Angeles and broadly across the U.S. found widespread support of stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures and high degree of adherence to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. Most respondents reported that they would feel unsafe if restrictions were lifted at the time of the survey. The results of the study have been published in CDC's MMWR. 
  • Delta Airlines plans to partner with the Mayo Clinic and Quest Diagnostics to launch a program to test all employees for COVID-19 and antibodies as part of its efforts to return to normal operations. 
  • France’s Ligue 1 is the only one of Europe’s major soccer leagues to cancel its season. It is unclear who made the decision and why the decision was made. 
  • A new study suggests that requiring the wearing of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in areas at the epicenter of the global pandemic may have prevented tens of thousands of infections.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. They are now reporting 133 potential vaccines, 10 of which are in clinical trials in the U.S., U.K., and China. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines
  • Continue to look at the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints. The portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from medRxiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and arXiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data and enables users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research.
  • RetailDive tracks store reopenings in the U.S. 
Helpful Articles/Media
Please contact me directly with any questions and I would be happy to assist.


Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
Copyright © 2020 Iowa Biotechnology Association, All rights reserved.

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