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COVID-19 Update
June 16, 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 Jessica@iowabio.org.

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 www.iowabio.org/COVID19 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, 24,125 Iowans have tested positive, up 166 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 229, 401 tested.  9 more deaths were reported since our update yesterday, bringing the total to 661 deaths. Now 14,774 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.

Federal Legislation
Supplemental IV
Timeline/Process/Politics: All signs seem to be pointing to movement on a bill happening in the middle, or more likely, the end of July. No real discussion between parties is happening at this point and there’s no set process for moving forward. We are still in wait-and-see mode.
 
Policy: While Republicans have outlined liability protections as a red line, they’ve also pushed back on any extension of the federal boost to unemployment insurance. However, there have been talks about ways to gradually decrease it or create different incentives to return back to work. 

In other news, a group of 179 House Democrats sent a letter to House Democratic leadership pushing for support for the clean energy industry in the next bill. The letter advocates for extending tax credits and, for some, converting them to a direct payment.
 
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
  • 6/15 – The Federal Reserve announced that the lender portal for the Main Street Lending Program had opened. Press release here. Lender portal here. Information on the Main Street Lending Program here.
  • 6/14 – SBA released updated data on the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Advance Loans. PPP data here. EIDL data here. Advance data here.
    • Note: SBA has said that it will re-open the application window for EIDL applications from non-agriculture-related businesses.
  • 6/12 – Treasury released the second round of disbursements to tribes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Methodology here.
  • 6/12 – Treasury and the SBA released new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program. The guidance incorporates the changes the recently passed Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPFA) made. New Interim Final Rules here. New Borrower Application here. New Lender Application here.
Congress
Hearings/Floor Activity
The House will meet later this week to pass the Justice in Policing Act. The House Judiciary Committee will markup the bill on Wednesday. Sen. Tim Scott plans to release a police reform bill on Wednesday, which will likely serve as the Republican caucus’s response. The Senate is in session this week and will be voting on The Great American Outdoors Act (H.R.1957 will be the legislative vehicle).
 
Appropriations
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 member 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.
 
The House Appropriations Committee will be marking up the first week of July, likely pausing for a day in between subcommittee markups and full committee markups. The plan right now is to approve a couple subcommittee bills per each full committee markup, starting on Thursday, July 9 and aiming to finish full committee markups the following Thursday, July 16. We will likely see a firmer schedule and order of bills next week. The Committee is aiming to push all the bills to the House floor during the last two weeks of July, likely in two minibuses. Majority Leader Hoyer has said he wants to pass all the appropriations bills before the August recess.
 
NDAA
After completed markup last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee plans to file the bill later this week with the hope that it will be passed before July recess. 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 (1): Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC)
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 CDC has released consolidated recommendations for COVID-19 testing, including interim testing guidelines for nursing home residents and healthcare personnel, as well as testing strategy options for high-density critical infrastructure workplaces after a COVID-19 case is identified. These recommendations compile and update previous testing guidance. The consolidated recommendations for testing, Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2, were developed based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and are subject to change as additional information becomes available.
  • The NIH has launched a centralized, secure enclave to store and study vast amounts of medical record data from people diagnosed with COVID-19 across the country. It is part of an effort, called the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), to help scientists analyze these data to understand the disease and develop treatments. This effort aims to transform clinical information into knowledge urgently needed to study COVID-19, including health risk factors that indicate better or worse outcomes of the disease, and identify potentially effective treatments.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details. Most recently, the agency posted updated guidance for travelers prohibited from entering the U.S., some new helpful pointers on how to keep kids healthy, and steps for how labs can get access to the CDC's diagnostic test and supplies.
  • Today, the FDA revoked the EUA that allowed for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated to the SNS to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19 when a clinical trial was unavailable, or participation in a clinical trial was not feasible. Based on its ongoing analysis of the EUA and emerging scientific data, the FDA determined that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA. Additionally, in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use. The agency issued a Press Release and posted FAQs about this action.
  • The FDA is warning health care providers about a newly discovered potential drug interaction related to the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir, which has received emergency use authorization for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe disease. Based on a recently completed non-clinical laboratory study, the FDA is revising the fact sheet for health care providers that accompanies the drug to state that co-administration of remdesivir and chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate is not recommended, as it may result in reduced antiviral activity of remdesivir. The agency issued a Press Release about this action.
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Thursday for Army Gen. Gustave Perna to be chief operating officer of Project Warp Speed, the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • 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) 9:30 AM Senate Foreign Relations, "COVID-19 and U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response."
    • 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 2,085,769 total cases and 115,644 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • State governments are facing some of their biggest budget shortfalls on record and are facing a projected shortfall of $615 billion over the next three years. States and localities have been forced to furlough or lay off more than 1.5 million workers over the past three months and to weigh far deeper cuts in areas including education in the coming months.
  • Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced that her administration has accelerated the first day that lodging establishments in Maine can begin serving out-of-state visitors who meet either the 14-day quarantine requirement or the State’s new testing alternative. Lodging establishments in Maine may now begin serving these individuals on Friday, June 26th rather than Wednesday, July 1st.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Western New York is expected to enter phase three of reopening June 16th and the Capital Region is expected to enter phase three of reopening on June 17th following a review of regional data by global public health experts.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that eight more counties will move to the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an EO allowing personal care service facilities to reopen to the public on Monday, June 22nd, provided the facilities comply with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and Department of Health.
    • Gov. Murphy also announced that outdoor youth sports in New Jersey may resume as soon as June 22nd with low-risk competitive activities like golf and tennis, and increasing activity in subsequent weeks with sports considered medium and high risk for the transmission of COVID-19.
  • New Mexico's Department of Health announced that it will be offering COVID-19 testing for utility workers as part of a statewide effort to keep essential workers in various fields safe and healthy.
  • The Mayor of Austin, Texas, Steve Adler, issued new guidelines today to encourage mask wearing and social distancing. The mayor acknowledged that he continues to abide by Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) reopening orders and that he would not reimpose Austin’s strict lockdown. But he called on businesses to redouble efforts to maximize social distancing and to do a better job requiring customers to wear masks.
  • 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
  • Greece reopened its borders to international tourists today, hoping to kick-start its vital tourism sector after three months in lockdown. 
  • Ghana’s president has announced that Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has contracted COVID-19 and is undergoing treatment at a hospital. 
  • Nepal will deport five foreign tourists and ban them from entering the Himalayan nation for two years after they joined protests against the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • Spain will reopen its borders to most European visitors starting June 21st, ten days earlier than previously planned. 
  • The WHO called a coronavirus cluster of more than 100 cases in Beijing a “significant event” and said that the Chinese government has shown an appropriate level of concern. 
  • Beijing is reintroducing strict lockdown measures and rolling out mass testing after a cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged from the city's largest wholesale food market. The Chinese capital reported 36 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total number to 79 since a locally transmitted infection was reported on June 12th for the first time in nearly two months, according to the National Health Commission. 
  • India recorded 11,929 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total to more than 320,000. Earlier last week, India surpassed the U.K. and is now the fourth-highest affected country, behind the U.S., Brazil, and Russia. The Tamil Nadu state government said it would reimpose a lockdown on about 15 million people in the city of Chennai and neighboring districts amid concerns that new infections are surging.
  • Pakistan recorded 100,000 new cases a month after reopening. It is among the WHO’s top 10 countries where the virus is on the rise. 
  • France, Germany, and Switzerland are among the nations that lifted restrictions today for all arrivals from within the E.U. and nations that fall under the border-free Schengen zone. 
  • Commercial flights will resume to all of Egypt’s airports on July 1st. Passengers from countries with high infection rates will be required to submit a lab test proving they are virus-free.
  • Global Cases:  8,096,492 (global cases have surpassed 8 million) Total Deaths:  437,412
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • Bars and restaurants around the country that have only recently reopened are being forced to suspend operations after employees or patrons have tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • More than half of all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for admissions this fall because of the testing complications and other roadblocks caused by the pandemic. 
  • The Federal Reserve said severe disruptions in the U.S. labor market related to COVID-19 are hitting workers with lower earnings, including minorities, especially hard. Employment fell nearly 35 percent from February to mid-May for workers who were previously earning wages in the bottom fourth of wage earners. By contrast, employment fell for higher-wage earners by 5 percent to 15 percent.
  • A new modeling study suggests that around 22 percent of the global population fall into the category of increased risk for severe COVID-19 infection. That estimate excludes healthy older individuals without underlying health conditions, a group also known to be at risk because of their age. It also did not take into account risk factors like poverty and obesity, which can influence a person’s susceptibility to disease and access to treatment.
  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the next Oscars ceremony will be pushed back to April 25th from February 28th because of the pandemic.
  • The United States Tennis Association is expected to announce this week that it will hold the 2020 U.S. Open with the support of the men’s and women’s tours. The tournament is expected to run as originally scheduled from August 31st to September 13th, but without spectators, at the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
  • On this episode of “Learning Curve”, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn talks about the race to a vaccine, developing therapeutics, and why the FDA is “science in action.”
  • 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.

Sincerely,
Jessica

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


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