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COVID-19 Update
October 7, 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.

Federal Legislation
Supplemental IV
Timeline/Policy/Process: In a tweet yesterday, President Trump ended negotiations on the COVID-19 supplemental, instead directing Majority Leader McConnell to focus on confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. In the thread, Trump asserted that after he is reelected, they will immediately pass “a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.” Until yesterday, the President had not been directly involved in negotiations. Speaker Pelosi issued a Dear Colleague this afternoon, calling Trump’s choice an “act of desperation”.
 
Up until yesterday, Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin seemed optimistic, or at least, more optimistic than they had been in the previous weeks. Leader McConnell had originally asked committees for proposed changes to Heroes 2 by yesterday afternoon, though after the President and GOP senators tested positive for COVID-19 and others entered quarantine, it was unclear if that deadline would slip. Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin had continued speaking over the weekend, though their meetings and calls had remained focused on topline numbers and had not yet progressed to policy. On a caucus call yesterday afternoon, Speaker Pelosi indicated that funding for state, local, and tribal governments continued to be a sticking point. Last Friday, Speaker Pelosi outlined the largest sticking points between the two parties in a Dear Colleague. Senate Republicans had previously been skeptical of Secretary Mnuchin properly representing their interests in negotiations with Pelosi. It seems that even if a deal were to come together between Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin, it would take a significant push from the White House to get Senate Republicans on board.
 
Come Election Day, if Democrats take the Senate and the White House, Heroes 2 will likely be the first bill passed in the 117th Congress. If we see a status quo election, the pressure of the election will be removed, so talks may not restart immediately.

Airline Support: Speaker Pelosi announced last week that, in response to the recent furloughs airlines are making, she would be moving a standalone bill that would include the airline provisions from Heroes 2. Chairman Wicker and Sen. Collins introduced a similar bill in late September. It is unclear whether the House or Senate version would be the one to pass, as multiple Senators objected to the Wicker-Collins bill being passed by unanimous consent last week and the House bill does not include provisions Senate Republicans see as necessary.
 
Policy: It is unclear what the starting point will be come November if negotiations resume. Mnuchin’s counteroffer from last week was something along the lines of the Problem Solvers’ Caucus bipartisan bill (approx. $1.5T). Highlights from Mnuchin’s counteroffer below:
  • $250 billion for state, local, and tribal governments ($186 billion less than what is in HEROES 2).
  • $400/week for unemployment insurance (retroactive from Sept. 12 – Jan 1).
  • $175 billion for health, including $50 billion for vaccines and $50 billion for providers.
  • $160 billion for a second round of PPP.
  • $150 billion for education.
  • A second round of direct payments ($1,200 for adults and $500 for dependents).
  • $60 billion for rental and mortgage assistance.
  • $28 billion in student loan relief.
  • $25 billion for childcare.
  • $20 billion for farmers and ranchers.
  • $15 billion for broadband.
  • $13 billion to expand paid leave.
  • Expanding the employee retention tax credit.
  • Aid for restaurants, lodging, and entertainment venues.
HEROES 2: Last Monday, Democrats released an updated coronavirus package, HEROES 2.  Text here. One-pager here. Section-by-section summary is here. Additional information on the state and local relief provisions is here. Highlights include:
  • $436 billion for state, local, territorial and tribal governments aid ($238 billion to states, $179 billion for local governments, $9.5 billion to tribal governments, and $9.5 billion to territorial governments).
  • $225 billion for education, including $182 billion for grades K-12 and $39 billion for colleges and universities.
  • $600/week for unemployment insurance through January.
  • A second round of PPP.
  • $249 billion for HHS, including
    • $9.2 billion for HRSA,
    • $13.7 billion for CDC,
    • $4.7 billion for NIH,
    • $8.5 billion for SAMHSA,
    • $21 billion for BARDA,
    • $125 billion for provider relief fund.
  • $2.3 billion for the Indian Health Service.
  • A second round of direct payments ($1,200 for adults and $500 for dependents).
  • $120 billion for a restaurant stabilization fund.
  • $28 billion in airline payroll support.
  • Expanding the employee retention tax credit.
  • $57 billion to support childcare.
  • $4.5 billion for LIHEAP.
  • $1.7 billion for Head Start.
  • $50 billion for rental assistance.
  • $10 billion for SNAP and a 15 percent increase to maximum SNAP benefit.
  • $10 billion for Postal Service.
  • $3.6 billion for election grants to states.
  • $12 billion for broadband, including $200 million for telemedicine and $24 for broadband mapping.
Members of Congress in Quarantine or Treatment (new additions in bold)
Tested Positive (4): Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Currently Self-Quarantined (5): Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)
Recovered (15): 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), Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-Puerto Rico at large), Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA)
Completed Quarantine (43):  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. 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), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) 
 
*Mark Meadows quarantined March 9 - 12 after coming in contact with a CPAC attendee who tested positive. On March 20, he resigned from his position in the House to become the White House Chief of Staff.

Iowa Update

Yesterday, the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board voted to recommend 18 priorities for the State’s growth and economic recovery from COVID-19. The recommendations which span workforce, education, healthcare, environment, manufacturing, broadband expansion and more, will be used by Governor Reynolds to help create her legislative priorities for the upcoming session. State staff will compile a final report containing the recommendations.

Key Statistics

Iowa
Currently, IDPH has reported on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, 94,341 Iowans have tested positive, up 961 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 832,907 tested. 16 additional deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 1,414 deaths. Now 73,237 Iowans have recovered. The overall positivity rate is 11.3% and the total 14 day rolling average positivity rate is 8.6%. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.

School district statistics including positivity rates by county can be found here. According to guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Education, schools may petition to go to hybrid or online learning with less than 50 percent in-person instruction when the per county percentage positivity rates are above 15 percent in a county on average over the past 14 days (rolling average) AND 10% absenteeism among students is expected for in-person learning.

Currently 16 counties are above 15 percent positivity rate over the past 14 days:

Lyon 31.7%
Sioux 24.7%
Page 22.8%
Taylor 21.9%
Delaware 19.7%
Fremont 19.2%
O’Brien 18.4%
Carroll 17.7%
Osceola 16.9%
Emmet 16.3%
Adams 15.9%
Ida 15.8%
Harrison 15.6%
Guthrie 15.6%
Henry 15.4%
Plymouth 15.2%

US
Total Cases 7,436,278
Total Deaths 209,560

World
Total Cases 35,849,421
Total Deaths 1,050,507

BIO Pipeline Tracker
742 Unique compounds in development
190 vaccines
201 antivirals
351 treatments
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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