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COVID-19 Update
June 25, 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, 26,894 Iowans have tested positive, up 424 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 272,750 tested.  4 more deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 694 deaths. Now 16,915 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.
On Tuesday, the state announced the closure of two Test Iowa sites. The Sioux County site closed Tuesday and the Wapello County will close later Wednesday. After the closings, there will be 18 Test Iowa sites across the state
Federal Legislation
Supplemental IV
Timeline/Process/Politics: We continue to be in wait-and-see mode as Congress has been focused on other issues in the short-term. It’s unclear exactly when negotiations will begin in earnest for the next supplemental. As the federal boost to unemployment insurance ends July 31, lawmakers will likely attempt to put something on the floor before then. 
Policy: While the Heroes Act will not be taken up by the Senate (as Sen. McConnell has indicated), it is the starting point of negotiations and is what the Senate will be responding to. 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.
Hearings/Floor Activity
The House will be in session this week, with votes today and Friday. The House will have votes on the Democratic police reform bill (Justice in Policing Act) and a DC statehood bill. The Senate held a procedural vote on the Republican police reform bill (the JUSTICE Act) yesterday, which failed. 
The House plans to hold all the subcommittee markups on July 6 and 7, with full committee markups beginning July 9. Order will likely be SFOPS, Ag-FDA, and MilCon on July 6; Homeland, Interior, Leg Branch, E&W, and Labor-HHS on July 7; and, CJS, THUD, FSGG, and Defense on July 8. Full Committee markups will then begin the following day, hoping to finish full committee markups by Thursday, July 16.
The plan also remains to move bills on the floor the last two weeks of July in the form of two minibuses. It’ll be a relatively closed floor process with a limited number of votes per package, as voting takes so long. The Rules Committee may package amendments en bloc as a part of a rule.
Agencies like the CDC and others may be designated as emergency spending ­— i.e. they won’t count toward the budget caps — due to their involvement in responding to the pandemic.
The Senate markups have slipped, possibly slipping to early July. The delay has been caused by disagreement over various amendments proposed by Democrats. 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 Armed Services Committee is scheduled to markup this week, with full committee amendments due on Friday. It will likely take two days for the FY21 NDAA to get through full committee. The aim is to have the bill move on the House floor before August recess.
The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the FY21 NDAA earlier in June and filed the bill last night. It is unclear when the bill will move on the floor – the hope is to move it before July 4 recess.
House Protocols
The Chief Attending Officer and Attending Physician of the House sent out new guidance for offices last week. The guidance states that offices can receive Plexi-glass and PPE for no cost.
The House Attending Physician Brian Monahan also sent out updated guidance in a Dear Colleague last week. The guidance requires face coverings for those meeting in “enclosed space[s]” for longer than 15 minutes. Speaker Pelosi has asked committee chairs to invoke rules on decorum to prevent members without masks from taking part in hearings.

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
  • In a new FDA Voices, "FDA maintains the pace of meeting its goals on applications for medical products during the pandemic," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn explains that one of the challenges facing the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic is how to ensure the timely reviews of medical product applications despite a surge in volume of work and practical constraints that may impact the ability to conduct on-site inspections. 
  • The FDA is partnering with the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) and the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory (CDRC)External Link Disclaimer. CDRC is a forum for the exchange of clinical practice data to inform potential new uses of existing drugs for areas of high unmet medical need, advancing research in these areas. CDRC will focus on capturing relevant real-world clinical outcome data through the FDA-NCATS CURE ID platform. In a pilot project focused on COVID-19, CDRC will use data collected via the CURE ID platform to aggregate global clinician treatment experiences to identify existing drugs that demonstrate possible treatment approaches warranting further study.
  • A Consumer Update, titled Getting Smarter about Food Safety: The Pandemic and Lessons Learned, explains that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts at the FDA have learned valuable lessons that will help shape our work to create a more digital and transparent, as well as safer, food system for you and your family. In the coming weeks, the FDA will unveil the blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, which lays out how they will use technology and modern approaches over the next decade to strengthen the ways they approach the safety of the nation’s food supply.
  • Today at 12:15 PM ET, the FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2. The next Town Hall in the series will take place on July 1st. 
  • Today, FDA launched the first “FDA Insight” podcast, featuring FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Anand Shah discussing FDA's COVID-19 efforts, including the drug development process for a COVID-19 treatment. Future FDA Insight podcasts will feature Hahn, Shah, and other FDA leaders’ insights into issues facing the agency — including the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging topics.
  • The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced the selection of the Morehouse School of Medicine as the awardee for a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities. The Morehouse School of Medicine will enter into a cooperative agreement with OMH to lead the initiative to coordinate a strategic network of national, state, territorial, tribal and local organizations to deliver COVID-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • U.S. Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn issued the following joint USDA-FDA statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19:
    • "The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission. There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging. The U.S. food safety system, overseen by our agencies, is the global leader in ensuring the safety of our food products, including product for export."
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage taking a look at the succinct answers provided to frequently asked questions. Over the last two days, the agency updated the FAQ form for youth sports programs, revised the available resources for Tribal Communities, and compiled the most recent information for health departments
  • HUD announced yesterday that it is awarding $962,160 in funding to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies in New York, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Indiana, Florida, Nebraska, Hawaii, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey to support activities related to COVID-19. The awards to the nineteen organizations are part of $1.5 million in Partnership and Special Enforcement Effort funds being provided to FHAP agencies through the CARES Act. 
  • CMS announced the creation of the Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics to unify the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory and administrative burden and to further the goal of putting patients first. The new office is an outgrowth of the agency’s Patients over Paperwork (PoP) Initiative. The announcement continues CMS’s burden reduction efforts from both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Thursday (6/25) 2 PM House Ways and Means, "Hearing on Examining the COVID-19 Nursing Home Crisis."
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 2,336,615 total cases and 121,117 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • More than 35,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified across the U.S. on Tuesday, the highest single-day total since late April and the third-highest total of any day of the pandemic.
  • Houston's intensive-care units are now 97 percent full, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner. COVID-19 patients account for more than one-quarter of all patients in intensive care.
  • Gov. JB Pritzker (D) laid out the guidelines for how schools will be able to reopen this Fall as part of his phase four recovery plan for Illinois, which takes effect Friday.
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced that the rest of Michigan will not be moving into phase five of its COVID-19 reopening plan this week as planned. Gov. Whitmer said there has been progress overall, but isolated outbreaks in areas like East Lansing and Midland are cause for closer examination before reopening further.
  • Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Virginia plans to enter phase three of its coronavirus reopening plan for businesses and other establishments across the state, including Northern Virginia, starting July 1st. The governor said public health metrics are moving in a direction that makes him confident the state can safely start phase three next week.
  • Texas reported another daily record of more than 5,000 new infections on Tuesday, prompting renewed warnings from Gov. Greg Abbott (R) who urged residents to stay home.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said bars and restaurants will be able to continue to operate, but those that fail to limit capacity to 50 percent or follow other guidelines will “get a visit from the grim reaper in terms of business licenses.”
  • In New Jersey, amusement parks, water parks and playgrounds will reopen on July 2nd, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said Tuesday. Amusement parks and water parks must stay at 50 percent capacity, masks have to be worn when social distancing is not possible, and people must stay six feet apart in lines. Museums, aquariums, and indoor recreation facilities will be able to reopen at 25 percent capacity, along with casinos. Indoor bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and boardwalk arcades will also be allowed to reopen on July 2nd.
  • New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will require people traveling from states that have a high infection rate quarantine for 14 days.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that city beaches will reopen for swimming on July 1st.
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) issued updated guidance beginning next week for many venues, including restaurants and bars. Nearly all businesses and venues will be reopened starting next week.
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced that Louisiana will stay in phase two of reopening. The governor will extend his phase two order for another 28 days, keeping in place occupancy limits and other restrictions.
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced she is postponing the reopening of indoor service at bars.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued guidance requiring the wearing of face coverings in indoor public settings and outdoor public settings where social distancing is not possible.
  • Gov. Roy Cooper (D) of North Carolina, which reached a record 915 virus hospitalizations on Tuesday, announced that the state would pause its reopening for three weeks and require face masks in public.
  • 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
  • India's infections jumped by almost 16,000 to more than 456,000 yesterday, the highest daily rise in the country. The death toll stands at more than 14,000. 
  • In Beijing, there have been 256 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since one individual tested positive on June 11th, leading to fears of a second wave since the initial outbreak in Wuhan late last year. 
  • Colombia extended lockdown measures until July 15th. 
  • All African countries have now developed laboratory capacity to test for COVID-19, according to the head of the WHO.
  • Thailand plans to allow some foreign travelers into the country starting next week, as it eases restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
  • Taiwan will ease its coronavirus border restrictions to allow in people from Hong Kong for humanitarian reasons.
  • Sixteen Russian sailors have tested positive for COVID-19 onboard a ship docked in South Korea. Around 60 people who had close contact with the sailors, including South Koreans, are now in quarantine. 
  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has been ordered by a federal judge in Brasilia to wear a face mask in public or face a fine of $386 per day. 
  • In Yemen, a country already struggling from the devastation of war, the COVID-19 death rate is nearly five times the global average. Approximately 25 percent of everyone infected by the virus dies. 
  • France’s new contact-tracing app has so far only alerted 14 people that they were exposed to the virus.
  • Global Cases: 9,455,953       Total Deaths:  483,217
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • In an update to its World Economic Outlook, the I.M.F. said it expected the global economy to shrink 4.9 percent this year — a sharper contraction than the 3 percent it predicted in April. 
  • An early release article in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during and after a college spring break trip (March 14th–19th) led to 64 cases of COVID-19, including 60 among 183 vacation travelers, one among 13 household contacts, and three among 35 community contacts. Prompt epidemiologic investigation, with effective contact tracing and cooperation between a university and a public health department, contributed to outbreak control.
  • An Internet panel survey identified gaps in knowledge about safe preparation, use, and storage of cleaners and disinfectants. Approximately one third of survey respondents engaged in nonrecommended high-risk practices with the intent of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, including using bleach on food products, applying household cleaning and disinfectant products to skin, and inhaling or ingesting cleaners and disinfectants.
  • The casino giant Caesars Entertainment announced that it would immediately require everyone to wear a mask indoors at all of its facilities, including those at tribal-owned properties. People will be allowed to remove their masks when eating and drinking.
  • The MLB will unilaterally restart a 60-game season in July after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal. This would be the shortest baseball season since 1878.
  • Delta Airlines plans to resume flights to China this week, making it the first U.S. airline to restart operations between the two countries. 
  • The New York City Marathon has been canceled. 
  • Disney will reopen Disneyland Paris on July 15th, the same week as its Florida-based theme parks.
  • 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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