The Morning Dispatch: Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidance

Happy Monday. Let’s get right to it.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • As of Sunday night, there are now 142,106 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (a 65.6 percent increase over the weekend) and 2,479 deaths (a 91.3 percent increase over the weekend), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 1.7 percent (the true mortality rate is difficult to calculate due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 831,351 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States, 16.7 percent have come back positive, per the COVID Tracking Project, a separate dataset with slightly different topline numbers.

  • The House passed—and President Trump signed—the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on Friday afternoon. Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie insisted upon a congressional quorum—rather than unanimous consent—to pass the legislation, forcing hundreds of lawmakers to travel back to D.C. against public health warnings and incurring the wrath of leaders in both parties.

  • President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on Friday to “require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize federal contracts for ventilators,” saying in a statement: “Our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course.”

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