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Wake Up To Politics - May 12, 2020

I’m Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP world headquarters in my bedroom. It’s Tuesday, May 12, 2020. 175 days until Election Day. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.

Coronavirus: Latest updates

Fauci to warn of reopening too soon: “Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a central figure in the government’s response to the coronavirus, plans to deliver a stark warning to the Senate on Tuesday: Americans would experience ‘needless suffering and death' if the country opens up prematurely.’ New York Times

--- Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Brett Giroir, and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on “safely getting back to work and back to school” at 10 a.m. All four witnesses will participate remotely, as will committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Watch live

Trump says U.S. has “prevailed”: “President Donald Trump declared Monday at a White House news conference on the coronavirus outbreak that ‘we have prevailed,’ as U.S. deaths from the disease exceeded 80,000 -- a remark he later said pertained only to testing for the infection.” Bloomberg

--- Trump also claimed at the news conference that “if somebody wants to be tested right now, they'll be able to be tested.” However, many states require people to meet certain criteria before being tested by the virus, and the administration's testing coordinator, Brett Giroir, soon corrected Trump by saying “everybody who needs a test can get a test,” explaining that he was referring to those “who are symptomatic with a respiratory illness” or who “need to be contact traced.” CNN fact check  

--- According to the president, the U.S. is now conducting 300,000 coronavirus tests per day. The Harvard Global Health Institute estimates that the U.S. needs to be conducting 900,000 tests daily by May 15 in order to reopen safely.

White House instructs employees to wear masks: “A memo Monday instructed most White House officials to wear masks or face coverings in the West Wing, as well as avoid ‘unnecessary visits’ there — directives to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further inside the presidential compound.”

“The request does not apply to staff members seated at their desks if they are ‘appropriately socially distanced,’ and Trump is not expected to wear a mask in the White House, aides said.” Washington Post

The Rundown

Supreme Court to hear arguments in Trump tax return cases: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear oral arguments via teleconference in high-profile cases centered on whether President Trump can be shielded from congressional and state subpoenas for his personal banking and accounting records.”

“The first two cases, Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank, have been consolidated as they both deal with Democrat-led House committees subpoenaing records, including tax returns from Trump's financial institutions. At issue is the extent a sitting president can be subject to congressional oversight – under ‘valid legislative purposes’ – of his private business dealings before he took office.”

. . . “Following arguments for these cases, the Supreme Court will shift to Trump v. Vance, in which the president is fighting against a grand jury subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney's office seeking records from the Trump Organization and the accounting group Mazars that include the president's tax returns.” Fox News

--- Like the other cases the Supreme Court has heard via teleconference, the oral arguments in both Trump cases will be live-streamed. Listen live

California, Wisconsin hold House special elections: “There will be two House special elections on May 12, one for former Representative Katie Hill's seat in California and one in northwest Wisconsin for former Congressman Sean Duffy's seat. Both are seen as tests of how the coronavirus pandemic could influence elections going forward.”

“In Hill's county, California's 25th District, the race could give an early snapshot into the impact the coronavirus can have on a competitive race. Republicans, who long held the seat, are hoping to gain back one of their losses from the 2018 midterms and flip a seat in the state for the first time since 1998.”

“In northwest Wisconsin, the short gap between the presidential primary and this election could show how poll workers are having to adjust to the new normal of increased absentee ballots ahead of a crucial swing state election in November.” CBS News

--- According to Politico, Democrats are "bracing for defeat" in California's 25th, a district they flipped by 9 points in the 2018 midterms, pointing to low turnout due to the coronavirus and the negative impact of the sex scandal that took down Katie Hill.

Trump outraises Biden in April: “President Trump narrowly outraised former vice president Joe Biden last month but maintains a significant cash advantage, according to new figures released Monday.”

“Trump, the Republican National Committee and joint fundraising committees raised $61.7 million, officials announced Monday. Biden and the Democratic National Committee trailed closely behind with $60.5 million, officials said.”

“But Trump, who has been raising money for his reelection since he became president, entered May with a massive war chest of $255 million in hand, officials said. Biden and the DNC have not yet released their cash-on-hand figures. As of March 30, the two committees had $62.3 million combined in cash. The official figures will be released in federal filings May 20.” Washington Post


*All times Eastern

President Donald Trump will receive his intelligence briefing at 12 p.m. and meet with a group of Republican senators at 4 p.m.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will hold a press briefing at 2 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m. and vote on confirmation Brian Montgomery to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development at 12 p.m. The chamber will then recess to allow for weekly caucus meetings, before returning at 2:15 p.m vote on advancing the nomination of Troy Edgar to be Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Homeland Security. A final confirmation vote on Edgar's nomination is expected to take place around 4:30 p.m.

The House will meet in a pro forma session, a brief meeting without conducting business, at 12 p.m.

The Supreme Court justices will hear remote oral arguments in two of the most highly-anticipated cases of the term: Trump v. Mazars, at 10 a.m., and Trump v. Vance, at 11 a.m.

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