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The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Happy Friday! From talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE’s two-hour call into the Rush Limbaugh show, it’s been another chaotic day in Washington to say the least.

Let’s get you up to speed.

The day kicked off with Democrats rolling out legislation that would establish a panel to examine a sitting president’s ability to perform their duties, and potentially to remove the commander in chief from office if they are found to be debilitated.

The legislation would invoke the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To be clear, any panel created by the legislation would apply to future administrations, but it’s a hit at Trump, who is facing questions from Democrats over his mental acuity in the wake of his coronavirus treatments. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Trump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now ‘working out’ | Pelosi shoots down piecemeal approach | Democrats raise questions about Trump tax audits Trump retweets reporter saying 25th Amendment is not equivalent to a ‘coup’ Trump responds to Pelosi bringing up 25th Amendment: ‘Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation’ MORE (D-Calif.), who unveiled the legislation, has openly questioned whether Trump’s COVID-19 treatments have impacted his decisionmaking skills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus Human Rights Campaign unveils its congressional scorecard ahead of election MORE (R-Ky.) blasted the legislation as “absolutely absurd.” The bill has no chance of being enacted this session, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans.

Meanwhile, sources told The Hill that Trump and his aides offered Pelosi a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package. The latest figure is a jump from their last offer of $1.6 trillion. However, we don’t know yet if Pelosi will be willing to move down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

Trump made news on the issue while he was on Limbaugh’s show this afternoon, saying he wanted a larger package than either Democrats or Republicans have offered. The comments

Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.



a man wearing a suit and tie: The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump's mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election


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The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Happy Friday! From talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to President Trump’s two-hour call into the Rush Limbaugh show, it’s been another chaotic day in Washington to say the least.

Let’s get you up to speed.

The day kicked off with Democrats rolling out legislation that would establish a panel to examine a sitting president’s ability to perform their duties, and potentially to remove the commander in chief from office if they are found to be debilitated.

The legislation would invoke the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To be clear, any panel created by the legislation would apply to future administrations, but it’s a hit at Trump, who is facing questions from Democrats over his mental acuity in the wake of his coronavirus treatments. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who unveiled the legislation, has openly questioned whether Trump’s COVID-19 treatments have impacted his decisionmaking skills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted the legislation as “absolutely absurd.” The bill has no chance of being enacted this session, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans.

Meanwhile, sources told The Hill that Trump and his aides offered Pelosi a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package. The latest figure is a jump from their last offer of $1.6 trillion. However, we don’t know yet if Pelosi will be willing to move down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

Trump made news on the issue while he was on Limbaugh’s show this afternoon, saying he wanted a larger package than either Democrats or Republicans have offered. The comments are a break with what his own White House is currently offering leaders on Capitol Hill.

McConnell said he does not expect the White House and Congress to reach a deal on a coronavirus spending package prior to Election Day.

And speaking of Trump’s call into Limbaugh’s show … the president spent a whopping two hours on the conservative talk radio program, in what the president’s reelection campaign dubbed the “largest radio rally in history.”

Trump spent the call lashing out as his usual targets, including the news media, Black Lives Matter and Democrats.

“To be with you two hours, you have no idea. It’s a great honor,” Trump told Limbaugh.

READ MORE:

Democrats unveil bill creating panel to gauge president’s ‘capacity,’ by Mike Lillis

Trump and allies try to reframe 25th Amendment

Trump Antigen Testing Fail; COVID Stimulus Waste; Politicians vs Public Health

Welcome to the latest edition of Investigative Roundup, highlighting some of the best investigative reporting on healthcare each week.

Trump’s Antigen Testing Fail

Eschewing evidence, the White House has favored antigen testing for COVID-19 over the more reliable PCR tests, Kaiser Health News reported, citing one potential reason for the disease outbreak there.

Antigen tests do not need to be processed in traditional labs and yield results more quickly, making them more favorable to the Trump administration. But BinaxNOW, the new antigen test now used in the White House, has not been independently verified for accuracy and reliability. BinaxNOW received an FDA emergency use authorization in August.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently inked a $760-million contract with Abbott, which makes BinaxNOW, to distribute 150 million tests to places including historically black colleges and universities, state governors (to help them potentially reopen schools), and nursing homes. The Big Ten football conference also decided to play this fall — after originally punting on the season — in part because of the availability of the more rapid antigen tests, “following Trump’s political pressure,” KHN reported.

The White House does not report antigen test results to the Washington, D.C., health department — “a potential violation of federal law under the CARES Act, which says any institution performing tests to diagnose COVID-19 must report all results to local or state public health departments,” the article stated.

Why the COVID Stimulus Was a ‘Waste’

Much of the $4 trillion handed out by the federal government during the pandemic went to large companies that didn’t need the help, rather than struggling medical practices, public health departments, and other healthcare entities, according to a Washington Post analysis.

“The legislation bestowed billions in benefits on companies and wealthy individuals largely unscathed by the pandemic, leaving some local public health efforts struggling for money to conduct testing and other prevention efforts,” according to the analysis, which was based on data from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

More than half of the aid ($2.3 trillion) went to businesses that weren’t required to show that they were hurt by the pandemic, or that they kept workers on the job, the Post reported.

Only $25 billion was earmarked for coronavirus testing via the most recent relief bill on April 24. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer and bipartisan groups of experts have called for $100 billion or more for testing.

Many public companies received CARES Act tax breaks, including Tenet Healthcare, as did companies unaffected by the pandemic. Medical equipment maker Owens & Minor, for example, plans to claim $13 million in tax breaks while personal protective equipment demand has sent its stock price soaring.

The healthcare and social services sector received 12.9% of the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program loans while accounting for 10% of job losses. Construction and manufacturing, by comparison, received 12.4% and 10.3%, while accounting for just 4.7% and 6.4% of job losses, respectively.

By following traditional methods of propping up businesses instead of addressing

Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Fiscal stimulus, Fitness riches

NEW YORK/LONDON/MILAN/MELBOURNE (Reuters Breakingviews) – Corona Capital is a column updated throughout the day by Breakingviews columnists around the world with short, sharp pandemic-related insights.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks to reporters after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates in an emergency move designed to shield the world’s largest economy from the impact of the coronavirus, during a news conference in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

LATEST

– Central bankers

– Icon Health & Fitness

FISCAL KNUCKLE-RAPPING. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a mild rebuke to squabbling Washington lawmakers on Tuesday. While praising the fiscal stimulus as Covid-19 plunged the United States into recession, he effectively said they needed to do more to avoid a “tragic” reversal of progress. Listen up, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

One way Powell expressed this in Fedspeak was by saying “the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric.” At least he clarified that, adding the dangers of overdoing stimulus seem smaller than those from providing too little support. It’s a theme echoed the same day by European Central Bank executive board member Philip Lane and reinforced by fears of a resurgence in coronavirus infections. U.S. President Donald Trump says he’s over the worst of the disease, but the global economy isn’t. (By Richard Beales)

“MIRROR, MIRROR…” Could it be time to cycle out of stationary bikes and into treadmills? Icon Health & Fitness, the parent company of NordicTrack, has raised $200 million from private equity investors, valuing the firm at more than $7 billion, according to Bloomberg. It joins a wave of at-home workout outfits including Peloton Interactive, Lululemon-owned Mirror and privately held Zwift that are basking in extraordinary valuations thanks to a booming home gym market due to Covid-19.

Companies like Icon, which makes fitness equipment and is expanding an online-workout app, should seize the moment. At-home gym equipment is more needed than ever. Cash injections not only ramp up production but bolster marketing tactics that lure in subscribers.

The trouble is there are too many companies chasing each aspiring athlete. Just as hope triumphs over experience when setting health and fitness targets, those investing in workout companies might find reality falls short of their lofty goals, too. (By Lauren Silva Laughlin)

TAKEAWAY. The Great Depression popularized layaway plans, where shoppers paid for items in installments and then took them home when paid in full. The pandemic is universalizing the reverse – and Macy’s wants in. The $2 billion retailer is joining the likes of Silver Lake and Snoop Dogg and investing in Klarna, the Swedish payments group, and under a five-year partnership, customers can pay in four interest-free installments after purchase.

Nearly a century may separate the two financing inventions, but the consumer impetus is the same. Consumers’ wallets are shrinking, and they are looking to spread out payments. Likewise, retailers are desperate for sales, and buy-now-pay-later plans do that in exchange for giving away a