March 15, 2020 – Most-Viewed Bills | Congress.gov

March 15, 2020

1. H.R.6201 [116th] Families First Coronavirus Response Act
2. H.R.6074 [116th] Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020
3. H.R.2214 [116th] NO BAN Act
4. H.R.6172 [116th] USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020
5. H.R.5383 [116th] New Way Forward Act
6. H.R.1 [116th] For the People Act of 2019
7. H.R.5428 [115th] Stand with UK against Russia Violations Act
8. S.311 [116th] Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
9. H.Res.897 [116th] Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be a direct emergency economic stimulus for individual Americans in response to COVID-19.
10. H.R.25 [116th] FairTax Act of 2019

Source: Most-Viewed Bills – Congress.gov Resources – Congress.gov Resources

Trump Calls Out China’s COVID-19 Disinformation | Defense One


President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that the Chinese government was deliberately spreading false claims that the United States developed COVID-19 as a bioweapon.

“China was putting out information which was false, that our military gave this to them. That was false. Rather than having an argument, I had to call it where it came from. It did come from China,” Trump said in a Tuesday press conference.

Source: Trump Calls Out China’s COVID-19 Disinformation – Defense One

Mobile App Could Help Stop Coronavirus Without Resorting to China-like Surveillance


China’s approach of combating COVID-19 with the help of mobile software was criticized for taking advantage of the nation’s surveillance and big data networks, but a group of scientists say the idea of using common smartphone features during such a crisis may still have merit.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread globally, a team of University of Oxford-linked scientists have suggested a centralized smartphone app could feasibly be designed to alert people that they had been in close proximity to a person who later tested positive for the respiratory disease.

Source: Mobile App Could Help Stop Coronavirus Without Resorting to China-like Surveillance

Biden on cusp of insurmountable lead after sweeping three states | TheHill


Former Vice President Joe Biden swept the primaries in Florida, Illinois and Arizona on Tuesday, putting him on track to secure an insurmountable delegate lead in the Democratic nominating contest and virtually shutting out Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) chances of a comeback.

Source: Biden on cusp of insurmountable lead after sweeping three states | TheHill

The economic policy response to COVID-19: What comes next?


As the public health crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the economic consequences are becoming increasingly clear. To halt the spread of this disease, public officials and firms are making policy and business decisions that are rapidly bringing parts of the economy to a necessary standstill.

Spending will fall rapidly at many businesses as people practice social distancing; firms are shutting down—hopefully temporarily; and millions of workers are experiencing reduced income (whether through hours reductions, furloughs, or layoffs), which will in turn put further downward pressure on spending.

The federal policy response thus far has focused on public health.

Source: The economic policy response to COVID-19: What comes next?

Crimea: Six years after illegal annexation


March 18 marks the sixth anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Attention now focuses on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Donbas, a conflict that has taken some 14,000 lives, but Moscow’s seizure of Crimea — the biggest land-grab in Europe since World War II — has arguably done as much or more damage to Europe’s post-Cold War security order.

Ukraine lacks the leverage to restore sovereignty over Crimea, at least for the foreseeable future. But that does not mean the West should accept it. Doing so might only encourage the Kremlin to believe that taking the territory of other countries is an action that it can get away with.

Source: Crimea: Six years after illegal annexation

Coronavirus in the Middle East | Think Global Health

As the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 races across the globe, the one Middle Eastern country that has received considerable attention is Iran.

The inability of authorities to stabilize the infection rate there and the magnitude of the outbreak—believed to have been the result of Chinese workers building infrastructure in the city of Qom—has raised alarms among global health experts and foreign policy analysts alike.

Yet Iran is not unique in the region. It may have been struck earlier than other countries, but they all face similar problems, notably a fragile public health system and leaders many citizens believe to be illegitimate, sowing mistrust and fear.

Source: Coronavirus in the Middle East | Think Global Health

Futures slide again as stimulus high fades | Reuters


U.S. stock index futures tumbled on Wednesday, pointing to another volatile session for Wall Street on fears that even dramatic stimulus measures would not be able to avert a deep coronavirus-driven recession.

S&P 500 futures were down 92 points, or 3.69%, at their daily down trading limit, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETFs tumbled 5.6%.

Source: Futures slide again as stimulus high fades – Reuters

China’s internal security force on frontlines of Hong Kong protests | Reuters


Officers from China’s top internal security force – the People’s Armed Police – joined Hong Kong police on the frontlines to observe anti-government protests that peaked last year, according to a senior foreign diplomat and an opposition politician.

Hong Kong police took PAP officers to monitor the protesters and their tactics as part of a wider effort by the paramilitary force to deepen its understanding of the Hong Kong situation, they said.

Source: Exclusive: China’s internal security force on frontlines of Hong Kong protests – Reuters

Trump wants to send Americans $1,000 checks to cushion virus economic shock | Reuters


U.S. President Donald Trump announced a plan on Tuesday to send money to Americans immediately to ease the economic shock from the coronavirus crisis and said military-style hospitals will likely be deployed to virus hot zones to care for patients.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, appearing with Trump in the White House press briefing room, said he was talking with congressional leaders on a plan to send checks immediately to displaced Americans. Trump said some people should get $1,000.

Source: Trump wants to send Americans $1,000 checks to cushion virus economic shock – Reuters