Thursday's Mini-Report, 4.2.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* FEMA: "Federal Emergency Management Agency officials told members of Congress earlier this week that the projected demand for ventilators required for coronavirus-stricken patients 'outstrips the capacity' of the Strategic National Stockpile, the House Oversight Committee said Thursday."

* Capt. Brett Crozier: "The Navy is expected to announce it has relieved the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to two U.S. officials."

* Really? "Health experts say they now believe nearly one in three patients who are infected are nevertheless getting a negative test result. They caution that only limited data is available, and their estimates are based on their own experience in the absence of hard science."

* Ventilators: "President Trump has repeatedly assured Americans that the federal government is holding 10,000 ventilators in reserve to ship to the hardest-hit hospitals around the nation.... But what federal officials have neglected to mention is that an additional 2,109 lifesaving devices are unavailable after the contract to maintain the government's stockpile lapsed late last summer, and a contracting dispute meant that a new firm did not begin its work until late January."

* Oh my: "The Secret Service this week signed a $45,000 contract to rent a fleet of golf carts in Northern Virginia, saying it needed them quickly to protect a 'dignitary' in the town of Sterling, home to one of President Trump's golf clubs, according to federal contracting data. The contract was signed Monday and took effect Wednesday, records show."

* Looks like a pretty stable market: "About 11.4 million consumers signed up for health coverage on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., this year, according to data released Wednesday by the Trump administration, marking the third straight year sign-ups have remained steady."

* It's outrageous that this has become necessary: "Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, who has become a regular at President Trump's coronavirus briefings, will receive enhanced personal security after receiving threats following his repeated pleas for Americans to help slow the spread of the deadly pandemic, officials said on Wednesday."

* Keep expectations low: "Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Wednesday he is talking with Congress about a potential infrastructure bill that would help boost the coronavirus-battered economy."

* Noted without comment: "The White House Correspondents' Association said on Wednesday it was booting a media outlet from its rotation of news organizations that get seats in the White House briefing room after one of its reporters twice defied social-distancing policies amid the coronavirus pandemic.... The statement did not name the outlet it was kicking out of the rotation, but only Chanel Rion, a correspondent for the fringe conservative cable channel One America News Network, was seen standing in the back of the room when the president called on her to ask a question."

See you tomorrow.