Thursday's Mini-Report, 5.14.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Dr. Rick Bright: "An ousted top Health and Human Services official testified before Congress Thursday that the Trump administration's timeline for a coronavirus vaccine is likely too optimistic -- and said there's currently 'no plan' in place for mass production and distribution of one."

* On a related note: "Rick Bright, a former top U.S. vaccine official who testified before Congress on Thursday, said the Department of Heath and Human Services 'did not respond' when he raised concerns about shortages of medical materials such as N95 masks and testing supplies, prompting Bright to reach out to a White House adviser."

* Capitol Hill: "Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., on Thursday temporarily stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after the FBI seized his cellphone and questioned Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as part of a possible insider trading investigation."

* Nursing homes: "The Trump administration is calling for nursing homes to test all residents and staff over the next two weeks as it prepares to 'reopen' the country, but advocates and industry executives say that in many states, universal testing isn't feasible and that the federal government isn't providing the money or means to do it."

* An unsettling report: "A rapid coronavirus test used by the White House to screen its staff could miss infections up to 48 percent of the time, according to a study by researchers at N.Y.U. Langone Health. The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, evaluated the accuracy of the test, Abbott ID Now, a machine about the size of a toaster oven that can yield results in five to 13 minutes."

* The new gig for Moncef Slaoui, a former chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline: "President Trump has picked a former executive of a major pharmaceutical company to lead Operation Warp Speed, the government's effort to speed up development of a vaccine for the coronavirus, a senior administration official said Wednesday."

* Legislative accommodations: "Congress is going to have to learn to live with the virus, like the rest of us. Thankfully, the House of Representatives is getting ready to do just that."

* FISA: "The Senate has passed legislation that would extend three expired federal surveillance powers that law enforcement officials use to fight terrorists, moving one step closer to reviving them. The legislation passed the Senate 80-16 on Thursday. The bill is a bipartisan compromise that has the support of Attorney General William Barr, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell."

See you tomorrow.