Wednesday's Mini-Report, 4.8.20

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* The latest brutal total: "In the U.S., the virus has now killed 12,849 people as of 2:50 am ET Wednesday, according to NBC News' tally, while the number of confirmed cases is nearing 400,000."

* An alarming aspect to the crisis: "Severe cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, are disproportionately affecting African American communities, according to a report published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

* Kushner: "Two Democratic House committee leaders are demanding answers from the Trump administration about Jared Kushner's role in directing and redirecting the flow of life-saving medical equipment among private companies, various levels of government and hospitals in need."

* According to Dems' plans, this would come before Phase IV: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called Wednesday for hundreds of billions of dollars for hospitals, state and local governments and food stamp recipients in response to the Trump administration's urgent request for $250 billion more for small businesses."

* On a related note: "The House could pass a small-business aid package as early as Friday and a broader coronavirus relief package as soon as late April, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told CQ Roll Call in an interview Tuesday."

* Afghanistan: "The Taliban broke off talks with the Afghan government in Kabul on Tuesday, creating a fresh stumbling block for the peace process only weeks after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's diplomatic rescue mission to Afghanistan."

* Richard Grenell: "House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff accused President Donald Trump's top intelligence official Tuesday of undermining 'critical intelligence functions' by keeping Congress in the dark about organizational changes he's been implementing."

* The NRA's troubles: "The National Rifle Association has laid off more than 60 employees in recent weeks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The move comes as the gun rights group faces acute financial challenges during the economic crunch caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The association recently took a large financial hit when the pandemic forced the NRA to cancel its massive annual meeting."

See you tomorrow.