Coronavirus Flash Update: August 2020 #1

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Alston & Bird’s Coronavirus Flash provides updates on policy and regulatory actions under consideration across many important industries being monitored by our teams. Links to key government and legal resources are provided throughout the report.


UPDATED 9:00 AM ET ON MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2020

The Latest News

  • U.S. COVID-19 cases exceed 4,641,690 and 154,002 U.S. deaths. (Source: CDC) (Updated 8/3/20)
  • U.S. stock market: On Friday the major benchmarks all posted gains for the day, with the Dow rising 114 points, the S&P 500 gaining 24 points, and the Nasdaq adding 157 points. (New)
  • The Senate Republican leadership released the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act on July 27, a $1 trillion emergency relief proposal and a counter to the House passed (May 15) HEROES Act. The initial negotiations centered on the expiring $600 supplemental unemployment benefit in an unsuccessful effort to reach a consensus before it expired on July 31. Discussions continue on the unemployment benefit as well as other areas of significant differences, including liability protection. Little progress appears to have been made over the weekend in the stimulus package discussions even as the leadership of both bodies agree that something must be enacted before they depart for the Presidential party conventions during the last two weeks of the month. (New)
  • The HEALS Act was released as a compilation of separate bills sponsored by various GOP Senators: (New)
    • Liability protections, 4317, “SAFE to WORK Act”
    • Finance Committee bill, 4318, “American Workers, Families and Employers Assistance Act”
    • Business meals deduction, 4319 ,“Supporting America's Restaurant Workers Act”
    • Appropriations, 4320, “Coronavirus Response Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020”
    • Small business provisions, 4321, “Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act”
    • HELP Committee bill, 4322, “Safely Back to School and Back to Work Act”
    • Trust fund solvency, 4323, “TRUST Act of 2020”
    • 4324, “Restoring Critical Supply Chains and Intellectual Property Act” (including the “US Made Act”)

COVID-19 Federal Legislation

  • Bill 4.0:
  • The HEALS Act was released in sections by the authorizing committees: (New)
  • The HEROES Act was the first formal offer on a new emergency stimulus bill, 4.0: For the full details on the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800, which passed the House on May 15:
  • The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. 7010, was enacted on June 5. To learn more, see this A&B Summary of the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act. (6/5/20)
  • Bill 3.5: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, (R. 266) was enacted on April 24. Also available are a section-by-section summary and an overview of the health care provisions.
  • A&B detailed summaries are below:
    • A&B Summary5 Small Business Provisions
    • A&B Summary5 Health Care Enhancement Provisions
  • Bill 3.0: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, (R. 748) passed on March 27. A congressional section by section summary is available here.
  • Congress has passed three coronavirus emergency response bills and the first two are below:
  • Bill 1.0: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental (CPPRS) (R. 6074) passed on March 5
  • Bill 2.0: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (R. 6201) passed on March 18

Transition to “Reopening”

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS/CDC/CMS/HRSA CARES Act Provider Relief Funds

  • HHS - the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) webpage (Updated 7/17/20)
  • And the PRF FAQs (Updated 7/30/20) have been updated and capture numerous modifications.
  • The CDC has posted an updated dataset of provider recipient specific payment from the Provider Relief Fund general distribution high impact targeted allocation and/or rural targeted allocation. The dataset includes who has attested to receiving one or more payments and agreed to the terms and conditions as of July 30. (Updated 7/30/20)
  • A&B Hospital Provisions in all 4 bills tracker (Updated 8/2/20)
  • A&B Provider Relief Fund Disbursements tracker (Updated 8/2/20)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) latest news alerts. (Updated 7/31/20)
  • For the latest COVID-19 related CMS guidance and FAQs visit the CMS Current Emergencies webpage. (Updated 7/30/20)
  • CMS jointly with the CDC announced that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients related to self-isolation and other steps related to COVID-19 self-care. A Provider Q&A is also available. (7/30/20) (New)
  • CMS announced new therapeutic procedure codes to allow Medicare and other insurers to identify the use of the therapeutics remdesivir and convalescent plasma for treating hospital in-patients with COVID-19. (7/30/20) (New)
  • CMS released its first monthly update of data COVID-19 and the Medicare population. (7/29/20) (New)

Food and Drug Administration

Small Business Administration

  • The President signed into law 4116 which reauthorizes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through August 8. (7/4/20)

Other Federal Agencies

  • The Department of Education announced $180 million in grants to 11 states for education response during the pandemic. (7/29/20) (New)
  • The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation announced a $765 million loan to Kodak under the Defense Production Act to boost domestic manufacturing of drugs. (7/28/20) (New)
  • The Department of Transportation announced $273 million in grants to 184 airports. (7/28/20) (New)
  • The Department of Treasury announced it had reached an agreement with the United States Postal Service on terms for a CARES Act loan of up to $10 billion. (7/29/20) (New)

For background and the most up-to-date information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website: HERE. The additional federal agency links are provided by the White House Coronavirus Task Force: What You Should Know:

Information for Businesses:

Information for Travel and Transportation:

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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