News from Representative Upton


April 29, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: April 29, 2020

Dear Friend:

Another busy day from the Kitchen Table. 

A few notes to start:
The sunset from my walk yesterday

  • As of April 27, FEMA, HHS, and the private sector combined have coordinated the delivery of or are currently shipping: 76.5 million N95 respirators, 107.2 million surgical masks, 7.2 million face shields, 15.3 million surgical gowns, 811.9 million gloves, 10,603 ventilators, and 8,450 federal medical station beds.
  • I was also very pleased to see great news on Remdesivir – a drug that was originally designed to fight Ebola that has shown great promise in treating COVID-19 patients! The NIH just released the results of its controlled clinical trial that shows a large percentage of patients who received the drug have their hospital stays greatly reduced as compared to those who did not. Yet another promising result that shows that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. The FDA this afternoon reported they were in ‘ongoing’ talks with Gilead to make remdesivir available to coronavirus patients ‘as quickly as possible.’ More info here.
  • Coronavirus cases jumped in Kalamazoo to 327, which is disheartening indeed. But the photo in the story shows a source of inspiration – “Our heroes wear masks, not capes…” We are so thankful for the health care workers on the front lines. More info here.
  • Businesses can find Made-in-Michigan PPE on a new Michigan Chamber list. Everyday we continue to be so impressed by the private organizations stepping up to help our front line workers. More info here.
  • My office has received numerous calls on the stimulus checks – even some that have been sent to those who have passed away. The Treasury Secretary says those checks should be returned (click here). If you have not received your check, you can use the “Get My Payment” app from the IRS to see when you can expect it. More info here.
This morning, I had a call with my colleague Diana DeGette (D-CO) and FDA Administrator Stephen Hahn to discuss our efforts on Cures 2.0 and which parts of our legislation could help the FDA more easily deal with the COVID pandemic and beyond. Hahn underscored that we are where we are today in terms of looking for therapeutics and finding a vaccine because of the work of Cures 1.0. Streamlining the clinical trials and being able to share data among researchers and institutions around the country has absolutely reduced the time for getting drugs to market and ultimately driving the cost down. Cures 2.0 was also the focus of my Zoom call with the bipartisan Ripon Society in the afternoon, which is a group made up of industry leaders. I enjoyed my conversation with them and took time to answer their questions on the Cures 2.0 effort.

I also talked to my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and White House staff to discuss our priorities for further upcoming legislation on the COVID-19 crisis.

Lastly, I had a Zoom call with the Michigan Credit Union League to chat about PPP and hear some of the challenges they’re hearing from small businesses across our state. I mentioned last night in my report that some of the smaller credit unions and community banks had been bogged down and had a really tough time getting through SBA’s system. An outstanding issue they shared was the continued frustration with access for their applications.  As a consequence, the SBA announced they would only consider applications from institutions with less than $1 billion in assets from 4pm to midnight today, which should help our Credit Unions and Community Banks compete with the larger institutions. 

More calls still to make tonight!

Today’s inspiration is a song lyric from Bruce Springsteen: “Still at the end of every hard day people find some reason to believe."

God bless,



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