News from Representative Upton

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May 11, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Monday, May 11, 2020

Dear Friend:

ImageThanks folks for sending your pics for the Kitchen Table Report.  Willard Scott was always a morning highlight for decades celebrating birthdays so we will start off with Spencer who turns 13 today.  Something tells me he won’t forget it, and since he is the “first in line,” I offered him the opportunity of a half-day ‘shadow’ with me when things get a bit more back to normal....Happy BD and be safe!

The second picture we received from a consttieut is a wonderful watercolor from Buchanan. The artist has painted a new watercolor every day (hopefully the snow will stop falling soon)!

And the third photo is a stained glass piece a constituent made in their home while social distancing in Dowagiac during the pandemic.   Congrats all three of you! 

You all are welcome to submit your social distancing activities HERE for them to be posted in my Kitchen Table updates down the road.  

  • Always something to analyze is the Johns Hopkins official resource center map, which you can find HERE.  The real news from the past few days is that it does appear Michigan has flattened and lowered the curve the past few weeks, as the Detroit News confirms HERE. Daily cases have declined 25%, which is encouraging, and it was the 9th day with Michigan having fewer than 100 new deaths. We still rank 4th in deaths behind NY, NJ, and MA.

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  • I’m helping to lead the charge on a bipartisan letter to Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy regarding the domestic auto industry.  Michigan has always been viewed as the “auto state,” and our economy sinks or swims based on the manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and auto related businesses. Tuesday is the deadline for colleagues to sign the letter that you will see HERE, and we are close to 70 Members on both sides of the aisle that have agreed to sign.
  • The bipartisan Dingell-Upton letter last week worked regarding the allocation plan for the drug remdesivir.  You will remember there was quite a lot of controversy and Michigan was not going to be one of the states to benefit from this newly approved drug from the Gilead Sciences’ donation.  Gilead committed to supplying some 600K vials of the experimental drug that would treat an estimated 78K hospitalized patients and you can find more information HERE.
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  • The FDA authorized the first diagnostic test with the option of using home-collected saliva samples for COVID-19. The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Rutgers Clinical Genomics Labs can be seen HERE.  The FDA also issued an EUA to Quidel Corp for diagnostic tests for detecting fragments of proteins found on or within the virus by testing samples from nasal cavity swabs. You can see that HERE.
  • NIH began a randomized, controlled clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of a treatment regimen of remdesivir plus the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib enrolling more than 1000 folks, which you can see HERE.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine study found no significant difference between hydroxychloroquine and standard of care in terms of patients’ need for ventilation or death rate but stressed that randomized clinical trials are needed, which you can see HERE.
Speaker Pelosi plans to unveil the next phase for the pandemic later this week with a possible House Floor vote as early as Friday.  We will be given 72 hours notice to get back to D.C., remembering that we have to vote electronically and in person for a vote in the House.  

Meanwhile the Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection Subcommittee held a briefing with the FTC Chairman.  He indicated that there are some 30-35 states that have price gouging laws and would welcome a national standard. I asked about their relationship with the Department of Justice’s directives to their U.S. Attorney’s investigation of price gouging.  He indicated that there were some 200 investigations ongoing now.  Notably was the scam they are pursuing where an entity posed as the SBA fooling small businesses to submit documents for the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program).  Not only was the information sensitive but the real injury would be to that business...waiting for the word on the loan approval for their employees which would never come.

I also participated on a zoom call with the American Association of Clinical Urologists with doctors around the nation. One doctor from a COVID-19 hotspot in the Bronx was truly grateful for the work we did for tele-health as part of 21st Century Cures.  We hope to expand on that proposal as part of the “Cures 2.0” update.  They also raised the liability issues that any physician and employer fears as part of the pandemic in the absence of OSHA standards.

I also spent some time on the phone with my Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL)  talking about our next steps.   Especially with Congress likely to return this week or next, I anticipate that we will invite former Energy Secretary Muniz and current Energy Secretary Brouillette to brief our members on the current energy situation in a public hearing. 

Today’s inspiration...Abraham Lincoln: “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."

God Bless,


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Fred Upton



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If you would like to submit photos to share in these Kitchen Table updates of you social distancing, in your masks, working from home, and other photos of how you are keeping safe during the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.

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