News from Representative Upton


May 13, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Dear Friend:

The great Albert Schweitzer said, “We must all die.  But that I can save him from days of torture, that is what I feel as my great and ever new privilege.”  Thank you again, big time, to all our health care workers!!

ImageOur first photo of the day comes from a constituent from Centreville who paints sunflower cards — over 80 a week ago.  A reminder to me to plant my sunflower seeds now that the frost better be over! Then we have 2 horseback riders in Kalamazoo with their dog all social distancing on a cloudless day.  Thank you for sharing your photos — submit your photo HERE if you would like to share it with all of us.
  • HHS expects supplies of remdesivir to be delivered to all 50 states by Friday. State health departments will distribute the doses to appropriate hospitals within their states.  You’ll remember last week my colleague Debbie Dingell and I contacted HHS ASAP when we learned that many of us were going to be forgotten due to the first allocation plan...
  • The FDA posted updated info for blood establishments regarding COVID-19, which aligns with the agency’s guidance on convalescent plasma to allow donation 14 days after complete resolution of symptoms.  The posting also provides updated information blood establishments may wish to consider when evaluating prospective blood donors, which you can see HERE.  With nearly 1.4M Americans testing positive, there should be plenty of opportunity to help our fellow man.
  • FDA has worked with more than 500 diagnostic test developers who have said they will be submitting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) requests to the FDA for tests that detect the virus.  They have already authorized 93 EUAs which includes 12 antibody tests and 1 antigen test, which you can read about HERE.  You will remember that the last bill the president signed included $1.8B to develop these home tests, which will be absolutely critical on the road back to normalcy. 
  • The CDC published a sad report of a high attack exposure at a choir practice in Washington state from March.  Following a 2.5 hour choir practice involving 61 choir members, including a symptomatic index patient, 32 confirmed cases and 20 secondary probable COVID-19 cases occurred.  So far, two are deceased...a reminder to all of us regarding social distancing and wearing a mask to “help” our voice be heard.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I was standing in line at the SJ Post Office yesterday and none of the five folks in front of me had a mask.  That’s not fair to the folks working the counter...let alone those in the line.  To see more of the CDC report, click HERE
  • EPA released its List N Tool, a new web-based application that allows smart phone users and others to quickly identify disinfectant products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.  You can see more HERE.
  • In these challenging times, broadband for all our communities has become even more important than ever before for virtually every thing we do. I was pleased to announce today nearly $11M for Allegan and Van Buren counties. This should provide access for some 7,700 folks across 100 square miles. You can read more HERE.
ImageIt was a busy day for me with zoom after zoom with colleagues and Michigan interests.  It does appear that Speaker Pelosi plans to debate and vote on two big bills Friday: 1) allowing some type of proxy voting that would allow us to entrust another colleague to cast our vote on the House Floor, and 2) a 1,800 page, $3T spending bill that has more than just a kitchen sink (please no jokes about my kitchen table now that I have been upgraded to my side porch).  As I have mentioned all along, with divided government, any bill that gets signed into law must be bipartisan, and this spending bill does not meet that test.  Senate Leader McConnell has said it is DOA and frankly, I expect a veto signal from the White House later this evening.  There is a path forward and I will be working with fellow Republicans and Democrats across the aisle to find a solution that can meet the test. With the reduction of air flights back to D.C., it will truly take much of the day to travel back tomorrow in order to be there as early as 9AM Friday for votes.  I will keep you posted.


God Bless,

Fred Upton

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