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From my Kitchen Table: March 17 Coronavirus Kitchen Table Update

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Washington, March 17, 2020 | comments

Dear Friend:

My top priority remains the health, safety, and overall well-being of the folks of southwest Michigan.

Breaking news on the coronavirus is happening quickly, and it can feel overwhelming, that's for certain. But the most important thing is to stay informed and prepared. To try and help, I will be sending a daily email that summarizes what I'm hearing, what we're working on to help workers and families, the top news items of the day, and what resources folks can look to if they need help.

Today, my office launched a new web page on my website that can be used as a "one stop shop" for links to helpful resources: upton.house.gov/constituent-services/coronavirus.htm. This page (more info below) will continue to be updated as we learn of new resources.

I will also continue to share updates, safety tips, and other information on my social media channels throughout the day.

On Saturday, the U.S. House passed a bipartisan bill - the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - to help workers and families, and on Sunday, I came home to southwest Michigan where I have been in constant contact with food providers, local public health officials, large and small business owners, medical experts, and local government leaders. It's important to hear directly from them and you about the challenges we are all facing.

We need to remember we’re all in this together, and if we continue to focus on solutions – not politics or blame – we will overcome this crisis, just as we have always done.

Stay safe and God bless,

Fred Upton
Member of Congress


New Website

As I mentioned, today my office launched a new website that features critical federal, state, and local resources for folks who are in need. It also includes a list of FAQs, details on federal actions, and phone numbers for critical resources. 

Please click here to visit the new website.

As always, if you are in need of assistance, please feel free to contact our office and we will do our best to help: https://upton.house.gov/contact/.


Check in with each other
We need to be sure to check in with folks. Call, FaceTime, or text neighbors, seniors, and loved ones who are assuredly going to feel a little more isolated than they are used to. Volunteer to grab groceries for those vulnerable populations who should be staying home. Make sure senior citizens are doing okay.

Here are resources from the CDC and the National Alliance for Mental Illness that can help manage stress and anxiety.


Stop the spread of coronavirus


To protect our communities – we all need to follow these simple good hygiene tips.

1.    Wash your hands often, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after sneezing or coughing

2.    Practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds and maintaining six feet of separation from others

3.    Do not touch your face

4.    Stay home if you feel sick

5.    Cover your coughs and sneezes

6.    Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces


Federal Response

On March 4th, I supported an $8.3 billion coronavirus emergency funding package 
that the President signed into law on March 6th. This funding will help expedite the development of a vaccine, purchase essential supplies for local and state health officials who are on the front lines, and provide more than $15 million for Michigan state and local health officials.

On March 13th, I voted in favor of a second round of emergency funding to assist our response to the coronavirus. This bill provides for:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test
  • Two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave
  • Support for food programs, including SNAP, student meals, seniors meals, and food banks
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance
  • Additional funding for Medicaid to help local and state health systems respond to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Increased access to telemedicine services for Medicare beneficiaries 
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