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@MyKitchenTable - June 9, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dear Friend:

Vince Lombardi said… “We know how rough the road will be, how heavy here the load will be, we know about the barricades that wait along the track, but we have set our soul ahead upon a certain goal ahead and nothing left from hell to sky shall ever turn us back."

That certainly applies to a good number of issues in times like these. No imagination needed.

A busy day on the side porch (upgraded from the kitchen).  An early start with my normal weekly radio calls and then a zoom meeting with my friends at the Humane Society. We sadly remembered a previous vote I cast prohibiting the hunting of denned, hibernating bears and their cubs in Alaska or shooting swimming caribou from boats or helicopters.  I was on the losing side and the Washington Post printed this story HERE that those activities are about to resume in Alaska.  

I also did a zoom with Kiwanis and talked about seeing some light at the end of the COVID-tunnel on a number of fronts—from testing to vaccine advancements.  There have been more than 20M COVID tests with nearly 380K yesterday.  In the last week there were 3.25M with more than a million Friday and Saturday combined.  HHS released info on initiatives to address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities including strengthening data collection and making testing and treatment more accessible and affordable, which you can see HERE.

The NIH announced that early data from a clinical study suggests that blocking the Briton tyrosine kinase (BTK) protein provided clinical benefit to a small group of patients with severe COVID-19.  Researchers observed that the off-label use of the cancer drug acalabrutinib was associated with reduced respiratory distress and a reduction in the overactive immune response in most of the treated patients, which you can see HERE.  

And, more good news on the vaccine front...BARDA announced that it is expanding an existing partnership with Moderna to increase the domestic manufacturing capacity of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which you can see HERE...Novovax announced that DoD awarded the company $60M to help produce components of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the US.  Novovax will deliver 10M doses of the vaccine to DoD this year that could be used in Phase 2/3 clinical trials or under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which you can see HERE.

23andMe announced that preliminary data from its ongoing genetic study of COVID-19 suggest that O blood type appears to be protective against the virus when compared to all other blood types.  Folks with O blood type are between 9-18% less likely than others to test positive, which you can see HERE.

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday with nearly a dozen witnesses, including George Floyd’s brother.  We are expecting the full committee to “mark up” the legislation as early as next week.  My staff and I continue to reach out and listen to many of our local leaders as we try and move the country forward for real changes.  You might be interested in this WSJ Op-ed written by one of my colleagues, Will Hurd (R-TX).

ImageThe photo taken today is from Three Rivers with a couple orioles practicing social distancing.   I added a tray underneath my bird feeder outside my side porch as I was tired of seeing the blue jays feed the squirrels and chipmunks begging from below.  If you would like to send a photo, send it HERE. TY.


God Bless,

Fred Upton

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