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@MyKitchenTable - June 15, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Monday, June 15, 2020

Dear Friend:

Elie Wiesel...."Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.” And again, Wiesel, “We must always take sides, neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

ImageThis past weekend was filled with events as I met with and listened to community leaders across our district as we engaged in meaningful, constructive discussions.  Saturday afternoon, almost with no public notice, some 1,000+ peacefully marched with the Benton Harbor and Saint Joseph mayors through downtown St. Joe and Benton Harbor. Krasl Art Center provided posters and markers for signs and Silver Beach Pizza stepped up with dozens of pizzas for the marchers.  Volunteers brought cases of water to hand out to all of us along the route.  I spoke and confirmed that racism is real and we can not be silent.  Enough is Enough.  We need to move legislation forward rather than just messaging with nothing real happening to change.

Tuesday and Wednesday I return to D.C. for hearings in the Energy and Health Subcommittees.  We will be hosting former Energy Secretary Moniz who is now CEO of Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. to discuss the challenges in the energy sector for reviving our economy during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.  He will be joined by the CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the Executive Director of ClearPath as we discuss policies that can accelerate clean energy.  Though I will be present, many of my subcommittee colleagues will “zoom” into the hearing.  I can share with you their written statements later in the week.

Today the CDC released a new report that describes the COVID-19 case surveillance including demographics, underlying health conditions, symptoms, and outcomes among 1,320,488 laboratory-confirmed cases from 1/22-5/30, which you can see HERE.

The NIH launched an analytics platform to harness nationwide COVID-19 patient data to speed treatments and help scientists analyze the data to understand the disease and develop treatments as part of the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, which you can see HERE.

In case you missed it, the FDA ends emergency use of hydroxychloroquine for Coronavirus as it is “unlikely to produce an antiviral effect” and you can read the Politico story HERE or the Detroit News story HERE.

Some good news underscoring that Michigan has flattened and lowered “the curve.” There was only one new death reported on Monday — the lowest since late March. That gives us a total of 6,017.  The Detroit News does reflect that Monday totals are usually the lowest due to delays in processing death certificates over the weekend.  You can see that story HERE.

I spoke to the West Coast Chamber (Holland) early this morning and took questions and answers at an annual event.  I did reference my national Chamber recognition from last week when they awarded 10 Democrats and Republicans their new bipartisan award in the US Congress.  I touched on a number of topics including the Problem Solvers Caucus, COVID, Paycheck Protection Program update, State/local (likely) funding due to shutdown and loss of state revenue, the impact on schools, and racial justice legislation emanating from Minneapolis that we may see “move” in the House Judiciary Committee this week. I was interviewed by the Detroit News last week with other Michigan colleagues and you can see that story HERE

ImageToday’s pictures include one from me at the SJ/BH Black Lives Matter walk. You can see folks stretched across the two bridges leading from Benton Harbor to St. Joe.  The other is from a constituent of their two cats, who were the last two animals dropped off at the Kalamazoo County Animal Control before the lockdown began. They adopted them from the Animal Rescue Project who fostered the kittens, and they said they have brought them “endless joy through these difficult times.” TY for sharing. If you have a picture you’d like to share, please send it HERE... TY.


God Bless,

Fred Upton

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