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@MyKitchenTable - June 23, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dear Friend:

Today’s inspiration is from Dr. Fauci at today’s hearing on Capitol Hill: “It will be when, not if” for a COVID-19 vaccine.

We all hope so.

My day started with my weekly interview on WHTC. We covered a number of issues, including police reform, future COVID-19 relief packages, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans/grants transparency, our bipartisan efforts to help nursing homes with the COVID-19 crisis, and today’s Energy and Commerce hearing. You can listen to the full interview HERE.

Much of my day was spent participating in a virtual Energy and Commerce hearing with Dr. Tony Fauci (Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH), Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of HHS, Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC. I believe it was Dr. Fauci who said the “vaccine would be the nail in the coffin” in his opening testimony.  I cited four different pharmaceutical companies moving at “warp speed” on the development and soon production of a vaccine that would confirm Dr. Fauci’s public comments two weeks ago that he hoped the U.S. would have 100M doses produced and available prior to the end of 2020.  

I specifically asked about their thoughts regarding when an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) allowing a FDA vaccine approval could be granted.  Hahn assured us that “no corners on safety would be cut” and they would be relying on science.  But it is clear that at least four companies have seen remarkable early progress and are willing to take financial risk on success.  The FDA and NIH are aware of some 131 clinical trials relating to therapeutics with more than 100 EUA’s being granted.  All four witnesses also made news confirming that they were never told by the president to slow down testing. The national numbers actually reflect continued higher testing across the country.  You can read more about the hearing in the Detroit News HERE.

MLive is reporting that Michigan’s average number of new coronavirus cases reported daily has been rising slightly, which you can see HERE. Like I wrote last night, as things reopen, it’s still important for everyone to mitigate risks – wear your masks and wash your hands. We will beat this virus but everyone needs to play their part.

The FDA issued a notice yesterday warning consumers about the potential presence of methanol, or wood alcohol, in sanitizers produced by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico. Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. You can read more HERE.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m driving back to Washington D.C. for a couple of days of votes, including on police reform. I’m looking to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get something done. This is our moment, and as a country, we cannot stand still. Enough with just messages. It’s time for legislation. Stay tuned.

ImageToday’s constituent photo is of some extraordinary driveway art in South Haven, which was done with chalk over tempera paint. They said that they are sharing a bit of joy with their neighbors during these tough times for all – and we are especially glad they shared it with all of us. TY! If you’d like to submit a photo, please click HERE.

God Bless,

Fred Upton

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