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@MyKitchenTable - July 7, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dear Friend:

Albert Schweitzer said, “Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will—his personal responsibility.” It was a different era back then, but it would easy to add Dick Cheney’s quote a couple weeks ago when he said, “Real men wear masks!"

ImageThe Detroit News reported today that Governor Whitmer is “prepared to take heat” again and dial back reopening if the Michigan case load increases. We’ve seen a slight increase across the state but in SW Michigan, we appear to be without any significant increase. So keep that mask at the ready with proper social distancing to keep it that way! None of us want to take a step backwards... You can read that Detroit News story HERE. You can see the latest overall numbers for Michigan in an MLIVE story HERE, which reported 297 new cases Monday with 3 new deaths (state total now at 5,975 deaths). The daily increase in cases was the smallest in 5 days though we have climbed from 290 new cases per day to 382 in a week. You can see a county by county map in this same story.

More than 36M tests for COVID-19 have been performed in the U.S. Nearly 520K tests were conducted on Monday, and last Friday, a record 3.7M single day record were done.

The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the CDC for a diagnostic test that detects and differentiates the viruses that cause flu and COVID-19. This is the 3rd EUA for a test that detects COVID and flu. 

The CDC released testing considerations for non-health care workplaces. According to the CDC, employers may consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks to identify employees with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Workers with symptoms should be referred to a health care provider for evaluation and potential testing. Waiting for test results prior to returning to work is preferred. You can read that HERE.

Roll Call published a story on the greater need for broadband as schools figure out how they will operate this fall and the impact on families that do not have access to broadband. You can see that story HERE and I will remind you that I am still encouraged that we will be able to address these shortcomings in major bipartisan broadband legislation that could well be on the House Floor later this month. You can read that Roll Call story HERE.

Novavex received $1.6B from the U.S. government as a frontrunner in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine... the largest contribution yet from Operation Warp Speed which would allow the company to conduct human studies that could deliver some 100M doses yet this year. You can read more in a Detroit News story HERE or in The Hill HERE.

Discussions continue on the next funding package among congressional leaders. I am convinced that it will be nowhere close to the “Everything including the kitchen sink” $3T Heroes Act which passed on a very partisan basis last month. The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) has been very active in this respect especially with a funding package for states, cities, and counties that is based on a formula according to COVID cases, population, and revenue lost in CY 21.  There will be other elements that I believe will receive the “blessings” of the White House, unlike the Heroes Act which received a veto warning. Liability protections, perhaps another means testing stimulus check for individuals, and other bipartisan proposals are likely to gather steam this week and next before Congress returns for legislative session. You can read more in this Roll Call story HERE.
Lastly, when the House returns for session, one of the first items of business will be to consider HR 7092, The Great American Outdoors Act, which the PSC has formally endorsed (I am a cosponsor). It establishes a restoration fund to support deferred maintenance critical for federal lands and is funded by tapping revenues collected from the development of oil, gas, coal, or other energy forms on federal lands with a cap of $1.9B/year. Our National Parks, forest service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, and BIA will all directly benefit, and the GAO must report on the effect of the fund in reducing the backlog of priority-deferred maintenance projects. It also makes the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent.  


God Bless,

Fred Upton

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