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@MyKitchenTable - July 8, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Dear Friend:

Someone reminded me, “If you feel down just consider that the sun sinks every night — but it rises again in the morning." And Will Rogers added, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today."

I had a number of folks inquire how they might be considered for the Pfizer COVID-19 clinical trials. That will likely start this month with production slated for their Kalamazoo facility. You’ll remember that they anticipate preparing as much as 100M doses there before the end of the year. The Pfizer folks forwarded me information that you can view HERE.

With the uptick in cases around the country, I wanted to refresh the reporting link that I have shared before as prepared by Johns Hopkins. They have the worldwide and state specific numbers regarding the spread of COVID-19 HERE and HERE respectively.

HHS and DOD announced an agreement with Regeneron to demonstrate large-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational anti-viral antibody treatment, which combines two monoclonal antibodies. By funding the manufacturing effort, the federal government will own the doses expected to result from the demonstration project. The company estimates between 70K and 300K treatment doses could be available if approved. The manufacturing demonstration project will take place while clinical trials are underway, shaving months off the normal product timeline. You can read more from HHS HERE and Regeneron HERE.

I heard from Emergent today about their important announcement with yet another funded proposal to develop, manufacture, and conduct clinical trials for COVID-19. They were awarded $34.6M by the DOD to help fund the work, which you can see HERE.

As you may know, with the social distancing orders in Michigan that have canceled so many community events, I have begun to reach out to folks using live teletown halls and will be doing one again this Friday at 3PM and next Thursday (July 16) at 10AM. If you want to be included in the call, you can do so by calling 877-228-2184 and entering the code 119136#. These will be focused on COVID-19, and the Kalamazoo Medical Director, Dr. Will Nettleton, will again join as a participant on next Thursday’s call.  He has done a short Facebook video on the importance of wearing a mask, which you can see HERE.

Some very exciting late breaking news today from the NIH. They have launched a new clinical trial network to test COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. The COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (COVIDPN) aims to enroll thousands of volunteers in large-scale clinical trials and was established by merging four existing NIAID-funded clinical trials networks. It will enable analyses of protection across multiple vaccine trials and is expected to operate more than 100 clinical trial sites. You can see more HERE. And, folks can sign up to participate in clinical trials HERE.

Lastly, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) held a lengthy zoom call with the Democrat Whip, Jim Clyburn (D-SC). I would note we have had GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Whip Steve Scalise multiple times as well. Though our calls are “off the record,” I left the call encouraged that we can come together on a bipartisan bill this month on racial justice and not only resolve the Qualified Immunity issue that is so important to our law enforcement, but also pass legislation into law that will provide more training and equipment that can begin to heal our nation. I am part of a PSC task force to find a consensus. We also discussed the bipartisan legislation that he and I have offered regarding broadband deployment for underserved rural areas with particular priorities on education and tele-health that access to broadband can help solve. 

ImageToday’s photo is from when I was working earlier and looked up and saw two fawns looking back at me across the street!

God Bless,

Fred Upton

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