Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t—-you are right."
If you’ve followed me through the Kitchen Table report, you should know that yes, as much as we all wanted this pandemic over and back in the bottle by Easter, it was not going to happen. But, I remain encouraged and optimistic that indeed we will see real progress on both a successful vaccine and the proper therapeutics in the not so distant future.
Many of my colleagues today participated in a conference call with senior officials at HHS regarding the status of Operation Warp Speed, which has been the process established to develop and approve both effective therapeutics and vaccines for distribution to the American public before the year is out. It was emphasized there will be no “cutting corners” on safety protocols, but work will be allowed to progress at the same time on the early stages of development and then large-scale production, which would then lead to large scale distribution. As a consequence, hopefully, there would not be “a day’s delay” in ensuring that if measured safe, the therapeutics and vaccines would be immediately available.
Four vaccines (more than 100 have been reviewed with another dozen or so sounding very promising) are already in the pipeline with billions spent getting us to where we are now. The point was made that any American who can’t afford the vaccine or have it covered with insurance would get it for free. News continues to be optimistic from those federal agencies overseeing the process that their reports about approving a good vaccine before the end of the year does seem to be on course. You should be interested in this FOX BUSINESS story on Pfizer’s status HERE or this Reuter’s story HERE.
As we all know, Governor Whitmer ordered a mask requirement in all indoor public spaces and you can find her order HERE. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has a toolkit businesses can use to get posters and other online resources, which you can see HERE.
NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities announced a funding opportunity on the role and impact of digital health interventions to address access, reach, delivery, effectiveness, scalability, and sustainability among health disparities and vulnerable populations, which you can see HERE.
You’ll remember our Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing last week on scams. A U.S. District Court in Florida granted a motion for default judgement and a permanent injunction against Genesis II Church of Health and Healing for violating federal law by distributing their product, “Miracle Mineral Solution,” an industrial bleach that the defendants claim is a cure for COVID-19, which you can see HERE.
The Surgeon General says that the U.S. can reverse course and control the latest outbreaks in just a few weeks if everyone does their part with social distancing and wearing facial masks. You can see that story HERE.
Remember, we all need to wear our mask. Today’s photo of the day is from over the weekend as President Trump wore a mask (with the presidential seal). This virus does not care who you are - it can infect any of us. Wear a mask to protect others, and yourself.