@MyKitchenTable: Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Today’s inspiration comes from Robert Frost: “The best way out is always through.”
Our country continues to fiercely wrestle with COVID-19. There are currently at least 3.8M COVID-19 cases and 140K deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins. The seven-day average for new cases in the U.S. is 66,400. Johns Hopkins has created a website with county-specific information regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., available HERE. But I’m an optimist, and there is hope on the horizon. I really believe that – together – we will get through it.
Today we did get some good news on the vaccine development front, which, let’s face it, is going to be needed to get through this moment once and for all. At today’s Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, we heard from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson about the latest on a COVID-19 vaccine. We all are hoping and wanting for a safe and effective vaccine. I referenced in last Thursday’s KT that I stopped at the Kalamazoo Pfizer site to talk with them directly about the vaccine they are working to manufacture. It’s truly incredible that we have been able to mobilize on something this big in such a short amount of time.
Today’s first photo is from my office in D.C. where I joined the E&C hearing virtually. During my time for questions, I asked Dr. John Young, the Chief Business Officer at Pfizer, about the manufacturing process for a COVID-19 vaccine, which will essentially be “Made in America” from start to finish between Pfizer’s St. Louis, Andover, and Kalamazoo sites. I also asked him about a timeline, and if everything goes well, he said that Pfizer would be able to get the data to the FDA for review in October. If the data meets the requirement for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), we could see 40M doses of the vaccine in the U.S. in 2020 (manufactured in Kalamzoo), and 1.3B doses worldwide next year. Dr. Young also mentioned that our 21st Century Cures Act – which accelerates the approval process for life-saving cures, treatments, and devices – will help lead us to a vaccine faster than any of us would have expected. You can watch the clip from the hearing HERE. This is all certainly good news and I’ll keep you updated on updates moving forward.
AstraZenenca had more good news as well about their vaccine. The vaccine they’re developing in coordination with Oxford University showed a robust immune response in their recent trials with 1,000 adults, and you can see more HERE.
A few more notes today:
- HHS announced it will begin distributing $10B in a second round of high impact COVID-19 area funding to hospitals, which you can read more about HERE.
- HHS announced the allocation and distribution of 4,072 cases of remdesivir (162,880 vials, or approximately 26,000 treatment courses). Michigan was one of three states that responded they had sufficient supply, and deferred allocations for this week, and you can learn more HERE.
- For our agriculture community, the MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant Program will award $1.25M in grants to Michigan farms with less than 10 employees. This accompanies the Agriculture Safety Grant, which uses federal CARES Act funding to award grants to farms and agricultural processors with 10 or more employees. Both grants fund COVID-19 mitigation costs, and you can learn more HERE.
Over the weekend, the President tweeted encouraging folks to wear a mask, which you can see HERE. Like I wrote last week, the virus does not care who you are – folks need to wear their mask. It can help stop the spread of the virus. Wear a mask to protect others, and yourself. MLive has the story on when and where Michigan is requiring folks to wear masks, which you can see HERE.
Today’s constituent photo of the day is from a constituent in Portage who spent the 4th of July holiday in South Haven where they took this photo of the flag in the sun – cool shot! TY very much for sharing. If you would like to submit a photo for us to use in future KT updates, please click HERE.
All the best,