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@MyKitchenTable - July 22, 2020

@MyKitchenTable: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dear Friend:

"Yes there really is a Kalamazoo!” and today we are one step closer to vaccine production at the Pfizer site right here in our community.

The U.S. government announced earlier they reached an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to secure more than 100M doses of its vaccine by the end of the year & more than 1.3B doses by the end of 2021, as long as all goes well. This is a huge step, that’s for certain. You’ll remember in yesterday’s KT I mentioned that Pfizer was part of our Energy and Commerce Committee hearing and they highlighted that essentially the entire supply chain for their COVID-19 vaccine will be “Made in America” from start to finish. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed all goes well! More information is available HERE.

ImageToday in the U.S. House, we passed a bill that I cosponsored called the Great American Outdoors Act – one of the most significant conservation bills in American history. It passed with strong bipartisan support 310-107. Frankly the maintenance of our national parks has not been very good. This bill is a game changer. It will help ensure public lands are preserved and protected by providing full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million every year and address the approximately $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands. The LWCF helps support access to places in Michigan like the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Keweenaw National Historic Park, and our beautiful Great Lakes. The legislation would also take royalties from oil and gas drilling on public lands and use them to offset the national park maintenance backlog. It already passed the Senate, so now it heads to the President’s desk and he has signaled he will sign it. You can learn more HERE.

A few more notes:
  • The seven-day average for new cases in the U.S. is 66,240 cases per day, a slight decline from the previous day’s seven-day average, according to the CDC, which you can see HERE.
  • The Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment earlier this month charging two Chinese hackers with hacking into the computer systems of hundreds of companies, governments, NGOs, and others, targeting intellectual property and confidential business information, including COVID-19 research, and you can see more HERE.
  • Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discovered that SARS-CoV-2 binds tightly to heparin, a blood thinner, making the drug a potential decoy that could serve as a way to neutralize the virus before it can infect healthy cells, which you can learn more about HERE.
  • The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has made available $20M in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act funding to 77 non-entitlement counties to provide economic relief, and you can learn more HERE.
Today’s photo of the day is a large bipartisan group of Michigan members of Congress on the Capitol steps in D.C. Republican or Democrat, our message is the same: mask up, Michigan!

Tomorrow morning I’ll be on the radio on WKZO at 7:10 if you’d like to tune in. I’ll be chatting with Ken Lanphear about the Great American Outdoors Act and the latest on a COVID-19 vaccine. You can listen HERE.

 All the best,


Fred Upton

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