Friday, April 17, 2020
@MyKitchenTable -Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Friend:

Going back to FDR, I’ll alter the same word twice and presume you can answer this jeopardy question regarding the changed word: “More than an end to pandemics, we want an end to the beginnings of all pandemics.”

In the Michigan delegation call with our Governor yesterday, she discussed how working together we were all able to extend the time that our local providers would exhaust their Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) from literally hours and a few days to much longer periods - perhaps weeks. Several weeks ago Whirlpool reached out to Spectrum/Lakeland Health systems with an offer no one could refuse....shipping literally hundreds of thousands of PPE from overseas at no cost to them for their health care workers and other eligible front line entities in need.  I helped with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol coordination with the White House to get the PPE here.

Spoke earlier today at Spectrum/Lakeland Health as they received thousands of medical supplies

I talked with a number of firms that are benefitting from the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) whose funds expired yesterday.  Transmatic in Holland is still manufacturing critical materials, and, despite nearly a 50 percent reduction in volume, they expect to survive using the PPP loan as a lifeline. They have already imposed steps to protect workers from the lessons they undertook at their China operations.

Also today, I held a zoom town meeting with 150 team members at Aunalytics. They received $2.5 million this morning after applying on April 6.  As they told me, “they are rowing the boat forward” with this “phenomenal” program.  Sadly, I also heard from companies that did not get approved as the funds were exhausted.  I am working this weekend on generating strong bipartisan support to continue the program and have identified Republicans and Democrats - along with national business and employee organizations - to help propel the movement.  We will plan to unveil our support next week.

Lastly, I joined my colleagues Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) to introduce a bill called the Modernized Medicine Act to temporarily increase Medicaid reimbursement rates during a declared emergency if a state expands their telehealth services. Telemedicine services in Michigan and in states across the nation are vital to protecting the public health and safety during this global pandemic. This bipartisan legislation is simply common sense and urges states to expand telehealth services, helping to keep both patients and our health care workers safe. Learn more here.

Stay safe and practice social distancing (please wear facial protection if somehow interacting with others) as the word is that Michigan will likely peak this next week.

God bless, and stay safe this weekend,

Fred Upton
Member of Congress

Washington, DC Office
2183 Rayburn House Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20515
T: (202) 225-3761 | F: (202) 225-4986
St. Joseph/Benton Harbor District Office
720 Main Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
T: (269) 982-1986 | F: (269) 982-0237
Kalamazoo District Office
350 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49907
T: (269) 385-0039 | F: (269) 385-2888