Here to Help
We are in this fight together, and I'd like to provide another update regarding the ongoing response efforts, direct you to resources, and thank you for all the feedback I have been receiving. While I've been missing face-to-face interactions around the district, I have been working at all hours at the desk in my home office. Along the way, I've been sharing information to keep you updated on social media, newsletters like this, telephone town halls, conducting virtual meetings, and posting video updates. On daily phone calls and virtual meetings, I continue to stay in contact with local hospitals, frontline workers, small businesses, manufacturers, state and local officials, congressional colleagues, and many more folks around the district. My website can be used to find additional resources and information about economic relief from the CARES Act.
Economic Impact Payments
The IRS launched the "Get My Payment" application, which allows individuals to update direct deposit information if you had not used direct deposit for your 2018 tax return, or the information was entered incorrectly and you received a paper check refund. This portal also allows you to update banking information like direct deposit, if necessary. Please visit, https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
As a reminder, if you filed 2018 or 2019 taxes, or are a Social Security recipient, no further action is required if the IRS has your direct deposit information.
If you are not a Social Security recipient, and you did not file, you can register for your payment at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here
Nearly 80 million Americans have already received their direct deposit, however do not worry if you have yet to receive it as these deposits will continue to be rolled out. If you filed your 2018 taxes and utilized direct deposit, you do not need to take additional action at this time. If you have specific questions regarding individual circumstances, IRS has developed a webpage to provide further clarity on many different situations: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center or https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions
Paycheck Protection Program
More than 1.65 million loans have been approved for small businesses through this bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Since the program’s launch, I've been working with interested lenders to successfully set up if they typically do not process Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. I've also been working with and doing conference calls with local small business owners and chambers of commerce, to answer specific and lingering questions about the program and other SBA loan options.
With $339 billion in loans already approved, the PPP funds have unacceptably run out. Congress must act immediately to replenish PPP funds. Our small businesses are the backbones of our local communities, and they should not be used as collateral to advance a political agenda. We must authorize a replenishment of funds to keep people employed and our Main Street businesses afloat.
More Supplies Headed to Michigan
Again, FEMA provided Michigan with more supplies including:
FEMA's Regional Administrator was also in Michigan this week to listen to feedback from state and federal officials, and give a tour of FEMA Alternate Care Sites. The Novi Alternate Care Site opened this week with a lower bed count than initially planned due to positive trending numbers.
Federal Relief for Colleges and Universities
Local area colleges and universities will receive more than $22 million in grants to help students who have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The emergency relief funding is made available as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress at the end of March.
Grant Amounts to Area Colleges
Update on Testing
Coronavirus testing has expanded across the United States, including in Michigan. We recently saw the opening of another drive-through testing location in Jackson, as well as Lansing.
Approximately 3.5 million Americans have been tested. Well over 100,000 Americans are tested each day and that number continues to grow as more labs go online, and private companies continue to expand the scale and timeliness of results. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has worked with more than 315 test developers, and issued 37 emergency use authorization (EUA) requests for COVID-19 tests. At this point, 48 different tests have been approved by the FDA, and the Administration is working with 300 companies and labs to further expand capacity. The federal government has also distributed over 600,000 Abbott ID Now point-of-care tests, which has been an extremely valuable breakthrough in diagnostic testing.
Sanofi and Luminostics announced they are joining forces to develop COVID-19 smartphone-based self-testing. Luminostics would contribute its proprietary technology for consumer-diagnostics for COVID-19 testing while Sanofi would bring its clinical research testing experience and capabilities. The goal is to provide a smartphone-based solution that eliminates the current need for healthcare professional administration or laboratory tests.
In regards to treatment, hydroxychloroquine continues to display positive results for many patients. Remdesivir is going through an expedited clinical trial and showing promising results. Expanded access will allow physicians and hospitals to apply for emergency use of remdesivir for multiple severely ill patients at a time.
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), this week, also announced a $483 million award to further accelerate the development of mRNA Vaccine (mRNA-1273), a vaccine against COVID-19.