March 20, 2020
Right now there is a lot of concern surrounding this coronavirus, and people want to know what they can do to help. One thing you can do is visit your local blood donation center.
It's critical we all doour part. Our nation is facing a severe blood supply shortage. It is important that we step up and donate because there are many individuals in our communities who rely on lifesaving blood donations.
The U.S. Surgeon General and the American Red Cross have made it clear that it is safe for individuals to donate. Yesterday,I decided to take action by visiting Carter Blood Care, and I encourage anyone who can to go donate.
The American Red Cross has taken precautions to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each donation facility. Before anyone can enter they must have their temperature taken. In addition, facilities have increased their efforts to disinfect, are providing hand sanitizer, and have increased space between donation beds to comply with social distancing.
Here are four different ways you can make an appointment today.
1. Visit RedCrossBlood.org
2. Use Red Cross Blood Donor App
3. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS
4. Use Amazon Alexa Blood Scheduling Skill
The Drug Enforcement Agency and Health and Human Services are working together to protect access to prescription drugs for patients who need them. DEA, in consultation with HHS, will provide DEA-registered practitioners with the flexibility to issue prescriptions for controlled substances to patients via telehealth. This will help ensure that Americans who need vital prescriptions will be able to get themand allow them to stay at home.
A special thank you to American businessesthat have stepped up in the wake of this Coronavirus outbreak. Pharmacies have waived home delivery charges for prescriptions, grocery stores have started Senior-Only Hours to protect this vulnerable population, and restaurants have waived delivery fees and enhanced takeout options.
Businesses who want to produce hand sanitizer now have the resources they need. The FDA has issued guidance on the production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help increase the supply for the American people.
BIO launched a new Coronavirus Hub to help centralize information for organizations and individuals involved in our nation’s Coronavirus response. The Hub provides information about supplies and other resources and facilitates a connection among those on the front lines of this pandemic, from health care providers to biomedical researchers.
Today, acommunity-based testing site will be launched in Houston. Another site will be launched in Boston today, and these are the first of over 40 sites that will be launched across the country in the coming days. Each site will have Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers helping. These public health officers are essential to helping combat this pandemic.
Today, Governor Abbott announced the Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved the entire state of Texas for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This will provide $2 million in flexible, low interest, and long-term loans for qualifying businesses to address the impact of COVID-19. If you believe your business is eligible for the SBA EIDL program, please visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
Until the next time, this is your doctor's note.
Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.