A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

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Washington, April 7, 2020 | comments

April 7, 2020

Dear Friends,

I joined a bicameral effort with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)and Representative Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX)to provide funding to purchase crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).


The SPR is a critical asset to ensure America’s energy security, and President Trump is right to request the SPR be filled while prices are low.


This legislation provides support to American energy producers during this public health crisis, ensuring that made-in-America energy remains a strength for our country. Over the last decade America has emerged as a global leader in energy production. It is critical that this leadership is preserved and measures are put in place to ensure America’s influence on energy markets.


Through timely and prudent purchases by the Department of Energy, the United States will be able to improve its energy resilience, temporarily stabilize energy markets, and save taxpayers money over the long run.


National Update:
The Small Business Association (SBA)has launched the Lender Gateway. The online portal allows lenders to submit applications to administer loans through the Paycheck Protection Program online. This Lender Gateway makes it easy for businesses to create an account and apply through the portal. Lenders who need assistance accessing SBA's E-Tran system may call the Lender Customer Service Line at 1-833-572-0502.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new awards for state and local jurisdictions. The CDC awarded $186 million in additional funding to help combat this Coronavirus at a state and local level. Check to see how much funding your state received here.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidance in the ongoing effort to respond to this Coronavirus pandemic. The FDA has issued guidance on clinical electronic thermometers, commonly used to determine whether a patient has a fever – a common symptom of COVID-19. The FDA also issued new guidance on infusion pumps and accessories to ensure the availability of infusion pumps during this time.

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to clinicians to outline certain flexibilities they have granted during this Coronavirus response. CMS also released updated recommendations regarding elective surgeries.

Eli Lilly announced a new $35 co-pay program for insulin. This new $35 co-pay is available through the Lilly Insulin Value Program. This program will help provide savings for people with commercial insurance and the uninsured. It is important that those individuals who need insulin have access to it, and programs like this will help.

A new alliance of plasma companies has been established to accelerate the development of potential COVID-19 hyperimmune therapy. CSL Behring and Takeda announced they will be working with Biotest, BPL, LFB, and Octapharma. The alliance will collaborate to develop a potential plasma-derived therapy for treating this Coronavirus.

Reminder: certain qualifying life events make you eligible for a special enrollment period. During this time, it is important to remember that loss of health coverage, including job-based, individual, and student plans, will allow you to qualify for a special enrollment period for individual market health insurance.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released new FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program is administered by theSBA in consultation with the Department of the Treasury. These FAQs will be helpful for all those interested in applying and participating in the Paycheck Protection Program.

Texas Update:
The CDC announced new awards to Texas to support the COVID-19 response. The CDC awarded $18 million to Texas, in addition to the $36.9 million Texas has previously received for this response. These funds will help protect and treat Texans during this pandemic.

Governor Abbott announces new incoming shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE). Texas received 2.5 million masks in the last two days and will receive an additional 3 million masks later this week. Governor Abbott additionally announced new in-home childcare access for frontline workers. More information is available on

Parkland Health & Hospital System has organized PPE donation centers. Parkland has locations and times for donation of PPE available online. Goodwill Industries of Dallas are also working to collect, sort, and distribute PPE to health care providers.

Until tomorrow, this is your doctor's note.
Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.

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