A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

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Washington, April 9, 2020 | comments

April 9, 2020

Dear Friends,

Today,as the nation continues to fight this Coronavirus, Senate Democrats blocked additional funding for American small businesses.

The package put forward by Senate Majority Leader McConnell was designed to strengthen the Paycheck Protection Program. We must ensure this program remains available for our small business to maintain their payrolls to provide financial protection for their employees during this crisis.

National Update:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) integrated COVID-19 grant information into an online system available to the public. This online system, known as TAGGS, includes funding made available from the supplemental funding bills in response to this Coronavirus outbreak. This data can be further broken down by state/territory and HHS operating division.

The National Institutes of Health announced a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine as a potential therapy for COVID-19. This clinical trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of this Coronavirus in adult patients who have been hospitalized. The first participants have now enrolled in this clinical trial in Tennessee.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued new warning letters to sellers of fraudulent COVID-19 products. Warnings were issued to Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, Savvy Holistic Health dba Holistic Healthy Pet, and CBD Online Store. These warnings were issued because the companies were selling unapproved products with false of misleading claims.

Community-Based Testing Sites will have the option to transition fully to state-managed operations. The federal government through HHS will continue to support these testing sites to ensure that states can fully manage and operate these testing sites independently. Following this transition, states can begin to choose to source testing kits and supplies through their own processes or through FEMA.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun implementing the CARES Act. The CARES Act includes $17.2 billion for the Veterans Health Administration. The VA has used these funds to hire new staff, purchase the necessary resources for patients and staff, add beds, and more. Additional provisions in the CARES Act regarding homelessness, telehealth, and State Veterans Homes are being implemented.

Missing Sports?
The National Football League (NFL) announced a new charity event. The 2020 NFL Draft will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefiting six charities including American Red Cross, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, United Way, and the CDC Foundation. This “Draft-A-Thon” will take place April 23-25.

Texas Update:
Texas Department of State Health Services has issued new guidance for Texans on the frontlines of this response. New guidance is available for first responders and local jurisdictions, and for EMS transporting confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.

Reality Based Wellness is offering free self-care resources to hospital staff. Hospital staff dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression during this pandemic. Hospital staff is encouraged to register with their employee email address.

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

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