A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

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Washington, April 17, 2020 | comments


April 17, 2020

Dear Friends,

I sent a letter toSpeaker Pelosi,Minority LeaderMcCarthy, House Committee on Small Business Chair Velazquez and Republican Leader Chabot requesting that 501(c)(6) organizations be eligible to receive loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the letter, I also requested that Congress act quickly to provide additional funding for thePPP.

I was alerted to this issue during a conference call with Congressman Chabot and TX-26 small businesses. Local chambers expressed their concern about 501(c)(6) organizations being exempt from being able to receive PPP funds.

Congress has a responsibility to helpget Americans back to work, and PPP provides financialprotection for those workers during this public health crisis.

National Update:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new collaboration with industry partners to address testing supply needs in the United States. The FDA will collaborate with the Gates Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, Quantigen, and US Cotton to manufacture spun synthetic swabs that can be used to test patients for COVID-19. These synthetic swabs are similar to Q-tips and should help increase the number of swabs available to public health labs, hospitals, and others for testing.

The National Institutes of Health announced a new public-private partnership to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine and treatment options. This Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership will develop a framework for prioritizing vaccine and drug candidates, clinical trials, and coordinating the regulatory process. ACTIV will help provide infrastructure and subject matter expertise for industry partners stepping up to develop therapeutics and vaccines for this Coronavirus.

The American Society for Microbiology launched a COVID-19 Research Registry yesterday. This COVID-19 Research Registry is a free resource to research articles published in scholarly journals and vetted by experts. This resource will help make important Coronavirus research available in and expedited and widespread manner.

The National Institute of Mental Health has a resource to help individuals cope with the variety of effects that this Coronavirus is havingon everyone’s lives. Whether individuals are struggling with depression or having difficulty adjusting to the new normal of social distancing, this page has resources to help. We are all in this together, and it is important to take care of both our physical and mental health during this difficult time.

Texas Update:
Denton County has an interactive COVID-19 data center. This up-to-date webpage includes an interactive heat map, charts, and city and zip code data. For more information regarding this Coronavirus pandemic, visit the Denton County Public Health COVID-19 page.

Today, Governor Abbott issued an executive order to establish the Strike Force to Open Texas. This team will be comprised of medical experts and private and public leaders who will work with and advise Governor Abbott on how to safely and strategically reopen Texas. The Texas State Department of Health Services has released guidance on how to reopen retail businesses safely for employees and customers with a “retail to-go” model.

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

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