A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

f t # e
Washington, October 29, 2020 | comments

October 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

In the past several months, the U.S. has built a massive testing program from the ground up that has helped slow the spread of COVID-19 in many areas. It’s important that insights regarding testing discovered at the federal level are shared with states. Testing remains one of our most powerful resources in defeating this virus and reopening the economy.

That’s why I joined a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, M.D., requesting that the NIH brief Congress on how the data from the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative can be used to maximize effectiveness of COVID-19 testing.

National Updates
The Department of Health and Human Services announced it will distribute approximately $333 million in first round payments to nearly 10,000 nursing homes that have shown significant reductions in COVID-19 related infections and deaths. This includes over $21 million going to 688 nursing homes in Texas.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a plan to ensure consistent coverage and payment of a COVID-19 vaccine to Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries.

The National Institutes of Health released a Request For Information on the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research so that the general public and stakeholders throughout the health and scientific communities can contribute feedback.

The Food and Drug Administration’s(FDA) director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Dr. Peter Marks, wrote an op-ed about how the FDA tests and evaluates vaccines.

Eli Lilly and Company announced an agreement with the U.S. government to supply 300,000 vials of bamlanivimab, an investigational neutralizing antibody, if an Emergency Use Authorization is granted by the FDA.

Regeneron shared data that its investigational antibody cocktail significantly reduced virus levels and the need for further medical attention in outpatients.

Texas Update
The Denton County Public Health is providing free COVID-19 testing for community members. Pre-registration is required for testing.

Until next time, this is your doctor’s note.

Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.

f t # e