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Coronavirus update: March 19, 2020

Washington, March 19, 2020
Here’s an update for Thursday, March 19. We will continue these updates as long as necessary.
 
Thought of the Day: Check in on a friend, family member, or colleague you haven’t talked to in a while. Choose one person a day to “have a coffee with.” Talk about life, talk about love, talk about work if you must, but just check in.  
 
I’m available as I always am. With daily coronavirus updates and all levels of government activating new emergency response tools, it’s important we understand what it all means. This Friday at 5:30pm, I am hosting a telephone town hall to answer any questions you may have on steps being taken to keep you safe and financially secure. Sign up here.
 
The autos closed down for at least a week. Workers were very scared. The first priority for everyone is to mitigate the spread of this virus. UAW leadership was focused on protecting the health and safety of their workers as a first priority. The effects of the virus will ripple through our economy for a long time. However we will never be able to rebound without the hardworking men and women of the auto industry.
 
Governor Whitmer signed an Executive Order to expand child care services. The expanded services apply to: health care workers, home health workers, direct care workers, emergency medical service providers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, sanitation workers, child care workers, personnel providing correctional services, postal workers, public health employees, key government employees, court personnel, and others providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders. Please share this important update if you know someone who would be helped by this updated service. 
 
We have a shortage of medical and personal protective equipment and this is harming us. I’m calling on the President to immediately use powers under the Defense Production Act. He’s signed the act, but hasn’t used the powers yet. If the president uses this, we have the ability to mass produce medical gear and protective gear. We must do everything possible to halt the shortages, and I know many hardworking men and women in Southeast Michigan willing to help make this gear. 
 
Yesterday the Senate passed and the President signed the Coronavirus Families First Response Act. It will guarantee paid sick leave for many workers who don’t already have it, free testing for coronavirus and increases in Medicaid, economic security to help hardworking men and women, and food security to help food banks, kids who rely on school meal programs, and low-income seniors through Meals on Wheels.
 
Today, I introduced legislation that will provide resources and support to protect the health of seniors, people with disabilities, and front-line workers and family caregivers. It will increase funding to help nursing homes promote infection control, cover the cost of treatment for low-income seniors, and promote home and community-based services. 
 
The IRS has announced changes to the 2020 tax season. Individuals who owe up to $1 million in federal income tax (or estimated federal income tax) now have a 90-day extension to pay their balance without worry of being charged late payment penalties or interest. This extension DOES NOT apply to the filing deadline, which remains Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Contact numbers for people looking for information are:
  • Centers for Disease Control, cdc.gov/coronavirus, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
  • Michigan.gov/coronavirus, Call 2-1-1 or 734-287-7870 from within Michigan to connect with help of all kinds including food, housing, healthcare, and more.
My office has put together a running list of all cancellations, suspensions, or postponements for schools, events, and meetings across Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. We have also put together a running list of food pantries and kitchens. These page will be updated on a regular basis. Please find the links directly below.

Suspensions, Cancellations, Information, and More.

Food Banks and Kitchens in Michigan's 12th Congressional District
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