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Debbie's Blog

Coronavirus update: May 19, 2020

Washington, May 19, 2020
Here is an update for May 19th.

Thought of the day: “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” - Zig Ziglar

Yesterday Michigan confirmed 24 deaths tied to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths since this began to almost 5,000.  We have had 51,915 total cases since reporting began. This was the 9th straight day in a row deaths were below 100 but that is still too many. One death is too many. This shows that orders put in place for people to stay home have been working but we need to ensure that our mitigation efforts continue to work, and the gradual reopening doesn’t result in new spikes. We are increasing testing which is important in defeating this virus because it shows where the virus is and how it’s spreading. But we must continue to listen to the scientists and doctors and listen to their recommendations. We must continue to practice physical distancing, wear masks and wash hands regularly or we will see increases again, something none of us want.

Progress continues on issues we all care about on testing therapeutics (treatment) and vaccines. Dr. Tom Inglesby said on Meet the Press this week “Coming into this year, I would have said it was completely unrealistic...Given that there are now 110 vaccine projects going on around the world that all the major vaccine companies in the world are working on....I think it is possible...”  And former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also expressed optimism about the development of a vaccine on Face the Nation. This is critical for all of us to get back to “normal” whatever our new normal is. Michigan is part of this, as pharmaceutical company Pfizer is ramping up its Kalamazoo manufacturing site to aid the mass production of a vaccine in human trials.

If you continue to have issues with your economic impact payment, we wanted to let you know that the IRS has added 3,500 telephone representatives to answer some of the most common questions about the payments. This can be very useful for those seeking additional information. The phone number is 800-919-9835. 

We are judged by how we take care of our elderly. If you or anyone you know might be interested in helping seniors in Michigan, you can sign up here. Tasks you can do include just chatting with seniors, delivering groceries, and more. 

Yesterday we learned that the Ann Arbor Housing Commission will receive $421,648 in housing assistance from the CARES Act passed by Congress in March. These relief funds will provide affordable housing to non-elderly people living with disabilities.

Congress continues to work hard for those on the frontlines. A group of bipartisan Members of Congress and Senators introduced the SMART Act. At a time went our state and local governments—who represent the frontline for all American’s in the fight against COVID-19—are facing depleting resources and possible financial ruin, we must pull together as one to ensure they have the funding and flexibility to carry on the fight. The SMART Fund would be $500 billion and build off past relief packages and proposals to deliver a pragmatic way forward. It is a good bipartisan and bicameral approach for extending the flow of critical resources to continue necessary government services nationwide to weather this national emergency and solidify a foundation for a strong economic recovery.
Team Dingell is here seven days a week and wants to listen and help. It isn’t as smooth as we want on some issues, but we will never stop fighting for you. Call our office at 313-278-2936 or contact us through Facebook or our webpage.
New information becomes available every day. Below is a list of resources and information that can be helpful during this time. Please share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues. Remember, stay home, stay safe, save lives.

Coronavirus information

File for unemployment

Small Businesses can apply for low-interest disaster loans

Navigating Social Security Benefits
School Based Food Service Interactive Map
Food Banks and Kitchens in Michigan's 12th Congressional District
Contact numbers for people looking for information are:
• Centers for Disease Control,, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)., or 888-535-6136.
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