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Coronavirus update: May 22, 2020

Washington, May 22, 2020
Here is an update for May 22nd.
Thought of the day: “Complex problems often have simple solutions.”  ― Steven Magee
Yesterday, President Trump visited the Ford Plant in Ypsilanti. President Trump saw the best of Michigan and our communities during his visit. Strength and resiliency. The know-how, grit, determination and American ingenuity that can in a short time convert a plant to production on critical equipment needed to care for the sick and protect the healthy. I was disappointed to see that the President didn’t wear a mask during the entirety of his time at the plant. The President wore his mask during a private viewing of the plant, but not during the public viewing. The President sets the example for our country. If people see the President wearing a mask when required, they are more likely to wear a mask when required. For the last 9 weeks, the UAW and auto companies have been working on worker safety and protocols, which include everyone inside the plant wearing a mask. 

The auto industry is wrapping up the first week of the slow reopening of the plants. It was a challenging first week of reopening for the plants, with two positive cases of COVID-19 in two different Ford plants. The protocols were in place, both were immediately closed, deeply sanitized, those that had been in contact with the employees in paid quarantine and people are working together to mitigate the virus, keep people safe and slowly restart the economy. Going into the reopening, it was recognized this could happen and the plant took proper steps once they learned of a worker being infected by COVID-19. They performed deep cleaning and disinfected the work area, equipment, team area and the path that the team member took. The auto companies must continue to do what is best for worker safety. Without workers feeling safe in their work place, we have no chance of reopening the economy. Success means we must all work together in every industry to ensure proper safety protocols are developed and followed. I keep reminding people COVID-19 is still out there, it’s lurking and looking for victims.  Complacency could kill.
Governor Whitmer announced Michigan residents can now gather in groups of 10 or fewer, as long as participants practice social distancing. This is effective immediately and across the entire state. The governor also announced she lifted restrictions on retail businesses and auto dealerships across the state. This begins May 26, but visits must be made by appointment. 
Partnerships with other states and auto companies are crucial during this time. Yesterday we learned that a Kia Motors plant in Georgia produced face shields for healthcare providers that were delivered to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital and St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital in Detroit.
COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate impact on America’s older Americans, their families and caregivers. Yesterday, a group of us in the House introduced the COVID-19 Recovery for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act of 2020. This bill would  focus the Social Security Administration (SSA) solely on helping people access critical benefits, increase timely access to disability benefits, ensure seniors and people with disabilities can enroll in Medicare without delay and afford their health care costs, eliminate barriers to home and community-based services, and expand access to shelf-stable food. All Americans across the nation deserve the chance to age with dignity, health and security, no matter who they are, where they live, or whether they are aging in place or in a long-term care setting
Earlier in the week, the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a phone briefing with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. We covered a wide range of subjects, from what the FCC is doing to expand internet access for students to their work with broadcasters, who are playing an essential role in keeping the public informed, and of course robocalls. I asked specifically what the FCC was doing to stop malicious robocalls, many of which prey on the fear surrounding COVID-19, to con people out of their hard earned money. This is an issue that has been a top priority for me since I’ve been in Congress and one I’m hopeful the FCC and Congress will continue to prioritize in solving.  
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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