Dingell Update: December 1, 2020
Washington, December 1, 2020
Here is an update for December 1.
Vaccines continue to give us hope, with two manufacturers now having applied for emergency use by the FDA. Pfizer had previously announced this and pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna applied yesterday, but it is important to understand what that does and does not mean for all of us. The FDA has scheduled a meeting for its outside advisory panel to review the emergency use authorization for the vaccines on December 10th. Some have said they could give the go ahead at the end of that meeting. But there will still be more steps. Once approved, they can be immediately distributed to the states, but no one can be vaccinated until CDC reviews the data, they too recommend the vaccine and they will decide which groups will receive it first. We are told that should happen within 24 to 48 hours. The CDC will also determine who should get the vaccine and if there are groups that should be excluded.
One of the most important issues being addressed and needing to be addressed now is vaccine distribution. The federal government and states are currently working on these details, but they are complicated, and it is going take a while to produce enough to reach everyone. Pfizer’s vaccine is a particular challenge because it must be stored at minus 75 Celsius and not many places, including hospitals, doctor’s office or pharmacies have freezers that are that cold. The first groups expected to receive it will be front line workers, doctors, nurses, essential workers such as fire and police, the elderly and those with underlying conditions. But we must ensure that the distribution is fair and equitable, and no one has to worry if they can pay for it. This is all much on my mind right now.
COVID fatigue and failure to follow the guideline is unfortunately catching up with us. These next few months are a period of transition with light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines, but one with many challenges through the winter months. It’s really up to each of us now. We must practice common sense and follow the guidelines of health experts to not see another surge on top of this surge.
Today marks two months since the House passed the updated Heroes Act, we passed the first one in May which would honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes and has COVID relief many who are in desperate need of help. The framework for additional relief has been laid, now it’s time for both sides to finally come to an agreement. It’s what Americans want and it’s our job to get it done.
Last night, I took part in a town hall on COVID with Governor Whitmer, Lt. Governor Gilchrist, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Khaldun, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, and Wayne County Commissioner Sam Baydoun. In these uncertain times, it is so important for officials to be available to answer questions, and help people find support, testing, and medical assistance. People are scared and desperate, we must do our jobs and figure out how we can best help them through this crisis.
It is important if you have symptoms, think you have been exposed or did have a Family Thanksgiving with people outside of your home, that you be tested. If you think you have been exposed, it is important you quarantine. Michigan is offering FREE COVID-19 testing at various testing sites throughout the state. To find FREE testing location near you, visit the link below and select the “No Cost” checkbox and enter your zip code: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-99891_99912-531745--,00.html?fbclid=IwAR1AjAxo5t9bOKCoXuO_1ws366wP8CghyuEdWlURqpxO5NM1aeTYxtojL_g
Be safe, Michigan! Wear your mask, keep your physical distance, and wash those hands!
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.
1. The ACCESS Community Health and Research Center (6450 Maple Street, Dearborn) will offer free mobile COVID testing today, and every Tuesday, from 1-5 p.m. Tests will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis, though you may pre-register by texting “UPG Cares” to 48355.2. The 2|42 Community Church in Ann Arbor (648 S. Wagner Road, Ann Arbor) is offering contactless drive-thru only saliva testing. Testing will be available at this site Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. Pre-registration is required for this testing site. Those needing to be tested should pre-register here: lynxdx.health/register
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.