Dingell Update: December 18, 2020
Washington, December 18, 2020
Here is an update for December 18th.
Thought of the day: “Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
On Thursday, Michigan reported 4,024 new cases of COVID-19 and 190 new deaths, bringing the state’s total cases to 450,776 and deaths to 11,208. Hospitalizations remain high in Michigan, though we have seen reductions over the last several days. A recent New York Times analysis found that 1 in 10 Americans — across a large swath of the Midwest, South and Southwest — live in an area where ICUs are either completely full or have fewer than 5 percent of beds available.
Vaccines continue to offer us hope in crushing the COVID crisis. Yesterday, an FDA vaccine advisory panel formally recommended the FDA issue emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. If authorized by the FDA, Moderna’s vaccine would become the second COVID vaccination approved for public use. The government continues to administer vaccinations to our most vulnerable communities first, including frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Operation Warp Speed has set a goal of inoculating 20 million Americans by year’s end. However, due to the Trump Administration’s failure to make a comprehensive plan for combatting COVID and rapidly distributing vaccines, they will likely fall short of this goal.
Reports of state COVID vaccine allocations being reduced significantly without explanation is extremely concerning. While the Trump Administration has failed repeatedly to formulate a comprehensive response to COVID, states spent critical time planning the distribution of the vaccines to vulnerable populations. Reducing state’s weekly allocations jeopardizes state’s long-term care plans from being implemented and leaves vulnerable populations at risk.
Pfizer has reported having millions more doses of the critical vaccine prepared to deliver but has not received delivery instructions from Trump Administration officials. This Administration continues to blunder their response to COVID, and now the delivery of life-saving vaccines. With over 311,000 deaths due to COVID, we do not have time to waste.
Last night, my dear friend Sherriff Benny Napoleon passed away from COVID-19. I could always trust Sherriff Napoleon for advice, compassion, and a little laughter. I am devastated and my heart is broken for his family. But as we mourn his loss, we can also celebrate his impact on our community and on all of us.
This holiday season, we must reimagine how we celebrate so we can keep our family and friends safe from this deadly virus. Tens of thousands of Americans have lost their lives, just since Thanksgiving. These were family members and friends that have left a huge hole in the hearts of their loved ones. We must not travel or host large gatherings. We can still be together while apart this year, with Zoom or Skype, and keep each other safe.
Congressional leadership continues to negotiate a COVID relief package for Americans and legislation to fund the government. We will be working through the weekend to get this done. Americans need and demand relief, and we cannot allow the government to shutdown in the middle of a raging global pandemic. I will be staying here in DC, keeping the pressure on, until we have a final deal reached. It’s our job to keep the government open and help the American people. We have got to get it done. Period.
Michigan is expected to extend a halt to residential water shutoff until March 31, 2021. Access to water is a basic human right. This is a critical move to ensure Michiganders are not left without running water in the midst of this terrible pandemic.
What I’m Reading
How the world coped with COVID-19 – Detroit News
With historic picks, Biden puts environmental justice front and center – Washington Post
More Hacking Attacks Found as Officials Warn of ‘Grave Risk’ to U.S. Government – New York Times
COVID Testing Sites
The State of Michigan has launched a statewide COVID testing site locator. This tool will help Michiganders search for cost-free testing sites near them. If you or someone you know may have been exposed to COVID, it is important you get tested.
Additional COVID testing sites are announced regularly and this list may not be exhaustive.
ACCESS Community Health and Research Center (6450 Maple Street, Dearborn) offers free mobile COVID testing 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.
The 2|42 Community Church in Ann Arbor (648 S. Wagner Road, Ann Arbor) is offering contactless drive-thru only saliva testing. Testing is available at this site Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. Pre-registration is required for this testing site. Those needing to be tested should pre-register here: lynxdx.health/registerBe safe, Michigan! Wear your mask, keep your physical distance, and wash those hands!