MLC May 2021 Updates
The Michigan Legislative Consultants (MLC) is sharing the latest updates with our members informed on what’s happening at the State Capitol in our MLC May 2021 Updates.
This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, May 10, 2021.
Monday, May 10 – Statewide Economic Impact
- Weekly Cases: 15,929
- Total Cases: 865,349
- Weekly Deaths: 468
- Total Deaths: 18,239
- Weekly Cases: 6,208
- Total Cases: 910,154
- Weekly Deaths: 144
- Total Deaths: 19,428
- Weekly Cases: 6,863
- Total Cases: 730,306
- Weekly Deaths: 66
- Total Deaths: 13,004
- Weekly Cases: 14,614
- Total Cases: 1,356,391
- Weekly Deaths: 188
- Total Deaths: 22,235
- Weekly Cases: 3,727
- Total Cases: 603,303
- Weekly Deaths: 65
- Total Deaths: 6,904
Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner
- Last Friday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra met with Indian Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Varshan, to discuss the surge of COVID-19 cases in India and the ongoing support the U.S. is providing to India. Minister Vardhan thanked Secretary Becerra for recent U.S. donations of oxygen tanks, generators, therapeutics, vaccine manufacturing components, PPE, and rapid tests. Becerra noted that the U.S.-India relation in health is one of the most successful aspects of the countries’ relationship and that the U.S. is responding to India in the same way they assisted us earlier in the pandemic. You can read a press release from HHS here.
- Today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Andrea Palm to serve as deputy health secretary at HHS. She received a 20-8 vote from the Senate Finance Committee last month and is expected to be confirmed with bipartisan support. Palm previously led Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, where she worked to expand access to telehealth services and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Throughout the pandemic, she established a strong response to COVID-19 that led Wisconsin to become a top state in vaccination rates. Please find Palm’s testimony to the Senate Finance Committee here.
- Tomorrow morning, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will convene to hear an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19. Among those testifying are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer for COVID Response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can watch the hearing here.
Vacc to Normal Dashboard Launched
On the heels of Governor Whitmer announcing the “Vacc to Normal” program, the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a dashboard allowing residents to track milestones. This includes data on the number of vaccinations received by Michigan residents, a key part of the program. The Vacc to Normal program allows strategic reopening of different areas of the state and economy based on the number of residents who are vaccinated. For example, the capacity limits at indoor sports stadiums will increase two weeks after 60% of residents have been vaccinated.
To view the dashboard, please click here.
- The Department of Health and Human Services updated the testing requirements for long-term care facilities. Click here to read more.
- The Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced the extension of a program providing mortgage relief for residents experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19. Click here to read more.
- Some rural residents in Michigan remain skeptical about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to read more.
- Five million people missed their second dose of the vaccine, experts weigh in on the meaning behind that statistic. Click here to read more.
- In a sign of declining demand, the seven-day average of vaccines administered went below two million for the first time since March. Click here to read more.
- Each state is deciding the reopening and mask requirements for their residents. Click here for an overview of how each state is handling both.
This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, May 3, 2021.
Monday, May 3 – Statewide Economic Impact
- Weekly Cases: 23,576
- Total Cases: 849,420
- Weekly Deaths: 447
- Total Deaths: 17,771
- Weekly Cases: 7,309
- Total Cases: 903,946
- Weekly Deaths: 162
- Total Deaths: 19,284
- Weekly Cases: 7,975
- Total Cases: 723,443
- Weekly Deaths: 68
- Total Deaths: 12,938
- Weekly Cases: 18,607
- Total Cases: 1,341,777
- Weekly Deaths: 211
- Total Deaths: 22,047
- Weekly Cases: 4,527
- Total Cases: 599,576
- Weekly Deaths: 83
- Total Deaths: 6,839
Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner
- Late last week, Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins announced that the NIH will issue more than $1 billion in research grants to study the long-term effects of COVID-19. Preliminary research suggests that anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of those who contract COVID-19 have symptoms that may last for more than a month. Over 270 proposals were submitted for the grants, and awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
- In a press release published last Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it awarded over $32 million to 122 organizations to provide training and technical assistance to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-supported centers nationwide. These funds will be used to provide centers with COVID-19 related training, assistance, and support. Please find more information here.
- This week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hold hearings on lowering prescription drug costs and making health care more affordable. In a memo submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Chairman Frank Pallone notes that prescription drug prices, particularly brand-name drugs, are, on average, significantly higher than in 32 other countries with comparable economies. Legislation that will likely come up in these hearings includes H.R. 3, the “Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act;” H.R. 19, “Lower Costs More Cures Act of 2021,” H.R. 153, “Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2021,” among others. You can read the memo here.
Michigan Reaches Vaccination Milestone
It was announced today that 7 million Michigan residents have received their COVID-19 vaccine. To date, 50% of residents have received their first dose, and 38% are fully vaccinated. Governor Whitmer has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of Michigan residents over the age of 16.
- The Travel Testing Program has been expanded to include additional locations. Click here to read more.
- The variant that was first noted in India has made its way to Michigan with the first confirmed case. Click here to read more.
- Governor Whitmer joined a bipartisan group of Midwest governors to encourage vaccination. Click here to watch the video.
- The Return-to-Office Workgroup provided their recommendations to the governor on how offices can plan for safe reopening. Click here to read the recommendations.
- The U.S.’s top trade negotiator is starting talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to expand vaccination distribution. Click here to read more.
- People are crossing borders in order to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Click here to read more.
- President Biden said the U.S. will be in a different position this summer as more people get vaccinated. Click here to read more.
Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.
While these are very uncertain times, know the MLC Team, along with POAM, is available to answer your questions regarding this MLC May 2021 Updates. Additionally, we will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.