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Bill Flores Discusses the Latest from Washington

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Washington, D.C., July 31, 2020 | comments
U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-Texas) issued the following statements regarding Texas and U.S. COVID-19 updates, the federal announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing contract at Texas A&M; passage of an appropriations bill to fund some functions of the federal government; passage of two partisan child care bills; anarchists’ attacks on federal personnel and property in Portland; Secretary Pompeo’s speech on China; and resources for Texans about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19.


Texas and US COVID-19 Updates

“Because of the extraordinary efforts of the federal government, the private sector, and American health care providers, the U.S. is conducting hundreds of thousands of SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19 tests each day.  As of today, we have conducted almost 55 million tests, including over 3.6 million tests in Texas.  More importantly, the number of deaths per incidence of infection is dropping as the American health care system and pharmaceutical companies develop improved treatment modalities and therapeutics to address the virus.  Texas continues to be in much better shape than the rest of the nation with a fatality rate of 22 per 100,000 of population, which is half of the nationwide rate of 44 deaths per 100,000 of population.

“Looking forward, we should see further improvements in survival rates as better treatments and therapeutics come online over the coming weeks.  The ultimate solution to deal with the virus will be the administration of safe and effective vaccines.  The Trump Administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ initiative is having significant early successes in this regard.  We will have more news on this subject in future releases and newsletters.

"For Texas to continue to be successful, however, we must all work together to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus and COVID-19 by following the three 'W's' of basic health and safety procedures--
  • Wear a mask.
  • Watch your distance from others.
  • Wash your hands often.

"By following the three W’s, we are all helping to stop the spread and to protect our families, our neighbors, and our communities.  The better we do this together, the faster we will be able to rebuild our economy.”


CARES Act Funding Coming to Texas to Lead the Way for a COVID-19 Vaccine 

“On Monday, President Trump announced that the federal government is contracting with the Texas A&M University System Center for Innovation in Advanced Development & Manufacturing (TAMU CIADM) and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas (FDBTX) for the mass production of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Under this contract, the federal government is allocating $265 million of CARES Act funding for the TAMU CIADM to produce 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Novavax.  The contract is part of the Trump Administration's Operation Warp Speed (OWS) initiative and funded from a $3.5 billion public-private funding allocation which I inserted into H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Fortunately, with the strong support of Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, my proposal was included in the CARES Act which President Trump signed into law in March.

“President Trump’s announcement is great news for Texas, the Brazos Valley, and hardworking American families in the fight against COVID-19.  The Trump Administration’s OWS initiative has been working to identify and foster the most promising countermeasures with a bold goal of delivering 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021.  The Novavax vaccine is currently in Phase 2 of clinical trials, and the TAMU CIADM order is part of OWS initiatives to partner with Novavax to manufacture doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine as safe and effective.

“The TAMU CIADM is one of the two remaining public-private partnerships that were established in 2012 in a response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic.  The CIADM’s were established to quickly develop and manufacture vaccines in response to future global pandemics. I was pleased to work with Texas A&M and the Obama Administration early in this process to help Texas A&M win the initial award to establish the TAMU CIADM.   Shortly after the initial outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we started working to ensure that the TAMU CIADM was able to be fully engaged in the fight against the virus, and I am very pleased to see the Trump Administration take advantage of this impactful Brazos Valley resource and the funding for this purpose that was included in the CARES Act.  A recent program hosted by John Sharp, the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, provides an excellent overview about the background and capabilities of the TAMU CIADM and FDBTX.

“The spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus has renewed the urgent needs for domestic vaccine production and manufacturing; and the TAMU CIADM is a tremendous tool to fight the virus and future pandemics.  This urgency, coupled with misinformation, counterfeit drugs, and tainted pharmaceutical ingredients from China exemplifies why we cannot rely on foreign sources for critical pharmaceutical resources.  While the Trump Administration through its implementation of OWS is leading the fight SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, I strongly encourage Congress to take bold bipartisan actions to restore a safe, secure, responsive, and affordable American pharmaceutical supply chain for our hardworking families.”


House Passes Partisan Appropriations Legislation

“Today, the House passed H.R. 7617, a bill that funds six of the twelve annual appropriations bills for the fiscal year beginning October 1st.  This legislation is yet another partisan exercise from Nancy Pelosi and her socialist Democrats that has no chance of becoming law.  This proposal violates last year’s bipartisan spending agreement by hundreds of billions of dollars and contains poison pills that jeopardize our nation’s safety and security, defund our police, and reverse pro-life and religious freedom protections.

“Among other provisions, the bill prevents the United States from exercising the right to defend ourselves and our allies by restricting military action against foreign enemies like Iran and China.  The bill also provides for money to go to Planned Parenthood clinics and forces faith-based providers to discuss abortions, even if they have personal objections.  It also eliminates several long-standing, bipartisan Second Amendment protections.”


House Democrats Pass Partisan Child Care Legislation

“This week, Congress passed two pieces of legislation that put more power into the hands of Washington bureaucrats instead of working with Republicans on an issue where there is common ground.  Child care is essential to getting our economy going again, but these Democrat bills are not the answer.  They call for unnecessary spending to combat this challenge and the bills were developed without any Republican input.

“H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, authorizes more than $165 billion over 10 years.  This includes expanding a tax credit passed in March that originally covered wages to nannies and other caregivers, but under this bill would include butlers, maids, and gardeners for wealthy families.  There is also no provision in this tax credit to safeguard payments from fraud and abuse, like requiring recipient Tax ID’s or social security numbers to receive the benefits.

“The second bill, H.R. 7027, the No Care for Children Act, appropriates $50 billion for child care centers, which is higher than the entire current annual revenue of the child care industry.  It places overly burdensome regulations on providers, which could lead to providers spending more time and money applying and reporting on funds than serving children.  It also denies support to certain eligible providers, such as churches and faith-based groups that are operating legally and meet all state and local requirements.”


Anarchists’ Attacks on Federal Personnel and Property in Portland

“For over 60 nights, violent anarchists have attacked federally-owned buildings and federal law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon.  These are not peaceful protesters.  These are violent anarchists who have attacked local and federal officers with sledgehammers, pipe bombs, commercial-grade fireworks, and Molotov cocktails, creating a dangerous environment for law enforcement.  Since July 4th, these anarchists have injured 245 federal law enforcement officials and dozens of local police officers.

“State and local officials have completely abdicated their responsibility and refused to provide assistance until this week.  The Governor of Oregon and the Mayor of Portland have instead sided with the anarchists, demanding that federal law enforcement abandon their statutory responsibility to protect federal property and surrender to mob rule.

“Many Democrats and their liberal media allies have been complicit in these attacks by consistently misleading the public about the actions of law enforcement.  Despite their misinformation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is legally required to protect federal property.  DHS also has the authority to conduct offsite investigations and offsite arrests of persons who have damaged federal property and assaulted federal officers.

“State and local leaders have the resources and authority to work with federal officers to end these violent attacks; but, until this week, they abdicated those responsibilities.  After receiving increased pressure from Oregon families and businesses, on Wednesday the Governor of Oregon finally ordered the State Police to work with federal agencies to protect federal personnel and property.  This coordination will allow federal law enforcement personnel to reduce their footprint and to recover from the injuries and damage inflicted by the anarchists.  It is my hope that the Governor of Oregon and the Mayor of Portland will continue to act responsibly to end the damage and destruction of their communities rather than continue to ignore and/or enable it.”


Secretary Pompeo Addresses Chinese Threats

“Last week, Secretary Pompeo gave a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library outlining the Trump Administration’s policy toward China, and the efforts to contain and defeat their malicious influence on the United States and the rest of the world.  The speech pointedly asked what benefit our engagement with China has brought us since President Nixon’s visit nearly 50 years ago.

“America has become much too dependent on China for many products vital to our military, our medications, and our economy.  We need to bring important manufacturing back to the United States.  Too many good American jobs have been lost to Chinese businesses that do not follow the rules and who compete unfairly.  The world needs to hold China accountable for the economic and social destruction caused by their actions.  Their cover-up about COVID-19 is responsible for nearly 700,000 deaths and trillions of dollars in worldwide economic destruction.

“Secretary Pompeo also noted that the United States has done everything in our power to welcome China into the international community, yet they have only responded with hostility and malice.  They have embedded spies in our schools, our research institutions, our businesses, and our governments.  They have intimidated weak-kneed American companies into silence over the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party against humanity on a scale not seen since the Nazi Holocaust.  They have stolen our intellectual property and cost Americans millions of jobs, while relying on slave labor to manufacture cheap goods.  The American people need to hold those companies accountable for ignoring the Chinese threats to humanity and to our economy.”


Resources for the SARS-CoV-2 Virus and COVID-19


In this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult for hardworking Texans to know where to turn.  Team Flores works hard to make sure that constituents have the most accurate, up-to-date information from both the federal and state governments. Click here for helpful resources on our website.


Please see below for a list of resources by topic.


General Information—

For detailed information about the federal government’s efforts to fight SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19, please visit the CDC website at coronavirus.gov.

For detailed information at the state level, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.


Veterans

Veterans can keep up to date with the latest information from the Veterans Administration by visiting va.gov/coronavirus.  Guidance from local VA medical facilities about their current operating status is available on each facility’s website, which can be found through VA’s facility locator tool: https://www.va.gov/find-locations.


Small Business Owners

Small business owners are eligible to apply for low-interest loans to deal with the economic impact of SARS-COV-2. I would recommend that you begin working with your current bank as soon as possible to be ready to utilize these resources.  To apply for one of these loans through the Small Business Administration, click here.


Other Information Resources

Those Traveling Abroad

Households

People Who Are Sick

Schools

Local Businesses

Healthcare Professionals


If you believe that you have COVID-19, before visiting your local medical facility, community provider, urgent care center, or emergency department, I encourage you to call your local medical facility FIRST or by calling MyVA311, BEFORE heading to your healthcare facility.

Also, it is important to observe these important safeguards to stay healthy and to avoid spreading the virus – washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, stay home if you are sick, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from other persons, and wear a face mask if you are in public places where you can not maintain social distancing.

Our Congressional Offices in Washington DC and in Texas (Waco and Bryan/College Station) are available to assist you.  For contact numbers please visit our website at https://Flores.House.gov and sign up to receive our newsletters while you are there.  Please note that in-person meetings in my offices are not available except for emergencies.

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He also very conveniently waited to announce this until after his boss at Google finished testifying before the Sen… https://t.co/ueqhF5KKFK