7-17-2020 Coronavirus Update

July 17, 2020
Press Release

Latest Coronavirus Update from Congressman Jeff Duncan:

Don’t forget - due to restrictions on official congressional communications during election years, you must subscribe to my e-newsletter HERE in order to continue receiving these email updates. If you do not subscribe soon, I will be unable to share these emails with you for the next several months. Be sure to stay connected! 

Quick Facts
 - Over 43 million COVID-19 tests have been performed in the United States, which is more than any other country in the world.

 - According to The COVID Tracking Project, 830,918 tests were reported yesterday in the United States, a new single-day high HERE.

- The CDC updated the list of possible COVID-19 symptoms on their website HERE.

 - HHS announced their plan to distribute FDA-authorized rapid point-of-care diagnostic test instruments to nursing homes in COVID-19 hotspot geographic areas in the U.S. next week HERE.

- HHS announced that an additional $4 billion in funding will be distributed to healthcare providers impacted by COVID-19. HHS is now opening up the provider portal to dentists, allowing them to apply for relief HERE.

 - As part of the FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, there are currently over 510 drug development programs in planning stages and the FDA has reviewed more than 230 trials of potential therapies for COVID-19 HERE.

- Johnson & Johnson announced they will begin human testing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S. in two weeks HERE.

- The COVID-19 vaccine candidate co-developed by Moderna and the NIAID was generally well-tolerated and prompted neutralizing antibody activity in healthy adults, according to interim results from the Phase 1 clinical trial. Plans to launch a Phase 3 efficacy trial are currently underway HERE.

- The CDC has extended the No Sail Order for cruise ships HERE

- Walmart is now requiring customers to wear masks in all of their stores HERE

- In May 2020, South Carolina submitted a testing plan to HHS aiming to test at least 2% of the population each month. The CDC and HHS have since provided feedback to states on their testing plans to help them better prepare for the rest of the year HERE.

- As of yesterday, a total of 587,567 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in South Carolina. More information HERE

 - South Carolina DHEC continues to offer FREE mobile COVID-19 testing clinics across the state. View their list of available clinics HERE

- As of July 9, 89% of confirmed COVID-19 patients in South Carolina are estimated to have recovered from the disease. 

- Statement from Governor McMaster: SC Unemployment Rate Drops from 12.4% to 8.7% as 105,000 return to workforce in June HERE.

- Greenville County is now allocating CARES Act grant funding to local businesses, non-profits, public health outlets, housing authorities, special purpose districts and other agencies who need relief from COVID-19 HERE.

Paycheck Protection Program

Are you a small business owner? Does your business need relief from COVID-19? The Small Business Administration is accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through August 8, 2020! The PPP has helped so many small businesses keep their doors open and pay their employees. For information on how to apply, visit the SBA’s website HERE.

No Bailouts for Damage from Riots
Great news! The Trump Administration denied Minnesota's disaster request to repair half a billion dollars in damage from the riots. Governors and Mayors who ordered police to stand down and watch their cities burn shouldn't get a penny in taxpayer aid. More information HERE

Rural Broadband
I recently cosponsored Democrat Whip Clyburn’s bipartisan rural broadband bill H.R. 7447. This bill directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take certain actions to accelerate Phase 1 of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction. This auction will award up to $16 billion in funding over 10 years to increase the deployment of fixed broadband networks in rural areas like SC03 across America. This legislation will particularly help South Carolina’s electric co-ops to accelerate rural broadband implementation in our state more quickly than under the current planned auction.

As we’ve transitioned to telework, online classes, telehealth, and telemedicine amid COVID-19 it’s become even more apparent how real the digital divide in America is, especially in rural areas. This is an issue I’ve long been working to solve, and I’m proud to support this bipartisan legislation that will expand rural America’s access to broadband.

Data Collection Practices by the Chinese Government
I recently joined my colleagues in urging President Trump to take strong action against Chinese Communist Party-linked companies like TikTok. The CCP uses these apps to gather and transfer personal information from American users, censor content, and promote their own radical propaganda. TikTok’s privacy policy for U.S. residents currently states - “We automatically collect certain information from you when you use the Platform, including internet or other network activity information such as your IP address, geolocation-related data…,unique device identifiers, browser and search history (including content you have viewed in the Platform), and Cookies.”

This is a threat to our national security, and we can’t tolerate it. We must protect the American people’s privacy and safety. More information HERE.  

National Environmental Policy Act
I commend President Trump’s recent announcement to update and streamline the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the first time in 40 years. As technology continues to develop, our regulatory process must also be modernized to reflect these changes. NEPA’s overburdensome permitting process has been a roadblock to environmental and economic progress in the United States. NEPA modernization will mitigate legal uncertainty surrounding infrastructure projects, expedite project permitting times, and help bring reliable, affordable, and clean energy to consumers. More information HERE.

Stay Connected
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