Newsletter | U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman
UPDATE: Coronavirus Latest Numbers 3/31

Friend–

Information is key during these difficult times and together, by sharing information and understanding of COVID-19, we will beat this virus. I want to share with you the latest numbers and projections on the Coronavirus’s effects on our communities and nation in the coming months.

Please share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors and encourage them to sign up here to receive my latest, up-to-the-minute updates on the federal, state, and local response to COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Updates

  • There are currently over 164,000 cases and at least 3,415 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins. The states with the fastest growing caseloads include New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Louisiana.
     
  • The President’s decision to extend the “15 days to stop the spread” initiative to April 30 was based on modeling data that shows a peak in U.S. cases and deaths over the next few weeks.
     
  • The University of Washington prepared projections of peak hospital resource use and deaths for the U.S. and by state. The projections show the U.S. peak on April 15 and significant variation by state. Those projections are available HERE and in the graphic below.

U.S. death projections from University of Washington:

The below chart shows the number of new cases reported per day in the U.S.

The below chart shows epidemic curves for COVID-19 in select countries based on total deaths.

GOOD NEWS

  • Testing: More than 1 million individuals have been tested in the United States and over 100,000 tests are performed each day. The FDA has worked with more than 230 test developers who have said they will be submitting emergency use authorizations (EUA) requests to FDA for tests that detect the virus. 
      
    • Emergency use authorizations have been issued for diagnostic tests, including Abbott’s test that can produce results in as little as five minutes. 
       
    • Axios: FDA authorizes two-minute testing kit to detect coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.
       
    • More than 110 laboratories have notified the FDA that they have validated and begun using their own diagnostic tests. More from the FDA HERE.
       
  • Treatments: The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to be distributed and used for certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19. These drugs will be distributed from the SNS to states for doctors to prescribe to patients hospitalized with COVID-19 when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.
      
    • FDA issued an emergency IND (investigational new drug) to allow research into blood serum treatment for COVID-19.
       
  • Vaccine: In conjunction with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced that it plans to initiate human clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate by September and anticipates that the vaccine could be available for emergency use by early next year. This vaccine development is a partnership between J&J and BARDA; the two have collectively committed more than $1 billion of investment to co-fund vaccine research, development, and clinical testing. 
     
  • PPE

 ASSISTANCE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION
(Courtesy of the Energy & Commerce Committee)

  • TESTING: For laboratories and providers that are having difficulties obtaining supplies for COVID-19 testing, including swabs, media needed for transport, and conservation of the samples, please contact the FDA’s hotline (1-888-INFO-FDA) which is available 24 hours a day. Labs that have questions regarding diagnostic development should email CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov. FDA has generated FAQs in response to questions from labs, manufacturers, health care providers, and others. These FAQs are updated regularly and can be accessed HERE.
     
  • PPE: Working with HHS, FEMA is now leading the federal response for operations for the Vice President’s Task Force. FEMA is requesting that entities requiring supplies including PPE first seek additional supplies through commercial channels. If supplies are not available, entities should work through their State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), as they would in any FEMA response effort. Requests for assistance from local entities must go through the state for fulfillmentCLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PPE RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE IN OUR REGION. Through the state EOCs and FEMA Regional Offices, FEMA is receiving requests for masks, swabs, test site supports, ventilators, and more. Providers, such as hospitals, should contact local and state officials for assistance. Additionally if a health care provider has questions or is experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment or other supplies, they should call the FDA’s toll-free line at 1-888-463-6332 (1-888-INFO-FDA), then choose option (*). 
     
  • DRUG SHORTAGES: If a healthcare provider has questions or concerns about a drug shortage, related or unrelated to COVID-19, they should contact Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s (CDER) Divisionof Drug Information (DDI) at 855-543-3784, 301-796-3400, or druginfo@fda.hhs.gov. Also, FDA's Drug Shortage web page has information related to current shortages. 
     
  • MCM DEVELOPMENT: For business that are developing medical countermeasures (MCM) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, please direct them to the BARDA Coronawatch Meeting website, available HERE. BARDA is particularly interested in products and technologies that have progressed into or beyond non-clinical trials. Submission of materials does not guarantee a meeting or funding from BARDA.
      
    • Vaccines and other biological product candidates: Biological product sponsors, including vaccine developers, wishing to develop vaccines can also email industry.biologics@fda.hhs.gov or call 1-800-835-4709 for further information.
    • Therapeutics and other drug product candidates: Sponsors wishing to develop therapeutics are also encouraged to submit information and questions via the Pre-IND Consultation program. See HERE or call 301-796-1500 for additional information on this program.
    • Clinical Trials: Sponsors who have questions regarding the conduct of clinical trials impacted by COVID-19 should contact clinicaltrialconduct-COVID19@fda.hhs.gov.

OTHER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: HHS and FEMA have fielded many requests to assist or partner with the Federal Government in response to the COVID pandemic. 

  • Organizations or individuals seeking to contract with the federal government to import or manufacture medical products to aid the U.S. response submit information to FEMA through the a Request for Proposal, available HERE
  • Organizations or individuals that wish to donate medical supplies or equipment can submit that information HERE.
  • Other inquiries from organizations or individuals, including individuals who want to volunteer or organizations that want to produce a product related to the COVID response, among other inquiries, can be referred HERE.

 SUCCESS STORIES: Right now, our country is going through a difficult chapter; however, every single day businesses across the First District, and the nation, are stepping up to help their communities. I want to share these stories and I’m looking for your help! If your company, small business, or organization, or one that you know of, has retooled or repurposed a facility to assist in the COVID-19 response, has engaged in  community outreach and support, or has gone “above and beyond” in service to our community during these trying times, you can email their story to our specific inbox: VA01SuccessStories@mail.house.gov. Our nation has faced difficult times before in our history. The way we were able to overcome all of those hard times was together, as a community. I look forward to hearing your stories and sharing it with the people of Virginia’s First District.

I will continue to keep you updated regularly through emails, social media posts, and telephone town halls as this outbreak and the response to it continues to develop.

As always, I encourage you to share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors and encourage them to sign up for my updates so they never miss a piece of breaking information.

Sincerely,

Rob

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