tv Rep. Fred Upton Speaks at Health Care Summit CSPAN July 13, 2020 7:48pm-8:01pm EDT
states, our health care workers. >> along with briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, supreme court oral arguments and decisions, and the latest from campaign 2020. be a part of the conversation every day with our live call-in program washington journal. coverage,sed any live watch anytime on demand on c-span.org or listen on the go with freeseas been radio app -- the free c-span radio app. >> during the summer, reach out to your elected officials with c-span's congressional directory. it contains the information you need to stay in touch with members of congress and state governors. order your copy today at c-spanstore.org. >> michigan representative fred upton spoke about the next coronavirus relief package congress was considering during the hills virtual health care
summit. congressften than not, is called upon to use its policymaking powers to solve problems, but the premier policymaking body in the country is not designed to move fast. that is to say the least. there are processes to follow and hurdles to overcome. the pandemic galvanized congress into making quick decisions in the early weeks, but now action is needed to ensure the health care system is working for patients today and after the crisis has passed. representative fred upton knows a thing or two about the power of policy and bringing about far-reaching change. fred, good friend, thank you very much for joining us again. we have had many discussions about this. is me start and ask you, how your community doing right now? as i was discussing with dr. fauci, a lot of mixed signals out there. you have a lot of manufacturing of the united states and manufacturing workers in your area.
you have all different generations responding. give us a snapshot of what you are contending with. rep. upton: michigan of course is a very diverse state. so many ways in different issues. we have our state divided into some regions. we had a couple regions take a step backwards in terms of where they are. our coronavirus caseload actually went up threefold in the last couple of days, so we are watching this very closely. let me just tell you, i am encouraged about other things that are moving forward. one is home testing. when the president signed the bill back in april for more ppp money, it also included nearly $2 billion for home testing, asking the private sector to come forward. the nih was right there. had a team in place. we have an entity now in michigan that has a patented
product. they worked with two universities, michigan and johns size of about the regular phone and it has a little receptacle at one end where you can put the fingerprint or saliva, and it measures three different antibodies that your body produces almost within a day or two of being exposed to covid. why does this work? because you can then link that to a cell phone. so whether you are going to a ballgame, to school, to work, whether you are going to the grocery store -- and it is less than $10. it was approved for the first round by the nih. it really does work, so they are now in phase two to see if they can produce and market it, which i think is the easiest part of it. you are going to be able to take this device soon, once it is produced, and be able to ensure your employees, colleagues, and
friends that you have not been exposed and you are safe. the second step that is important -- remember, pfizer is my largest employer. they are on speed dial to produce a vaccine, yet to be approved, later this month where they think they can have as many as 100 million doses ready before the end of the year. obviously this is a huge step forward, but you have other companies beyond pfizer. you have astrazeneca, johnson & johnson, and others that are using warp speed, as they call capabilities we are able to see happen because of the 21st century cures act. because we shortened the time it takes now to get an approved, safe drug or device to market, we are in a better place today than we would have been eight years ago.
i am excited that we seem to be viewing a light at the end of a tunnel a few months down the road where we can get back to where all of us want to be, knowing it really did not get done by easter. steven: congressman, i have interviewed the chief scientific officer of pfizer and heard about this great leap forward they have made. but in talking to others out there, senator chris coons and others, they say one part is getting the vaccine, getting the science, finding that leap. the other is manufacturing and distributing it. that is where a lot of people are very concerned. are you worried that pfizer or someone is to come up with something and we will not be able to manufacture it? rep. upton: that's why -- and pfizer is just one of a number of companies now -- that is preparing to manufacture this in the next number of weeks, even though they are months away from getting an fda approval. they think the promise is so strong that they are going to be able to manufacture it.
i am hoping to see some of the preparations in my district. kalamazoo is my district. i am hoping to go before the end of next week before congress comes back to see exactly where they are in the process, talk to some of the folks there and get an idea. but they are excited about it. i heard from the chairman last week. he spoke to mike wilkins, who just this last week made the announcement. we also heard from other companies as well that they are ready to go, thinking they might not only have this first vaccine potentially to get approved, but actually now beginning to look at perhaps even a second or third generation of vaccine. steven: you and i have discussed this before. in fact, i have had you and representative debbie dingell on stage before, where you kind of talked about basically how you finish each other's sentences frequently. it is a story of bipartisanship that many americans are not used to seeing. if you have any reflections on that in the time of covid and
whether or not the bipartisan glue between you and debbie dingell, if there is any chance of that beginning to take hold when it comes to this crisis in the congress. because we saw it early on, but i have to tell you right now it looks very toxic again. rep. upton: it is a toxic place. it sort of comes with the territory. we have divided government, let's face it. at the end of the day, you have been a student of this for a lot of years, too. at the end of the day, the only way you get something done is if it is bipartisan. if a bill starts in a very partisan way and never moves one way or the other, house, senate, white house, nothing happens. i am encouraged. i am a cubs fan. we actually made it to the world series once in my dad's lifetime. i am encouraged -- as congress comes back in two weeks, i am encouraged we are going to have
a good discussion that's constructive. we will look at a phase four of a covid package. it will be bipartisan. it won't be what past in the house narrowly on a partisan basis, the pelosi package, over $3 trillion. likely to be less than $1 trillion, but it will include money for states, cities, and counties. i heard a little bit of your interview before. it is important that schools have resources. if they are going to open this fall, it is going to be incumbent upon them to do more. they will have smaller class sizes, probably only a day or two in the class. they have school bus issues, mask issues. we will not have a vaccine ready by then for sure. parents will be unwilling to send their kids to school until they know they are going to be safe, so it will be individual. in the end, our assistance what we do for our cities, counties, and states, the only way it gets done is if it is bipartisan.
the only way we do a police justice bill, more training, a number of different things, is if it is bipartisan. and those discussions are actually happening behind the scenes, hopefully so we can get done before the august break starts and get a bill the president can sign because no one is going to override one of his vetoes, but get everyone in the room, maybe it is pizza and beer or whatever it is. but in the end, we have to be together to deal with this issue, likely did with the first package that passed back in march, 417-1. overwhelming again on the additional money for ppe back in april, and that included billions of dollars more for the nih for home testing. the changes we did, we passed a bill two weeks ago to extend the ppp deadline. bipartisan, we can get it done, and that's what it has to be as we look at this dilemma that is facing our
nation that we never had before. steven: fred, just a final question. i know you encourage people to wear masks. i have now seen mitch mcconnell, leader mcconnell, go out and he is wearing a mask all the time. he is telling his constituents to wear a mask and doing it by example. but we have seen a time where masks have become controversial. this whole topic has become controversial. you have constituents on all sides of this. how do you get the two sides to trust each other when it comes to basic public health infrastructure and public health guidelines? rep. upton: i have encouraged folks to wear a mask from day one. i saw a report again this morning that without mary masks, we will have 200,000 americans dead by election day. that is not acceptable to me. there has not been a time i have been inside the capitol or a building where i don't have a mask on. i am home now, so i don't have a mask on. i believe in social distancing.
those are some reasonable steps all of us can take. i do a kitchen table report almost every day. you can find it on my website. i ran a picture earlier this week of dick cheney in a mask. i am reminding people to wear a mask every time they are with other people outside of their family, particularly in a public place that is inside. we just have to do it. we just have to do it. it is tragic to see some of these stories, the folks who have objected to it. the tulsa rally, the officers around the country and in a variety of states who didn't believe in it, and now suddenly they are passing away, coming down with covid. we can take steps as individuals, personal responsibility not only to protect ourselves, but those that might serve as us, whether it be in the line for coffee, the grocery store, the post office. certainly the workplace. steven: congressman fred upton,
i always learn from you. i appreciate the time you give us here at the hill. thank you for joining us, and keep up the fight. thank you very much. rep. upton: thanks for what you do. i am on your website multiple times every single day. steven: >> coming up tonight on c-span, we hear from governors on the coronavirus response in their states. governor ron desantis of florida holds a briefing the day after over 15,000 new cases were diagnosed. later, new york governor andrew cuomo on the school reopening plan and the threat posed by visitors to his state. florida governor ron desantis was joined by the mayor of miami-dade county. record 15,003 hundred new cases were announced on saturday
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