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Good news this past weekend! We now have an FDA-authorized vaccine, with the first doses set to be administered in the U.S. today. Through the President’s “Operation Warp Speed,” the federal government has secured a $1.95 billion contract for at least 100 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, with the option of acquiring an additional 500 million doses. Large-scale clinical trials involving tens of thousands of participants showed the vaccine to be 95% effective. I see this vaccine, along with the other promising candidates currently working their way through the development and review pipelines, as an answer to the prayers of those of us who have lost loved ones and friends due to COVID-19.
If you missed my interview with FDA Commissioner Hahn a few weeks ago, you can watch that here!
Also, I have a healthcare newsletter that is coming out this week! If you are not signed up yet, you can sign up here.
Two Bills Headed to the White House!
On Friday, the Senate passed the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students ACT (or HBCU PARTNERS Act), which I authored and introduced with Senator Coons last year. The bill is now headed to the President’s desk. Once signed, it will help strengthen relationships between federal agencies and HBCUs through annual reports on HBCU-related plans and activities, along with the codification of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. By promoting public-private partnerships and increasing transparency on initiatives and strategies regarding HBCUs, this bipartisan legislation will expand and better publicize opportunities and offerings, such as through pilot programs and grants, for HBCU students and leaders.
Friday was a busy day for legislation, as my Provide Accurate Information Directly (PAID) Act also passed the Senate that day. This bipartisan bill, which I wrote and introduced with Senator Cardin last year, will save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars through updates to the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) statute. There are holes in the Medicare system that have harmed seniors, job creators, and the American taxpayer, and this law takes an important step towards modernizing the MSP system. Kicking off Year in Review Video Series
This week I am putting out a special series of my Two with Tim videos; entitled 12 days of Christmas: A Year in Review. In my first video, I chat with one of my staff members about PPP and how important this legislation was for small businesses during these uncertain times. Stay tuned this week for more!
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