One Year Later, Senator Marshall Reflects on Fight Against COVID-19

(Washington, D.C., January 28, 2021) – Exactly one year ago today, then Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. was the first member of Congress to sound the alarm on the House floor about the spread of COVID-19. As a physician, he would later go on to serve on the frontlines as a volunteer treating patients in Wyandotte County and Seward County. Together with the GOP Doctors Caucus, Dr. Marshall championed various legislative policies and collaborated with top officials of Operation Warp Speed to ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccine development process. Dr. Marshall also played a key role in Kansas by helping local health care providers increase their testing capacity and supply of personal protective equipment. Today, Senator Marshall released the following video reflecting on of his year-long effort to combat COVID-19.

Background:

Few heroes to be found in Washington amid coronavirus finger-pointing (Washington Times)…Rep. Roger Marshall, Kansas Republican and a medical doctor, five days later became the first to broach the virus on the House floor. He thought the information he heard coming out of China sounded fishy, and he wanted to sound the alarm…

Timeline of Senator Marshall’s efforts to combat COVID-19:

January

February

  • February 13: As a leader of the GOP Doc Caucus, Dr. Marshall sends letter to federal officials regarding the deteriorating conditions about the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined outside of Yokoham, Japan.
  • February 14: Cosponsors H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, comprehensive bipartisan legislation authorizing over $2 trillion in COVID-19 relief.
  • February 28: Speaks with KDHE Secretary Norman to discuss steps the department is taking to prepare for an outbreak of coronavirus.
  • February 28: Meets with various HHS agencies on COVID-19 developments and confirmed cases across the country.

March

  • March 4: Pens op-ed, Coronavirus Threat Underscores Need for Border Security, featured In the Wichita Eagle and highlighting the need for border security to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
  • March 4: Dr. Marshall supports House passage of Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Appropriations Act, which provided $8.3 billion for response efforts.
  • March 6: Sends a letter to WHO’s Director-General regarding Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO and participation in World Health Assembly meetings during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • March 7: The first COVID-19 case is reported in Kansas and Dr. Marshall responds.
  • March 13: Sends first healthcare-specific newsletter discussing COVID-19 at length and began a weekly update, including providing resources on how to procure more testing supplies. Dr. Marshall also reached out to all mayors and community leaders across the state to give them an update.
  • March 13: Sends a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield and NIAID Director Fauci on combating misinformation of COVID-19.
  • March 14: With Marshall’s Support, Phase 2 of a COVID-19 response passes Congress.
  • March 16: Pens op-ed, With the Coronavirus Pandemic – Trump Administration’s True Leadership on Display, featured in the Washington Times. 
  • March 16: Speaks with KDHE officials regarding hospital concerns on state lab testing kits.
  • March 18: Creates a COVID-19 Resources for Kansans webpage containing information on epidemiology of the virus, available laboratory testing sites, information on available public programs, and more.
  • March 19: Sends a letter to House leadership urging them to prioritize the livestock industry in the next COIVD-19 Response Legislation.
  • March 19: Meets with Kansas Adjutant General Tafanelli and Governor Kelly on federal and state COVID-19 response efforts. 
  • March 19: Visits Kansas Division of Emergency Management supply and equipment storage location and personally examines supplies from the federal stockpile.
  • March 20: Meets with top HHS officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • March 23: Speaks with SBA officials and bankers to discuss details of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and personal protective equipment.
  • March 25: Creates a COVID-19 blog and resource page for health care providers.
  • March 25: Introduces H.R. 6394, the Keeping Critical Connections Act, bipartisan legislation to create a fund to help broadband providers continue to provide access to broadband services for low-income families or students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • March 27: Votes in support of the CARES Act and delivers speech on House floor.
  • March 27: Speaks with KDHE Secretary Norman on state and federal COVID-19 response efforts.

April

  • All month: Organizes series of webinars for small and large businesses on various funding and relief provisions established under the CARES Act.
  • April 1: Calls on the USDA to announce funding to support livestock and farmers.
  • April 1: Calls Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Garcia to discuss CARES Act Unemployment provisions with statewide economic development directors.
  • April 1: Calls out China for underreporting the number of total cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19.
  • April 3: Meets with Treasury Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State on their COVID-19 response efforts.
  • April 6: Sends letter to House and Senate leadership requesting inclusion of the Keeping Critical Connections Act in future Coronavirus relief packages.
  • April 6: Assisted 55 Kansas banks in gaining access to the SBA’s E-TRANS System so they could begin processing Paycheck Protection Program applications.
  • April 7: Pens op-ed, We Must Help Small Businesses, featured in the Topeka Capital-Journal.
  • April 7: Sends a bipartisan letter to HHS Secretary Azar urging that physicians have access to the Provider Relief Fund as many physician offices ceased operations of their regular business to comply with HHS recommendations.
  • April 7: Pens op-ed, China’s Coronavirus Reckoning – Act Now to End US Dependency for Drugs, Medical Supplies, featured on Fox News.
  • April 7: Call on USDA to provide immediate assistance to cattle owners by using the resources provided under CARES Act.
  • April 8: Participates in White House Coronavirus Task Force.
  • April 8: Sends letters to CEOs of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kanas City and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas asking they consider providing accelerated payments to our hospitals and physicians to help relieve immediate financial hardships.
  • April 9: Sends letter to Small Business Administrator Carranza thanking their efforts to take swift action on CARES Act provisions that benefit farmers, ranchers, and rural America.  
  • April 9: Speaks with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue regarding livestock issues during COVID-19 outbreak.
  • April 10: Issues statement on HHS distributing first round of Provider Relief Funds reaching over 3,320 health care providers in Kansas.
  • April 10: Provides additional CARES Act resources beneficial to large and small businesses, individuals, veterans, and local governments.
  • April 14: Speaks with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on the implementation of the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, and processing $3.7 billion in loans to 19,915 Kansas businesses.
  • April 14: Pens op-ed, Community Colleges Assisting Communities in Times of Need, featured in The Hiawatha World online.
  • April 15: Meets with Treasury Department, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State on their COVID-19 response efforts.
  • April 17: Secures 6,000 test kits for southwest Kansas and speaks with USDA to request more help and testing. Both items were secured that evening. (25% of America’s beef is processed in southwest Kansas)
  • April 17: Calls USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach on the meat packing and processor closures, resulting impacts to the market, and the administration’s rollout of producer support programs and further actions related to the department’s COVID-19 response.
  • April 22-24: Volunteers at community health centers in Kansas City to test and treat possible and confirmed coronavirus patients. Wyandotte has the highest number of cases in the state of Kansas.
  • April 23: Sends letter urging the Administration to support inclusion of the Keeping Critical Connections Act in future Coronavirus relief packages.
  • April 23: Cosponsors H.R. 6599, the Computing Opportunities to Vanquish Infectious Diseases Research Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to authorize federal interagency working groups to develop a national strategy to combat infectious diseases like COVID-19.
  • April 23: Calls on the White House to eliminate payment limits for livestock, dairy and specialty crop producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
  • April 23: Cosponsors bipartisan legislation to support farmers negatively impacted by the COVID-19 by expanding certain relief efforts for farmers and rural communities as necessary to maintain the stability of the food supply chain.
  • April 24: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from Operation Warp Speed on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • April 24: Joins Agriculture Committee members in sending bipartisan letter to U.S. Secretary Sonny Perdue on offering congressional assistance to support the health and safety of the 8,000 USDA meat and poultry inspectors.
  • April 27: Unveils proposal to unleash America’s health care system in the fight against COVID-19.
  • April 27: Sends letter to House and Senate leadership on passing legislation to address pharmacy benefit manager unfair business practices on community pharmacists and the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • April 28: Applauds Executive Order to utilize the Defense Production Act and declare meat-processing plants as critical infrastructure.
  • April 27-29: Visits southwest Kansas to work with DHS special agents, CDC, and local county and health care providers, to ensure massive testing sites are up and running.

May

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • May 1: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from Operation Warp Speed on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • May 1: Joins House Agriculture Committee members in sending letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue asking him to provide the findings of the USDA’s beef pricing investigation as soon as possible.
  • May 2-3: Volunteers in Seward County working in the Southwest Medical Center Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit assisting with screening, admitting and working with respiratory therapists on managing ventilators in the ICU. Seward has the third largest case total in the state, behind Ford and Wyandotte counties.
  • May 3-5: Sends a personal request to President Trump for the delivery of ventilators and PPE. The White House quickly approves the request.
  • May 6: Receives notice from President Trump on arrival of ventilators at Southwest Medical in Liberal, Kansas.
  • May 8: Leads bipartisan Food is Medicine Working Group letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue and USAID Acting Administrator Barsa to continue efforts to mitigate disruptions in our food and agricultural trading systems and our country’s longstanding commitment to reducing hunger. 
  • May 8: Introduces H.R. 6774, the Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Pilot Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to help ensure nutritious meals reach medically vulnerable seniors in their homes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 8: Speaks with President Trump on providing additional support for livestock investigation.
  • May 8: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • May 13: Speaks with USDA Under Secretary Jim Hubbard on Forest Service preparations for the upcoming fire season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 14: Introduces H.R. 6863, the COVID-19 Accountability Act, legislation to give the president authority to impose sanctions on China if it fails to cooperate with a full investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • May 15: Introduces H.R. 6910, the Emergency Room Hero and Patient Safety Act, bipartisan legislation to protect frontline physicians advocating on behalf of their patient and their fellow colleagues on safety standards in the emergency department. 
  • May 15: Introduces H.R. 6883, the Protecting Protein Production and Consumer Access Act, legislation to expand liability coverage for meat processing facilities mandated to reopen after President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to protect America’s food supply and consumers’ access to American-raised meat.
  • May 15: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • May 19: Cosponsors legislation to require HHS to investigate the World Health Organization on its failure to address the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, the extent the organization withheld information to Member States and the relationship between the World Health Organization and China, and more.
  • May 21: Speaks with nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across Kansas on federal and state COVID-19 response efforts.
  • May 22: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, the Department of State, and the USDA on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • May 22: Pens op-ed, WHO Desperately Needs Reform – Here’s How to Protect Global Health Now, featured on Fox News.
  • May 26: Sends letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell and Small Business Administration Administrator Carranza on preventing unlawful discrimination by financial institutions during COVID-19 outbreak.
  • May 29: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, the Department of State, and the USDA on COVID-19 response efforts.

June

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • June 3: Sends letter to House and Senate Leadership requesting streamlined forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Loans.
  • June 4: Introduces H.R. 7108, Pandemic Authority Suitable To Utilize Reserve Easements (PASTURE) Act, bipartisan legislation to allow for grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land during the pandemic.
  • June 4: Cosponsors H.R.1865, Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, providing FY2020 appropriations and COVID-19 relief provisions.  
  • June 4: Cosponsors Ways and Means Committee legislation to prevent governors from hoarding COVID-19 relief funds appropriated for local governments.
  • June 4: Cosponsors H.R. 7015, the Postal Preservation Act, bipartisan legislation to make an emergency appropriations to the Postal Service, a request supported by the bipartisan Postal Service Board of Governors appointed by President Donald Trump.
  • June 5: Participates in Agriculture Committee member call with USDA Under Secretaries Bill Northey and Greg Ibach on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
  • June 5: Leads GOP Doctors Caucus call with HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan to discuss the Provider Relief Fund and the need for rural hospitals and physician practice groups to receive necessary funds.
  • June 11: Cosponsors H.R. 7059, the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to protect doctors and nurses on the frontlines from unnecessary lawsuits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • June 11: Speaks with HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan on the Provider Relief Fund and the need to issue funds for health care providers that treat patients on Medicaid.
  • June 12: Speaks with HHS Surgeon General Adam on safely reopening the economy, vaccine development, public health preparedness, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and nursing homes. 
  • June 16: Meets with FEMA Regional Administrator Taylor to discuss FEMA’s role in the delivery of PPE, medical equipment and other goods during the pandemic, as well as its disaster assistance funding.
  • June 19: Sends letter to House and Senate leadership to ensure assistance to avert food crises precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • June 19: Speaks with USDA Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps about the School Meals Program and the need to ensure Kansas children are receiving meals during school closures.
  • June 22: Applauds Executive Order suspending the issuance of certain temporary work visas through the end of the year to allow American workers the opportunity to find new employment opportunities, especially amid the rise in unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • June 26: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • June 29: Sends letter to congressional leadership requesting the next COVID-19 relief package include funding for the Food for Peace program and other food aid programs to ensure smallholder farmers around the world can weather market disruptions.

July

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • July 6: Applauds Federal Reserve Bank having Main Street Lending Program fully operational and prepared to provide credit for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • July 9: Participates in call with nursing homes across the state on personal protective equipment, testing supplies, plans and concerns in case of future outbreaks.
  • July 9: Pens joint op-ed with Wilson Communications VP of External Relations Brian Boisvert on how the pandemic has highlighted the need for reliable rural broadband appears in the Ellsworth Paper.
  • July 10: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • July 14: Sends letter to House leadership on additional child care relief measures to help stabilize the industry, ensuring that providers can continue to operate and that parents can return work as our economy reopens.
  • July 15: Speaks with Vice President Pence on point-of care diagnostic testing for nursing homes across the U.S. to further protect the nation’s most vulnerable residents.
  • July 15: Speaks with Vice President Pence on Coronavirus Task Force and receives updates on various federal response efforts.
  • July 17: Continues work to resolve issues affecting nearly 150 Kansans with the IRS and the Economic Impact Payment program.
  • July 21: Participates in hearing to review USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program, and its efforts on the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • July 21: Cosponsors H.R. 7483, the Flexible Financing for Rural America Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to allow rural electric and telecommunications providers to request an adjustment to their interest rate or loan under the Rural Utilities Service during the pandemic.
  • July 21: Lead H.R. 7699, the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act, bipartisan legislation to protect seniors from COVID-19 related scams.
  • July 22: Secures Geary County hospital expedited approval into the 340B Drug Pricing Program, allowing the hospital to save thousands of dollars in pharmaceutical costs, and stabilize finances impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
  • July 22: Participates in briefing with top HHS officials discussing U.S. biodefense capabilities, sequencing of early COVID-19 samples and origins of the virus, and China’s handling of the virus including spread, lockdown, and PPE purchasing.
  • July 28: Supports The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, a comprehensive Senate package to address school and health related funding, and economic recovery.
  • July 29: Speaks with HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan on extending payments under the CMS Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to help financially at risk rural health care providers.
  • July 29: Sends bipartisan, bicameral letter to congressional leadership to include the Farming Support to States Act in the next COVID-19 aid package. The legislation would provide federal funds to states and other stakeholders to support America’s agriculture industry and help the industry better respond to disruptions in the food supply chain caused by COVID-19.
  • July 30: Participates in GOP Doctors Caucus briefing with HHS Secretary Azar on vaccine development and distribution plans, advancements in therapeutics, and testing.

August

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • August 4: Cosponsors H.R. 7579, Save American Vital Energy (SAVE) Jobs Act, legislation to help provide relief to America’s energy industry and save American jobs caused by the pandemic’s economic downturn.
  • August 4: Cosponsors H.R. 7777, the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, bipartisan legislation to streamline the process for small business owners to certify compliance with PPP requirements and expedite the loan forgiveness process for 86% of borrowers.
  • August 7: Participates in Operation Warp Speed briefing and asks questions on vaccine candidates, patient enrollment, and efficacy and safety protocols taken by the FDA.
  • August 11: Cosponsors H.R. 8002, the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to help prevent aerospace supply chain furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • August 11: Cosponsors H.R. 7710, the Open Schools Responsibly Act, legislation to protect academic institutions from lawsuits and economic penalties related to contracting and transmitting COVID-19 upon returning to school for the 2020-2021 academic school year, so long as schools follow their state’s and the CDC’s health guidelines.
  • August 11: Cosponsors H.R. 7168, Creating Capacity for Communities in Need Act, bipartisan legislation to allow physician owned hospitals to expand patient capacity to better during their communities during the pandemic.
  • August 13: Applauds Department of Commerce releasing $2 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to five regions of Kansas hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the $2.5 million awarded to Kansas’ regional planning commissioners in July.
  • August 15: Sends letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works regarding a project to help bring high-speed broadband service to the City of Hillsboro following implementation of social distancing guidelines.
  • August 18: Cosponsors H.R.6821, the Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to prevent small businesses from facing burdensome taxes on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance.
  • August 20: Sends letter to Trade Representative Ambassador Lighthizer to create a level playing field for U.S. ethanol during bilateral negotiations and how the COVID-19 outbreak has devastated fuel demand nationwide. 
  • August 25: Cosponsors H.R. 7998, the NIST COVID–19 Cybersecurity Act, legislation to instruct the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to produce standards for mitigating and protecting against cyberattacks to American universities researching COVID-19.
  • August 25: Cosponsors H.R. 7883, the Agricultural Fairs Rescue Act, bipartisan legislation to provide emergency pandemic relief funds to America’s agricultural fairs.

September

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • September 8: Sends letter U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting funds included in the CARES Act be provided to wheat growers to address price impacts due to COVID-19.
  • September 11: GOP Doctors Caucus receives briefing from Operation Warp Speed officials.
  • September 14: Cosponsors H.R. 7642, the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act, bipartisan legislation to support transportation service operators that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • September 16: Cosponsors H.R. 6829, the EMPIL-DOC Act, bipartisan legislation to authorize a bilateral grant program with Israel to jointly develop new approaches to combating COVID-19, including cutting-edge health technologies – legislation was included in the December FY2021 appropriations package.
  • September 18: Applauds USDA’s release of additional $14 billion in assistance to farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
  • September 21: Sends letter to Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the U.S. requesting their government allow American adoptive families to travel to the People’s Republic of China to bring their child home. 
  • September 22: Sends letter to CMS Administrator Verma urging the agency to not let COVID-19 impact momentum on moving America towards value-based care.
  • September 23: Cosponsors Small Business Committee legislation to allow struggling small businesses to take a second loan from the remaining $138 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funds.
  • September 24: Sends letter to HHS Secretary Azar and CMS Administrator Verma urging them to utilize all available resources to mitigate Medicare specialty care provider reimbursement cuts.
  • September 25: Participates in Administration briefing with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19 response efforts.
  • September 25: Receives virtual tour of National Institutes of Health with Director Collins to get a closer look at their scientific efforts to develop a vaccine.

October

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • October 8: Sends letter to House leadership requesting local health departments are prioritized in the next COVID-19 package.
  • October 9: Sends letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza asking for a streamlined forgiveness process for all Paycheck Protection Program loans.
  • October 16: Hosted call with the SBA and Kansas financial institutions to address questions regarding Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness.
  • October 19: Sends letter to House leadership requesting they include legislation they’re drafting to address Medicare payment cuts on specialty care professionals and the jeopardy it places on patient access to care.
  • October 20: Applauds USDA’s release of nearly $2 million to support rural districts distance learning and other online education services.
  • October 22: Sends letter to HHS Secretary Azar requesting the agency reinstate previous Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements that fully enables frontline providers to protect the health and safety of the communities they serve.
  • October 22: Announces vaccine distribution agreements for seniors in nursing homes.
  • October 23: Applauds HHS for sending 125 million cloth masks to schools to aid in the continued reopening and safe return to classroom instruction.
  • October 23: Organizes HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan site visits with various health care providers in Kansas City and Topeka.
  • October 24: Introduces H.R. 8677, the Home health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act, bipartisan legislation to provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies.
  • October 30: Cosponsors H.R. 8702, the Holding Providers Harmless From Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to stabilize reimbursements for Medicare specialty care providers over the next two years.
  • October 30: Applauds CMS plan to ensure all seniors have access to the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost.

November

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • November 10: GOP Doctors Caucus issues statement condemning New York Governor’s remarks on Operation Warp Speed vaccine safety.
  • November 18: U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passes Marshall’s bipartisan legislative to protect older Americans from COVID-19-related scams.
  • November 19: Participates in HHS Congressional Rural Health Roundtable to discuss the Administration and Congress’ ongoing efforts to address the unique challenges of accessing and delivering health care services in rural communities.
  • November 19: Participates in Operation Warp Speed briefing with General Perna and Dr. Slaoui to discuss the latest vaccine and therapeutics developments as well as distribution plans for these life-saving products.

December

  • All month: Provides updates on available resources, legislative efforts, and meets with stakeholders on resolving issues with federal programs. 
  • December 3: Joins GOP Doctors Caucus in sending letter to House leadership on including bipartisan proposals that address physician reimbursement cuts and the dire financial impact COVID-19 placed on specialty care professionals. 
  • December 7: Pens op-ed, The Best Christmas Gift Americans Will Get in 2020: a COVID-19 Vaccine, featured in the Kansas City Star.
  • December 9: Sends letter to House leadership requesting they include a fix to clarify that certain recipients of Paycheck Protection Program can claim normal business expense deductions in any end-of-year legislation.
  • December 10: Sends letter to CMS Administrator Verma to consider implementing polices that address senior malnutrition.
  • December 14: Introduces H.R. 8966, the COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Support Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to authorize a public advocacy campaign on COVID-19 vaccination – legislation included in FY2021 appropriations package.
  • December 14: Sends letter to House and Senate leadership requesting inclusion of the Keeping Critical Connections Act in future Coronavirus relief packages.
  • December 14: Sends letter to HHS Secretary Azar requesting the agency undo harmful changes to Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements. The requested changes were included in the FY2021 appropriations package.
  • December 17: Coordinates efforts with the Kansas Insurance Commissioner and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to investigate COVID-19 test price gouging occurring in Kansas City. 
  • December 18: Sends letter to HHS Secretary Azar asking that he consider the economic impact on radiation oncology providers and to make swift changes to demonstration payment model.
  • December 18: Organizes virtual roundtable with veteran groups to discuss efforts to ensure Kansas veterans and their caregivers remain at the front of the line to receive the vaccine.
  • December 22: Sends letter to HHS Secretary Azar and CDC Director Redfield to provide additional support to state, tribal, and local stakeholders to ensure they have the resources to effectively coordinate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to rural areas.

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