CORONAVIRUS; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 86
(Senate - May 07, 2020)

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[Pages S2313-S2314]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I rise today to highlight the heroes of my 
home State of Maryland who are working on the frontlines to fight 
  On January 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States. 
Since then, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States 
has ballooned to over 1.2 million cases and over 72,000 Americans have 
  The CDC has designated the Baltimore-Washington corridor as a 
hotspot, as cases continue to rise in the region. As of May 6, there 
have been 28,163 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,290 confirmed deaths 
in the State of Maryland. These are trying, unprecedented times for all 
communities in America, and Maryland is no different in this regard.
  Fred Rogers once said that in times of crisis, times like these, we 
should ``look for the helpers.'' I would like to take this time to 
recognize some of the heroes who are helping communities in Maryland.
  I am very proud of our State's hospitals, distilleries, 
manufacturers, and biomedical and pharmaceutical companies that have 
come together to perform their own testing, manufactured personal 
protective equipment and hand sanitizers, and are at the forefront of 
developing a vaccine.
  Maryland is home to some of the world's premier academic medical 
systems, including the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns 
Hopkins University, which have been critical in preparing our State for 
the pandemic.
  I am particularly proud of Johns Hopkins' coronavirus tracking 
system, which public health officials worldwide have come to rely on 
for up-to-date, accurate information. I applaud Johns

[[Page S2314]]

Hopkins officials and staff creating the vital public health tool, 
which has already proven itself critical to fighting this disease.
  Lord Kelvin stated so long ago:

       When you can measure what you are speaking about, and 
     express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when 
     you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, 
     your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.

  In the early days of the pandemic in Maryland, our State officials, 
like officials in most States, were desperately searching for ways to 
increase testing capacity. Johns Hopkins developed its own coronavirus 
test to help meet demand.
  The university has been especially helpful in Maryland's effort to 
combat the virus in nursing homes. Johns Hopkins has closely 
collaborated with local nursing homes to train their employees and test 
residents to protect our most vulnerable populations.
  I commend Johns Hopkins' ingenuity, which has been critical to 
efforts to identify those afflicted with COVID-19 and to prevent the 
spread of the virus.
  The University of Maryland Medical System has stepped up to lead 
efforts to address the devastating impact of COVID-19 in our State's 
minority communities, which is likely due to the underlying healthcare 
disparities. The university has assembled a team of public health 
experts to execute the proposed Maryland Health Equity COVID-19 
Consortium. The consortium will be critical to the developing of 
strategies that inform our State's response efforts to protect our 
communities of color, who are more susceptible to COVID-19.
  Despite the immense burden Maryland's small businesses are facing, 
they have stepped up to help local hospitals, nursing homes, and other 
frontline workers.
  Sagamore Spirits Distillery in Baltimore is one such small business. 
Sagamore has completely converted its operation to distill corn ethanol 
to produce hand sanitizers. The distillery is sourcing its corn from 
Maryland farmers.
  Hardwire, an armor company on the Eastern Shore in Pocomoke City, now 
produces sustainable face shields that can last up to 6 months. By the 
end of this week, Hardwire will have shipped out 1 million face shields 
to healthcare workers, first responders, and others on the frontline in 
the fight against COVID-19. The demand for Hardwire's face shield is so 
great that it has hired 115 new employees, providing much needed 
economic relief to communities on the Eastern Shore.
  In addition, Maryland's world-leading biomedical and pharmaceutical 
companies are working tirelessly to find a vaccine for COVID-19.
  AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical and life sciences company with research 
and development facilities in Gaithersburg and Frederick, has partnered 
with the University of Oxford on a potential vaccine that has already 
entered phase 1 clinical trials.
  Emergent BioSolutions in Rockville is collaborating with Johnson & 
Johnson on its lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Emergent BioSolutions 
will be providing contract development and manufacturing services in 
Maryland to support Johnson & Johnson's recently announced commitment 
to supply 1 billion vaccines worldwide.
  I would be remiss if I did not also thank Maryland's frontline 
healthcare workers who risk their lives every day to care for those 
with COVID-19. These physicians, physician assistants, nurses, lab 
technicians, EMT personnel, and many others go to work day after day 
facing the unimaginable strain of caring for patients who are fighting 
this deadly virus and comforting their families.
  These examples are by no means exhaustive. There are countless other 
healthcare providers, law enforcement agencies, nonprofits, small 
businesses, higher education institutions, and individual Marylanders 
pitching in to defeat COVID-19.
  Marylanders are stocking grocery shelves, driving buses, delivering 
groceries to elderly neighbors, hosting virtual events to keep families 
and young children entertained as they continue to practice social 
distancing, and they are making homemade face coverings for those who 
need them. I have seen my neighbors come together to make lunch packs 
for families in need.
  The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ``Everybody can be 
great because anybody can serve.'' The COVID-19 pandemic is not testing 
our character; it is revealing it. I am so proud to represent all the 
great Marylanders who are serving on the frontlines, and I will 
continue working as hard as I can to ensure that we in Congress are 
doing everything we can to support them as they lead the fight against 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.