Coronavirus Update

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The following is a release from Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.

Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) awarded $7.2 million to Oregon to support the state’s effort to help contain and fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The funding is in addition to an initial $500,000 that the state received at the beginning of the month.

“As our states tackle the unique challenges of responding to coronavirus, the federal government needs to be a full partner,” Merkley said. “That’s why I am very pleased to announce that the CDC has awarded a much-needed $7.2 million for the efforts Oregon is undertaking to tackle this outbreak. We’re all in this together. I will continue to do everything I can to support Oregon’s hard work, and keep pressing the federal government for additional resources.”

The new funding comes from the bipartisan, $8.3 billion package of emergency funding that was signed into law earlier this month. Merkley pushed strongly to secure more funding for the CDC, small business disaster loans, reimbursements for state and local government expenses incurred fighting the coronavirus, and support for tribal governments—all of which are included in the package. And, as the top Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Merkley worked with his counterparts to write Title I of the bill, including emergency authorizations and $61 million in new funding for FDA to help protect Americans from this emerging public health threat.

Merkley has launched a coronavirus resource page for Oregonians, which includes information on risk of exposure, prevention and treatment, and steps that he is taking to push the federal government to respond effectively and with urgency. That resource, which is being updated regularly, can be found at https://www.merkley.senate.gov/coronavirus.

Merkley has taken a number of actions in the past week to protect American workers and families from the economic ramifications of the coronavirus: The senator pushed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to take measures to protect veterans from the coronavirus; urged President Trump to halt evictions and foreclosures, particularly for low-income, elderly, and disabled Americans; and pressed the CEOs of eight large telecommunication service providers to both suspend policies that limit access to internet services and expand internet services in rural and underserved areas.

He is also pushing for an additional emergency package this week to respond to the economic impacts of the virus—including paid sick leave, emergency unemployment benefits, and more.

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