As the 2019 Novel
Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across our state, our nation,
and the world I wanted to update you on the latest information. My top
priority is ensuring that our local health care providers have the
resources they need.
The situation is rapidly changing, but I will continue to provide updates and resources. I am in constant contact with local and federal officials and will continue to provide updates on my COVID-19 resource page. Additionally, you can stay updated by following my Twitter @RepGregWalden or my Facebook page @RepGregWalden.
Below you will find some helpful updates and resources on the coronavirus.
It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.
Oregon’s Second District
The latest on the coronavirus: The situation is rapidly changing, but I wanted to share the latest information and news on the outbreak and relief efforts.
Individual Economic Impact Payments:
As of last week, the IRS said they have sent out more than 150 million direct payments – a total of some $258 billion in the two months since the phase three coronavirus package was signed into law.
For additional information about the economic impact payments you can visit the IRS website here.
Supporting Nursing Homes:
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they have begun to distribute nearly $4.9 billion to nursing homes across the country. The funding is a result of the CARES Act and will help nursing homes combat the devastating effects of the coronavirus. Read more here.
More Funding for Testing in Rural Oregon:
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will provide through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) over $5 million to Oregon’s Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing. This funding will help RHCs expand access to testing in Oregon’s rural communities. This funding was provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that President Trump signed into law in April.
Increased Funding for Coronavirus Vaccine:
The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has partnered with a British pharmaceutical company, providing $1 billion in funding, to manufacture a potential vaccine against the coronavirus. The new funding will enable the drugmaker to have the capacity to produce 400 million doses of the vaccine, if the vaccine is proven successful. Read more here.
Expanding U.S.-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturing:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is partnering with a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company to address manufacturing for the COVID-19 response. HHS is working with the corporation to expand pharmaceutical manufacturing for use in producing medicines needed for COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.
Watch out for COVID-19 Scams:
Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are reporting a spike in coronavirus related scams including home testing kits, fake cures, and other malicious attempts to prey on COVID-19 fears. The Treasury Department will NOT ask you to pay anything for the payment most Americans will receive as a result of the CARES Act and will not contact you for your bank account information. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government asking for this type of information, please report it to www.ftc.gov/complaint. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from these types of scams here.
What’s Walden Doing: An update on my latest actions.
Greg Walden released a statement after he voted against the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The over 1,800 page bill, drafted by Speaker Pelosi without any input from House Republicans, was released Monday with the House holding a vote on it just days later. Read more here.
Greg Walden released a statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded over $2.4 million to 11 Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Oregon’s Second District. The funding comes through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to help HRSA-funded health centers across Oregon expand COVID-19 testing. Read more here.
Greg Walden called on Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Legislative Leaders to share a portion of the funds Congress sent to states with local governments to help them deal with unexpected COVID-19-related costs. Read more here.
Resources to Know and Share: Here are some helpful resources and information on COVID-19.
ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed
by small businesses by authorizing billions in funding toward job
retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
- For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE
The Small Business Administration has also launched a hotline for lenders who need assistance accessing SBA’s E-Tran system. That number is: 1-833-572-0502. More answers from the SBA can be found here.
Other resources on the Paycheck Protection Program:
- Coronavirus.gov Small Business Resources Page
- Treasury Department Overview On The Paycheck Protection Program
- SBA.gov/Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Page
INFORMATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD:
The State Department has repatriated over 76,500 Americans from more than 130 countries.
The State Department is making efforts to bring home Americans, including through commercial flights, chartered flights, and military transport. Any American abroad who needs assistance should contact their local U.S. embassy and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available here or by calling 1-888-407-4747.
ASSISTANCE FROM HHS AND FEMA:
HHS and FEMA have fielded many requests to assist or partner with the Federal Government in response to the COVID pandemic.
- Organizations or individuals seeking to contract with the federal government to import or manufacture medical products to aid the U.S. response submit information to FEMA through the a Request for Proposal, available here.
- Organizations or individuals that wish to donate medical supplies or equipment can submit that information here.
- Other inquiries from organizations or individuals, including individuals who want to volunteer or organizations that want to produce a product related to the COVID response, among other inquiries, can be referred to https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.
How to schedule a blood donation appointment:
- Visit RedCrossBlood.org. Click on “Schedule an Appointment” under the “Donate Blood” tab. From there you can enter your zip code to find a blood drive near you.
- Red Cross Blood Donor App
- Call 1-800-RED-CROSS
- Use Amazon Alexa Blood Scheduling Skill
Fast Facts: Here are some helpful stats on COVID-19 as of 5/25/20
Cases of COVID-19:
U.S. current case count (as of 5/23/20): There are currently at least 1,604,189 cases and 96,082 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins and other media sources.
Oregon Current Case Count: 3,949
Hood River: 12
Testing in Oregon:
Total (since 1/24): 113,770