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An update on the pandemic from the U.S. Senate:

These are anxious, unsettling times, and I want to check in and share some thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic.

This is a public health crisis. It's an economic crisis. And it's affecting every single family in this country.

But here's what I know: we're going to get through this.

As your U.S. Senator, I am pushing each day for the federal and state governments to be aggressive with solutions.

First, we need to meet the urgent health care needs. Ramp up testing, meet the urgent needs for more masks and gowns, produce more ventilators, prepare our hospitals for a surge.

We also have to help families and small businesses bridge the cataclysmic economic impacts of shuttering huge swaths of our society. We need a massive program to bridge the abyss, but we can't let corporate lobbyists win huge no-strings-attached bail outs.

That means people-centered policies, like building on the new paid leave plan that just passed Congress. I'm also pushing for tens of billions of dollars to help keep renters in their homes. Elizabeth Warren and I successfully argued for a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. We need help for small businesses who have to close their doors.

And if we do need taxpayer help for some industries to keep the lights on, we need to put workers ahead of shareholders, and insist on real guard rails like making companies that benefit maintain their payrolls, offer paid leave, allow union organizing, and end stock buybacks forever.

Another of my goals is to make sure that Oregonians who were already struggling to get by don't fall through the cracks while we work to address this pandemic.

If you're able, please make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank, so families won't go hungry right now.

To get through this, we need to stay diligent and listen to our public health and scientific communities: stay home as much as you can; wash your hands and clean surfaces regularly; avoid close interactions with others outside your home; and cover your coughs and sneezes.

I'm going to keep you up-to-date as we go. Stay tuned and, if you're able, please make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank to support vulnerable members of our community.


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Posted on March 18, 2020.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

Meet Jeff

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