13 Senators rebuke Gov. Brown’s lockdown

A Letter of Response to Gov. Kate Brown
From Oregon State Sen. Fred Girod
(co-signed by 13 state senators)

This article provided by Oregon Transformation Newsletter.

The continued government overreach in the name of COVID-19 is destroying Oregon and transforming a once-innovative place into a welfare state. Oregonians are forced to watch helplessly as their livelihoods are stolen.

Oregonians have been betrayed. They do not need to look to the national news to see Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi flouting the rules set for everyone else to feel deceived because they can do that right here at home. In Oregon, violent riots have continued for months, but going to church, a Constitutional American right, is deemed dangerous.

Gov. Brown, your latest “freeze” is hypocritical. The people who are most likely to suffer from COVID-19, the elderly, have been ignored during the political pandemic, while all other citizens have been forced to endure months of government overreach and watch their normal lives disappear.

If the need for these measures is so urgent, why wait five days for implementation? How did you know with certainty that the two-week, multi-county “pause” did not have an impact when it was in place for only two days before you announced the statewide “freeze”? Why are faith-based organizations limited to a maximum of 25 people indoors regardless of their square footage, when grocery stores and other retail are limited to 75% of their capacity, which is based on square footage?

There are horrific consequences to your government overreach in the name of COVID-19. Oregonians are suffering. Children are going without quality education to appease your special interest teachers’ unions. Mental health conditions are deteriorating rapidly with an increase in depression, suicides and overall hopelessness among adults and children. Domestic violence and child abuse have increased as Oregonians are locked in their homes. The new secretary of state needs to audit each COVID-19 executive order to gauge the resulting fallout on the health of the state.

With the latest abuse of your power, you are punishing restaurants and small businesses most of all. Why? The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) created a scapegoat for you to target this industry by indicating that contact tracing is lagging, and the state is unable to provide answers about where cases are coming from.

With the data we do have, in Marion County for example, restaurants account for 2.7% of COVID-19 cases. Long-term care facilities in the county far and away exceed the spread of any other industry at 34.2%, indicating that the elderly need to be the focus. Senate Republicans will continue to advocate for enhanced support for those most vulnerable to COVID-19. We need to protect the elderly. The legislative emergency board just recently, for the first time since the start of this pandemic eight months ago, allocated some federal funds to assist testing those in congregate care facilities.

You have indicated that the primary driver of COVID-19 spread is private social gatherings, so why close bars and restaurants, which provide an outlet for Oregonians to leave their homes?

Every person who draws a paycheck directly or indirectly from this industry, including the roughly 200,000 Oregonians that work in the restaurant industry, are left in a panic over how they will afford basic necessities. Oregonians cannot look to the government for assistance because thousands have still not received unemployment insurance after the first shutdown.

When restaurants close, entire supply chains are disrupted. After eight months of adopting yours and OR-OSHA’s mind-numbing and expensive rules and operating with reduced capacity, restaurants do not have cash reserves to survive further shutdowns.

Along the same lines, forced closure of gyms and fitness facilities, already sanitized environments, further harms the physical and mental well-being of Oregonians. Government officials and medical professionals should be encouraging Oregonians to be physically active – not to hide in their homes.

Since you welcome leaving thousands more of suffering Oregonians unemployed, Governor, you must lead by example and go without pay for the entire period that Multnomah County is to be shut down based on your arbitrary decisions. The funds that would normally go to your paycheck should be donated to families in need.

Additionally, many medical professionals are playing into your politicization of COVID-19 by telling Oregonians if they do not follow the rules, hospitals will not have space for other emergencies because too many COVID-19 patients will flood the halls. It wasn’t long ago when hospitals were spending money on ad campaigns to get Oregonians to seek care, especially after a drastic drop in ER visits for chest pain.

Last, to keep control of your power, you have created a police-state to enforce your authoritarian measures by empowering Oregon State Police to make criminals out of honest, decent citizens. You are in the process of blocking a vaccine by partnering with other states to study the “safety” of a vaccine to maintain dictator-like control of each respective state.

The continued COVID-19 government overreach is destroying Oregon and irreversibly damaging the livelihoods of the people you are supposed to represent, all to achieve your political goals. It’s time to end your political posturing at the expense of Oregonians and reopen the state.

This article provided by Oregon Transformation Newsletter.