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Walden named to White House task force, issues COVID-19 info update

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., released the following statement after President Trump appointed him to the White House Economic Task Force. The bipartisan, bicameral task force will advise the White House on reopening the economy.

“We had a very good conversation with the President, Vice President and his team.  From my standpoint, our next step in shoring up the economy is simple:  replenish funds in the Paycheck Protection Program, which has now run dry. We have a responsibility to help Americans get back to work and our new way of life. Let’s seize this moment. I know this: a bipartisan, Presidential task force is a great way to bring Democrats and Republicans together to find common ground and meaningful solutions.  

“On the task force, I have several objectives including getting our testing capacity up, improving our supply chains so we can domestically produce more of the personal protective equipment we need--especially for our healthcare providers--and working to double down on our efforts to find treatments and a vaccine.  I appreciate the President’s plan to give states a science-based set of criteria for Governors to use as they decide when and where to begin bringing the American economic patient out of this pandemic-induced coma.”

Walden also released an update on COVID-19 for April 16, 2020.

The latest on the coronavirus:

Oregon Struggles with Unemployment Benefits

The CARES Act provides states with additional flexibility to ensure rapid access to unemployment benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits prior to the pandemic and now are unable to find employment due to stay-at-home orders. While the state is working to implement these extended benefits, many have raised concerns that the Oregon Unemployment Department is not taking advantage of the new flexibility and funding to waive the “waiting week” period for applications. The Office of Congressman Walden has received emails  and calls from hundreds of constituents raising issues with the state's handling of unemployment benefits.

"Governor Brown should take advantage of the flexibility Congress provided and waive the waiting week requirement for the duration of the pandemic to help provide much-needed relief to people seeking unemployment benefits. The loss of a week’s worth of income during this time can cause extreme hardship. The CARES Act provides full federal funding for the first week’s compensation for states that choose to pay recipients as soon as they are unemployed. Oregon should implement this and every other tool available to help mitigate the financial burdens of this outbreak for those in need across our state." - Rep Greg Walden.

Read more here. 

Funds Run Dry for PPP and EIDL:

As of today, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program are out money. Last week, President Trump called on Congress to prevent these funds from running dry, but Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer stopped that effort in its tracks. Read more here.
Oregon stats as of April 13, 2020

  • 9,508 approved loans for PPP
  • $2,427,776,445 in approved dollars for PPP

Funding for Airports:
The FAA just announced the CARES Act AIP grant allocations, totaling $9.1 billion of the $10 billion provided for airports in the Act. In the Second District $15 million will go to the Medford airport, $8.9 million to Redmond airport, and $16 million to the Pendleton airport. This funding will help the airports operating during this outbreak.

Funding for Oregon Education:

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday that nearly $3 billion will be made available to governors to ensure education continues for students of all ages impacted by the coronavirus. Oregon will receive over $32 million in a discretionary grant to support the state's K-12 and higher ed needs during COVID-19. The money comes as a result of the CARES Act.

Help is On The Way

As soon as the middle of April, most Americans will receive a payment of $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple, and $500 per child directly to their bank account via direct deposit thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

Those on Social Security who do not file taxes DO NOT need to file anything to receive this new payment.

Those who receive disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs WILL need to submit information to the IRS to receive this payment. You can provide this information through the IRS’s website here.

Low income individuals with a gross income between $12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married couples that do not file taxes, WILL need to submit information to the IRS to receive this payment. You can provide this information through the IRS’s website here.

For additional information about the economic impact payment you can visit the IRS website here.

FEMA Project Airbridge:

FEMA has launched Project Airbridge to help efficiently maintain the country’s existing medical supply chain infrastructure. The goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes for U.S. medical supply distributors to get commercially sourced and procured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies into the country for their customers. FEMA is covering the cost to fly the supplies into the U.S. from overseas factories, which will cut the amount of time it takes to ship supplies from weeks to days.

Expanding Connectivity

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun accepting applications for the $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The funds will help healthcare providers purchase the connectivity and devices they need to care for patients remotely in response to COVID-19. More here.

NIH Begins New Study:

NIH has begun recruiting for a new study to quantify undetected cases of COVID-19.  In this “serosurvey,” researchers will collect and analyze blood samples from as many as 10,000 volunteers to provide critical data for epidemiological models, helping to illuminate the extent to which the virus has spread undetected in the United States.  People interested in joining this study should contact 

Clinical trial information is here. 

More Funding for Oregon Health Care Providers:

The first $30 billion in funding for hospitals and health care providers that was included in the CARES Act was delivered. This resulted in $291 million for Oregon. As part of the CARES Act, there is still $70 billion to be disbursed to hospitals and health care providers in order to combat the effects of COVID-19. Read more here.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded over $23 million to Community Health Centers in Oregon, including 11 in the Second District. Read more here.

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 You can learn more about how to protect yourself from these types of scams here.

Resources to Know and Share: Here are some helpful resources and information on COVID-19.

Helpful Resources on PPE:

CDC updated the PPE Burn Rate Calculator, a spreadsheet-based model that will help health care facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19.  More here.

You can now see PPE shipments to Oregon counties here.


The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion 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

Other resources on the Paycheck Protection Program:


The State Department has repatriated over 50,000 Americans from more than 90 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.

If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:

  • Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
  • Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
  • Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
  • Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
  • Visit Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United  States


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 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 

How to schedule a blood donation appointment:

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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