Rep. Bentz calls on Brown to reverse decision on tighter COVID restrictions

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Oregon Rep. Cliff Bentz on Monday issued a statement calling on Gov. Kate Brown to “reverse this unfortunate decision” and end the latest round of COVID restrictions placed upon counties across the state.

“In the normal course, as a United States Representative, I would not enter debates regarding state-level politics,” the freshman Republican said. “However, the Governor’s most recent response to the COVID-19 situation is not only historically broad in impact, but an action that causes far more serious damage than benefit. Additionally, in recent days, the Oregon Health Authority actually invited public input from Oregon’s congressional delegation.”

Brown last week ordered 15 Oregon counties – including Deschutes and Crook – to return to “Extreme Risk” COVID restrictions due to surging cases.

Deschutes County last week has more COVID cases than at any time during the pandemic. 

Under the tighter restrictions, restaurants must offer only take-out or outdoor dining, gyms are closed and churches are limited to 25% capacity.

County leaders from across the state have also urged the governor to back off the restrictions. 

Bentz said he shared the frustrations of those in his district impacted by the shutdown, saying Brown has done the complete opposite of many other states in imposing the lockdown.

“Sadly, Governor Brown’s proposed $20 million safety net for those harmed by this most recent lockdown is woefully inadequate for those Oregon businesses struggling to survive,” Bentz said.  “I believe Oregon must reopen and stay open. The reinstatement of the Governor’s shutdown solution will do more harm than good to our loved ones, communities, and our state – especially as risk drops with an ever increasing number of Oregonians being vaccinated.

“I am calling upon Governor Brown to reverse this unfortunate decision and focus her attention instead on vaccinations and making sure that COVID aid sent to Oregon by the Federal Government be quickly allocated to those in need.”

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