Greg Walden Discusses Coronavirus with Jackson, Josephine County Officials

March 2, 2020
Press Release
Holds town hall, roundtable, press conference on COVID-19 outbreak

Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) spent the weekend speaking with residents and public health officials in Jackson and Josephine County about the Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Today, following Walden's events in southern Oregon, the first case of COVID-19 in the Second District of Oregon was announced. You can read Walden's statement on the Umatilla County case here.

In southern Oregon, Walden held a town hall in Josephine County, where the main topic discussed was the coronavirus, as well as Walden's efforts to expand rural broadband and help veterans. 

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Rep. Walden speaks about coronavirus at Josephine County town hall.

During the town hall, Walden updated the audience on what he knows and what he is doing to help prepare the community for the coronavirus. He was also joined by Michael Weber, Josephine County's Director of Public Health. They both took questions from the audience on the topic.

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Rep. Walden holds roundtable on coronavirus with Josephine, Jackson County officials.

After the town hall, Walden held a roundtable discussion on COVID-19 with public health officials from Jackson and Josephine County. Walden updated local officials about what he knew and what steps Congress is taking to provide the resources necessary to prepare. They discussed the community's readiness for the coronavirus and what more can be done to help better assist local public health authorities. 

Walden and the public health officials held a press conference after the roundtable to update the media and take questions from reporters. At the press conference, Walden shared information about work Congress has done to help prepare the country for an outbreak such as the coronavirus.

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Click here or on the image above to watch Rep. Walden's press conference.

"You should know that a couple of years ago we actually passed into law legislation called the 'Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act.' This set up the framework for how to deal with pandemics. This is not new, it's something we've worked on, and in a bipartisan way for many years. We also passed legislation that brings funds to our local communities through the public health care system," said Walden.

Walden urged that the most important thing for people to do is practice good preventative methods like washing their hands and getting a flu shot. 

"Keep in mind that already at least 14,000 Americans have died of the seasonal flu, and many, many people have not gotten a flu shot yet and you still could," said Walden. "At the national level, the Centers for Disease Control, and the FDA are working hand-in-hand to make sure that we have tests available throughout the country to ascertain whether or not somebody has [the coronavirus]."

Click here to watch Walden's full remarks at the press conference.

Click here to stay updated on Walden's efforts on the coronavirus.

Below is media coverage related to Rep. Walden's visit to southern Oregon:

Medford Mail Tribune: Congressman hears from local health officials about coronavirus: U.S. Rep. Greg Walden met with area officials Saturday to discuss the coronavirus, as the rapidly-changing public health crisis continued to spread across the West Coast after a man in Washington state became the country’s first known victim of the outbreak. Public health officials from Jackson and Josephine counties advocated for stronger lines of communication with the Centers for Disease Control as they braced for the arrival of the COVID-19 virus. Officials also stressed the need for streamlined access to medical tests and voiced concerns of diminishing supplies of medical equipment and protective gear, Walden said at an afternoon press conference at the Jackson County Health & Human Services building in Medford. READ MORE HERE.

KTVL: Walden Holds Roundtable/Press Conference on Coronavirus

KMVU: Walden Holds Roundtable/Press Conference on Coronavirus

KDRV: Walden Holds Roundtable/Press Conference on Coronavirus

KOBI: Walden Holds Roundtable/Press Conference on Coronavirus

KOBI: Walden Holds Town Hall, Discusses Coronavirus

KMVU: Walden Holds Town Hall, Discusses Coronavirus