Canby’s state representative is pushing back on Governor Kate Brown’s latest clamp-down on restaurants and other businesses amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations — as well as statewide Covid-19 mandates that are set to become permanent.
Christine Drazan, House minority leader and Republican state representative for Canby and the surrounding areas, released a statement Tuesday saying the blame for rising case numbers lies with Brown and decisions she made regarding the vaccine rollout — and not with the small businesses who are being forced to bear the brunt of the consequences.
“Fifteen Oregon counties entering ‘extreme risk’ is the result of inadequate vaccine access for the past two months,” said Drazan. “Our businesses allow people to gather in places with standardized safety measures. We shouldn’t shut them down. They are doing everything they can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 under existing rules.”
Drazan also intimated Brown was guilty of inconsistent messaging, giving dire warnings about overwhelmed hospitals and enforcing new restrictions, while at the same time promising health and safety restrictions could be lifted as early as June if more Oregonians get vaccinated.
Despite opening vaccine eligibility to all Oregonians over the age of 16, booking an appointment has proven difficult in some areas that Drazan says, based on reporting by The Oregonian, received disproportionately lower vaccine supplies than others.
She also faulted Brown for her controversial decision to put educators ahead of seniors and others known to be more vulnerable to serious complications or death from the coronavirus.
Drazan insisted Brown and the Democrat-controlled Legislature do more for struggling business owners impacted by the Covid-related shut-downs than the $20 million in emergency commercial rent relief that was announced this week for eligible businesses in extreme risk counties.
“They need more than nominal rent assistance,” Drazan said. “More one-time federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act should be used to expand on this relief to preserve our main streets and protect jobs.”
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