Responding to the crisis

How we can work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge for our country, threatening our health, wellbeing and democracy. Now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that our government has a coordinated, strategic response to safeguard the public’s health, protect consumers from emerging dangers and ensure people can still participate fully in our democracy.

U.S. PIRG has assembled a COVID-19 response team of policy experts, state advocates, organizers and researchers. And we are coordinating the efforts of the PIRGs around the country through our national lobbying office (U.S. PIRG). If we all pull together, we can find concrete ways to protect public health, consumers and our democracy. Here’s how you help:

  • <h4>Comprehensive testing now</h4><p>Our health professionals don’t have enough fast and accurate COVID-19 tests to meet the current crisis, and we’ll need widespread testing to be able to move beyond social distancing. We’re calling on the head of testing to immediately adopt a comprehensive testing plan to meet this need. <a href="https://uspirg.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=37828" style="text-decoration:underline!important;">Take action.</a></p>
  • <h4>Prevent price gouging</h4><p>We need stronger action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent sellers from taking advantage of consumers. <a href="https://uspirg.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=37230" style="text-decoration:underline!important;">Take action.</a></p>
  • <h4>Consumer tips & resources</h4><p>We’ve assembled a set of consumer tips and guides, and will add more in the days and weeks to come. <a href="https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/consumer-tips" style="text-decoration:underline!important;">Learn more.</a></p>
Comprehensive testing now

Our health professionals don’t have enough fast and accurate COVID-19 tests to meet the current crisis, and we’ll need widespread testing to be able to move beyond social distancing. We’re calling on the head of testing to immediately adopt a comprehensive testing plan to meet this need. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Protect healthcare workers now

We’re months into the COVID-19 crisis, and health professionals in some areas of the country still lack the supplies they need to protect themselves and care for patients. That's why we're calling on Congress to immediately pass the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act, which would establish a central, transparent system for procuring and distributing critical medical supplies directly to impacted areas. 

Stronger action needed to prevent price gouging

Some businesses are still significantly inflating prices for critical supplies. We need stronger action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent sellers from taking advantage of consumers.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Share consumer tips & resources

How do you avoid phishing and other online scams? Can you get a refund for travel expenses? How do you protect your credit? We’ve assembled a set of consumer tips and guides, and will add more in the days to come. 


Safely Reopen

Public health experts agree, lifting social distancing orders too soon, or without the proper infrastructure in place could cost us thousands of lives, and prolong the impact of the pandemic. As states reopen, we're calling on Governors to follow the advice of public health experts, like former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, and put in places a set of critical recommendations for how to safely reopen the state. 

Emergency election procedures

No one should have to choose between getting sick and participating in our democracy. To ensure that every eligible voter can safely cast their ballot amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. PIRG is calling on states to adopt emergency universal absentee voting. 


Release ventilator repair information

As the demand for ventilators and equipment used to diagnose and treat COVID-19 rises, we need to make sure equipment is working. We are calling on manufacturers to make all their repair information and service keys available immediately, and recently some manufacturers, including GE and Zoll have responded. We're working to make sure that every ventilator manufacturer gives hospitals what they need.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Protect consumer credit

For many people, whether or not they can pay their bills or meet all of their financial obligations will be out of their control until after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Credit bureaus should stop all negative credit reporting about consumers until the coronavirus pandemic ends and consumers have made it back onto their feet.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Stop bad bailouts

Congress and the president must focus on addressing the urgent health crisis and meeting the immediate needs of Americans — not rushing through hastily drawn-up bailouts to industries that harm our health or are not essential to Americans’ daily lives right now. 


25 things to do at home

Many people across the United States are bracing for weeks of school closures and social distancing and are searching for ways to make the most of this challenging period. To help parents grapple with the new realities of child-rearing during social distancing, we've come up with a list of 25 activities kids can do to make a positive impact from home.


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