COVID-19

In the spring, we shut down our lives and our economy in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19 enough to be able to manage it through widespread testing and contact tracing. In spite of that shutdown, today the virus is raging virtually uncontrolled. We didn’t stick with it until the job was done.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

TexPIRG statement on Gov. Abbott’s reopening announcement

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is slowing the reopening of non-essential businesses because the positivity rate of COVID-19 infection across the state is still too high. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19, Democracy

This week in COVID-19 voting news

U.S. PIRG and its state affiliates are working to make sure every eligible American voter has the ability to participate in democracy, even during a pandemic. We’re calling on states to start preparing now to ensure safe elections in November, including emergency expansion of vote by mail, sanitized and socially-distant polling places and other measures. This weekly update highlights the work we’re doing on the COVID-19 voting front, and other important developments in the news.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

New Zealand’s leaders make the right decisions again on COVID-19

New Zealand reported on Tuesday its first locally acquired coronavirus cases in more than 100 days. In response, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately implemented new restrictions for the surrounding area, ordering non-essential businesses to close and people to stay home unless they need to conduct essential activities such as grocery shopping. 

News Release | COVID-19

New Senate Right to Repair bill to reduce barriers to fixing medical equipment including ventilators

Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) introduced the Critical Medical Infrastructure Right-to-Repair Act in an online press conference with U.S. PIRG on Thursday. The bill would remove manufacturer-imposed barriers to fixing medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing much-needed help to biomedical repair technicians (also known as biomeds).

Disinfecting your home or building safely during COVID-19

Whether you operate a business, a church, a school or another building, you’re probably thinking about ways to disinfect your space to protect people from COVID-19. Likewise, consumers may consider large-scale cleaning if they’re moving into a new home or apartment.

We’ve seen a sudden rise in companies offering these services with the promise of a deep clean. Some have been in the business for a long time; others, like some pest control operators, are newcomers. Companies such as these rely on their spraying equipment to disinfect large areas.

This week in COVID-19 voting news

By | Joe Ready
Director, Democracy for the People Campaign

U.S. PIRG and its state affiliates are working to ensure that every eligible American voter has the ability to participate in democracy, even during a pandemic. We’re calling on states to start preparing now to ensure safe elections in November, including emergency expansion of vote by mail, sanitized and socially-distant polling places and other measures. This weekly update highlights the work we’re doing on the COVID-19 voting front, and other important developments in the news.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

”Shut back down, start over and do it right” movement gains traction

As extensive media coverage has raised awareness of U.S. PIRG’s open letter sent to President Donald Trump and state governors last week, imploring them to shut back down, start over and do it right to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1,000 health professionals have signed the letter in the past week. 

The pandemic is pushing states to make long-needed voting reforms. There's still more to do.

By | Joe Ready
Director, Democracy for the People Campaign

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced many states to make significant changes to their elections in order to protect public health. Remarkably though, even with a dangerous virus that makes any in-person activity at least somewhat risky (e.g., going to a polling place on Election Day), there are states -- both red and blue -- that still haven’t made the necessary changes to let people vote safely. In a country with tremendous technological expertise and a history of innovation, that’s mind-boggling. The policy prescriptions have been right in front of us to offer every American safe, secure and convenient options to vote but powerful inertia, intentional or not, has kept America from modernizing its democracy.

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