By Associated Press • 

Brown criticizes Trump administration over mask production woes

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday slammed the Trump administration for its failure to provide companies that want to make respirator masks and ventilators with a guarantee of liability protection.

Oregon companies have the capability to start making respirator masks immediately, but are hesitant to do so because they could face liability issues without federal action to protect them, she said on a conference call with reporters.

Brown said she planned to speak with Vice President Mike Pence later Wednesday, said the federal government has told governors to buy their own supplies on the open market, and now states are competing for critical items.

“If these resources were available on the commercial market, I would have bought them,” she said. "This outrageous lack of action will result on lost lives, including our health care workers, and it’s completely unacceptable.”

At least eight people have died from COVID-19 in Oregon and there are more than 200 confirmed cases. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

 

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