Updates from Congressman Ted Lieu - 4/3/20 - Community Support Resources
On Wednesday, I hosted a telephone town hall with CA-33 constituents regarding the coronavirus crisis. We discussed the bipartisan stimulus law and how individuals and businesses can seek economic relief. If you didn’t get the chance to join the call, you can listen to the full audio here.
During these difficult times, we must continue to work together to support our community. I’ve compiled a few resources to guide you to ways you can safely help people in need during this crisis.
As the coronavirus pandemic grows, more scheduled blood drives in our community have been cancelled due to concerns about congregating in workplaces, college campuses and schools. These cancellations have resulted in severe blood shortages, making victims of accidents or people recovering from cancer especially vulnerable without the help of lifesaving blood. The American Red Cross is urging those who are young, healthy and able to donate blood. To find information on where you can safely donate blood, click here.
In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, California is opening new health care sites to treat those affected. To ensure these sites are properly staffed, the state is calling on medical health professionals to join the California Health Corps and help fight this illness. If you are a health care provider, behavioral health professional or health care administrator, click here to sign up. I am incredibly grateful for the tireless work of our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are going above and beyond to help our community during this crisis. I encourage you to find a way to thank healthcare workers in our community for their bravery and heroism on the front lines of this fight.
Another way to help our healthcare workers is to make sure they're protected. If you want to donate or know of businesses that may be able to help with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as surgical masks, N95 face masks, face shields, and other medical supplies, contact the LA County Department of Public Health by emailing medsupply@dhs.
Whether you're a healthcare professional or not, this is a stressful and uncertain time for all of us. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, please call the LA County Department of Mental Health 24/7 Access Line at (800) 854-7771 to talk to someone. You can also text “LA” to 741741. Although we are physically apart, we can continue to be there for one another as we navigate through this crisis.
For help with the following, please call:
- General information about COVID-19: (833) 544 – 2374
- Community services and support: 211
- Medicine and medical attention: your healthcare provider or pharmacy
- An Emergency: 911
I also recognize how challenging this situation can be for parents and caretakers with children at home. For tips on how to talk to kids about COVID-19 and other family resources, visit First 5 California.
To find more ways to get involved and safely help our community during this difficult time, click here. As always, you can visit my coronavirus webpage for updates and resources on COVID-19. You can also visit the California COVID-19 webpage and the LA County COVID-19 webpage. Together we will slow the spread of coronavirus if we continue to practice social distancing, wash our hands, and stay at home except when performing essential activities. I look forward to updating you again soon.
Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress
During this pandemic, I intend to keep updating you with the latest information on the coronavirus. My top priority is your health and safety, and that of the community. On Tuesday, I hosted a telephone town hall with public health experts who answered many questions about COVID-19, how it spreads, and what we can do to manage it. I also updated constituents on the work being done in Congress to mitigate the potential long-term economic effects this crisis will have on American lives. To listen to our full discussion, click here.
As you may know, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles County, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti have issued Stay at Home orders. It is imperative that we comply with these orders to prevent the virus from spreading. In general, this means people should stay home except when performing essential activities such as buying food, caring for a relative or friend, getting necessary health care, or going to an essential job. If you leave your home, you must continue to practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet of separation between you and another person. All bars and nightclubs, restaurants (except for take-out and delivery services), gyms, entertainment venues and other establishments will remain closed to the public until further notice. To find more information about the specific provisions of the Stay at Home orders, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/ and https://corona-virus.la/.
Congress has been working hard to provide relief for families and workers impacted by the coronavirus. On Wednesday, the House-passed coronavirus relief package was finally signed into law. The package includes provisions such as free coronavirus testing, more funding for unemployment insurance and paid emergency leave for workers at small and medium sized businesses. This is in addition to the bipartisan legislation Congress passed two weeks ago for billions for vaccine research, small business loans and testing. However, more needs to be done to curb the impact that this virus will have. I am currently working with House Leadership on a third bill to provide economic stimulus and immediate relief to Americans who are now unemployed or underemployed because of this pandemic.
This week, I also sent two letters to Vice President Pence, chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, requesting that the Administration outline its plan to address critical shortages in personal protective equipment for first responders and healthcare providers, and shortages of the chemical reagents needed to conduct coronavirus testing. Earlier this month I co-signed a letter to the President requesting that he use the Defense Production Act to get the equipment and materials we need to combat the spread of coronavirus. I am grateful the President agreed to do so today.
While our community's health and safety is my top concern, I am also aware of another threat related to COVID-19 that could disrupt lives and cause financial damage. During times of crisis - particularly public health emergencies - there is always an increase in phishing scams and cyberattacks by hackers exploiting confusion and fear. Now more than ever, we must practice good "cyber hygiene" by following these steps from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
1. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
2. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the actual websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
3. Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no approved vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products that can treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
4. Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
Below are several trustworthy sources where up-to-date information can be found:
- My website: https://lieu.house.gov/
- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: http://publichealth.lacounty.
- The California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
Your actions during this unprecedented crisis affect the health of others in our community. Remember to keep practicing good hygiene by washing your hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or preferably a tissue, and staying home as much as possible. Because this virus can be spread by people who have no symptoms, the best course of action is to continue to put six feet of distance between you and others. Although we are facing challenging times, I am confident we can get ahead of this virus if we continue to work together.
Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress