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Oregon officials propose a permanent mask mandate

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With current COVID-19 regulations in Oregon set to expire on May 4, one proposal is pushing to reinstate mask mandates forever.

The mandate would be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

Administrator of Oregon’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Michael Wood, brought the proposal to light. He argues it is necessary so mandates don’t expire.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Woods said.

Many in the state are opposed to the idea, including Republican State Sen. Kim Thatcher.

“When will masks be unnecessary? What scientific studies do these mandates rely on, particularly now that the vaccine is days away from being available to everyone?” said Thatcher. “Businesses have had to play ‘mask cop’ for the better part of a year now. They deserve some certainty on when they will no longer be threatened with fines.”

The New York Post reports that the department has received a record number of responses and a petition against the idea has nearly 60,000 signatures.

Read the full article here.

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TN Republican introduces legislation to fight opioid shipments into U.S.

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Tennessee Republican Representative Diana Harshbarger is attempting to fight the opioid crisis and epidemic through new legislation. Introduced Friday, Harshbarger told the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, which addresses what Harshbarger calls a “loophole.” The legislation amends the Controlled Substances Act to specifically require registrants to investigate reports of suspicious orders of controlled substances and halt them if necessary. Under the version of the act currently in force, drug manufacturers and distributors are only required to report suspicious orders of opioids and other controlled substances to the DEA.

“Breaking the opioid epidemic’s stranglehold on our nation is one of my foremost priorities. In an effort to do so, my colleagues and I have identified a loophole that allows distributors to continue order fulfillment, even under suspicious circumstances.”

“My bill closes that loophole with the requirements and guardrails needed to ensure these addictive and potentially dangerous drugs do not fall into the wrong hands while the DEA investigates. The future of our nation depends on us solving the addiction crisis, and this is a step towards that outcome” Harshbarger continued.

The Daily Caller reports:

According to a congressional report released in September, the opioid crisis cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC says 93,331 people died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, the highest in 50 years. Opioid-related deaths made up nearly three-quarters of the total.

Pharmaceutical companies have been blamed for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The Department of Justice is currently suing the pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen over allegations the company failed to report suspicious orders of opioids to federal law enforcement.

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