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Gov. Brown delivers 2021 State of the State address

The speech comes as the state continues to face unique struggles due to the pandemic, social unrest, and the wildfires that happened the past fall.

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 1:08 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2021 2:58 PM

SALEM, Ore. -- Gov. Kate Brown delivered the 2021 State of the State address on Thursday.

The speech comes as the state continues to face unique struggles due to the pandemic, social unrest, and the wildfires that happened the past fall.

It was one year ago today that Gov. Brown established an incident management team to prepare for COVID-19 to arrive in Oregon. Brown said she knew the state had to be prepared.

The speech detailed the state's response to the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 and what came next, including the release of the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance.

Brown also touched on the protests that took place over the summer. She said people of color are disproportionately affected by the struggles the state is facing.

"We must recognize that going back to the ‘way things were’ will not move us forward. Every difficult turn of this past year has only proven this point, further exacerbating existing disparities for Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and Tribal communities,” said Governor Brown. “The first step to creating opportunity is recognizing that racism is endemic to our systems, impacting every part of our culture and our economy. I am committed to ensuring that the world we build as we emerge from this last year is a more equitable one.”

When fires swept through the state in September 2020, entire towns were wiped off the map, Brown said. Nine people died, and more than 4,000 homes were lost.

The second wave of the pandemic hit last fall, just as the state was reeling from the recent wildfires.

Dr. Antwon Chavis, a pediatrician at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s hospital, spoke to the challenges that Oregon children in particular have faced due to those events.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge that comprehensive distance learning is not working for a lot of kiddos, and it’s not a long-term solution for our kids,” said Dr. Chavis. “As pediatricians, we can all think of examples of children that are having to log in to distance learning from the parking lots of their school because they don’t have high-speed internet at home, or kids with ADHD or Autism that just are not able to engage with a computer screen all day long."

"We have families that are refugee families, with single parents, and the children aren’t able to engage in their own distance learning and understanding of the education system, and the parents can’t help them either because of language barriers," Chavis continued. "The pandemic overall is disproportionately impacting families of color, and I am worried because I feel we are at significant risk of really widening the racial disparity of educational outcomes.”

Brown compared Oregon's efforts to a marathon, saying that we're not in a race against others, but ourselves and time. While we can see the finish line, the race is far from over, the governor added.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
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