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Photo: Nathan Howard via Getty Images

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday she is deploying up to 1,500 National Guard troops to support hospitals as Delta continues to reach across the United States.

Why it matters: 733 Oregonians are currently hospitalized with severe cases, including 185 in intensive care, Brown said.

  • The state's health department is looking to provide additional assistance, and the Democratic governor has requested FEMA support and funding.

What she's saying: "I know this is not the summer many of us envisioned, with over 2.5 million Oregonians vaccinated against COVID-19," Brown said in a video message. "The harsh, and frustrating reality is that the Delta variant has changed everything."

  • "I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those who might need emergency or intensive care," she added, urging people to get vaccinated.
  • "Delta is highly contagious, and we must take action."

Worth noting: Brown recently mandated masks in indoor spaces.

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

19 hours ago - Health

Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an "Axios on HBO" interview, said he's reluctant to withhold federal funding from states that won't enforce school mask mandates because he doesn't want to hurt students.

Why it matters: Cardona's comments suggest there are limits to how far the Biden administration will go in pressuring states to adopt universal masking — or vaccine mandates.

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents

Pope Francis. Photo: Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on pharmaceutical companies on Saturday to release patents to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to the poor, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: There is a stark divide between countries that have access to COVID-19 shots and those that don't, and the gap has widened as some wealthier countries have begun distributing third doses.