Dear fellow business owners,

My name is Bodie C. Bemrose, and I’m a commercial and residential landlord in Polk and Clackamas counties of Oregon. We are profoundly grateful for the 35 of you that make our historic Main Street buildings your home of business. Our communities cannot afford to lose you.

On Dec. 23, the Polk County Commissioners released a statement to reopen our businesses. They support the common-sense plan submitted by the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) that was presented to our Oregon Governor, Kate Brown. I wholeheartedly support our Polk County Commissioner’s leadership in this charge. I encourage all of you to reopen your businesses on Jan. 1, and I urge a display of real leadership and courage from our elected local leaders to support you in opening as well — you have suffered enough.

I commend individuals like Stan Pulliam, the Mayor of Sandy, Oregon, who has been in the forefront standing up and fighting for your rights. I hope our local mayors, city council members, and state leaders will join us in reopening our communities throughout Oregon — immediately.

If you have been affected and are apprehensive about having the courage to open, please consider the following when making your decision. We face death every day. But the death of your business is far more real and likely than dying by COVID-19. Know the statistical facts. We could save more lives by lowering the Interstate Highway speed limit to 20 MPH, but we would never do that. Yet this is exactly what they’ve done to us, and it’s lunacy!

By using simple math (5th grade equivalent), you will discover that the county, state and nation’s statistics reveal the following conclusions about COVID-19:

• COVID-19 survival rate for the general population is 99.7%.

• According to the CDC in 2017, Americans had a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying of the seasonal flu who got it. COVID-19 data shows the same probability for the entire USA population — 1 in 994 chance. In 2017, we did not close our schools, we did not shut down our economy, and we did not quarantine. Why not?

• Of the total cases in Oregon, the average age of those who have died from COVID-19 is over the age of 82. Polk County’s average age of death labeled as COVID-19 is 85 years old.

• 90% of all COVID-19 death’s in Polk County have occurred in the age group of 80 years and older.

• 91% of all COVID-19 cases have occurred between the ages of 1 to 70 years old. The age group of 70 and older makes up only 9% of the total cases. Yet this age group (above retirement age) accounts for 99% of all deaths claimed are due to COVID-19. Bear in mind that those who died also had underlying conditions that contributed to their death.

When the increases in suicide death is accounted for, and increased death-toll due to the inability to receive preventive medical treatments, the reality of what our governor has done is appalling. Due to Kate Brown’s quarantine mandate and forced economic shut-down, our governor and those who have benefited from the lock downs, have blood on their hands. It is being revealed to us that Governor Brown has made grave errors that have cost us a lot more than just money. These fatal mistakes, including the closing of our children’s schools, will only be paid by you and our children — unless we act now.

As a business owner, you have developed survival skills that has kept you in business. But having a governor forcibly shut you down was never in the cards. Gov. Kate Brown shut you down, and we need to hold her and those who force us to stay closed responsible. In the meantime, we are moving on with our lives to support our families, our employees and especially the elderly who rely on us to be at work. It is you, the small business owner and your valuable employees that keeps the heartbeat of our community alive.

Many businesses that were succeeding before the shutdown need to grow and expand their operations. Life is for the living, and we are getting back to work. Please join us and turn on your open sign.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on the streets again to shop at your business.

— Bodie C. Bemrose

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