Responding to the crisis

How we can work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge for our country, threatening our health, wellbeing and democracy. Now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that our government has a coordinated, strategic response to safeguard the public’s health, protect consumers from emerging dangers and ensure people can still participate fully in our democracy.

U.S. PIRG has assembled a COVID-19 response team of policy experts, state advocates, organizers and researchers. And we are coordinating the efforts of the PIRGs around the country through our national lobbying office (U.S. PIRG). If we all pull together, we can find concrete ways to protect public health, consumers and our democracy. Here’s how you help:

Double the ventilator supply

Experts are predicting a critical shortage of ventilators to deal with the projected number of COVID-19 patients, while still being able to meet the needs of all of the other patients who need ventilators to stay alive. It's time to use federal emergency powers to ramp up ventilator supply so that we can double the available number in the next fourweeks.


Expand COVID-19 testing

We're calling on the new head of the coronavirus testing response to immediately adopt a plan to make sure that everyone who needs a test gets a test. 


Stronger action needed to prevent price gouging

Some businesses are still significantly inflating prices for critical supplies even as more and more governors declare states of emergency over COVID-19. We need stronger action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent sellers from taking advantage of consumers.


Share consumer tips & resources

How do you avoid phishing and other online scams? Can you get a refund for travel expenses? How do you protect your credit? We’ve assembled a set of consumer tips and guides, and will add more in the days to come. 

Emergency election procedures

No one should have to choose between getting sick and participating in our democracy. To ensure that every eligible voter can safely cast their ballot amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. PIRG is calling on states to adopt emergency universal absentee voting. 

Protect consumer credit

For many people, whether or not they can pay their bills or meet all of their financial obligations will be out of their control until after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Credit bureaus should stop all negative credit reporting about consumers until the coronavirus pandemic ends and consumers have made it back onto their feet.


Release ventilator repair information

As the demand for ventilators and equipment used to diagnose and treat COVID-19 rises, we need to make sure equipment is working. We are calling on manufacturers to make all their repair information and service keys available immediately, and we're supporting iFixit's project to catalog repair information.


Stop bad bailouts

Congress and the president must focus on addressing the urgent health crisis and meeting the immediate needs of Americans — not rushing through hastily drawn-up bailouts to industries that harm our health or are not essential to Americans’ daily lives right now. 

Stop reckless deregulation

To prevent economic disaster in the face of the disease's spread, we need strong regulation more than ever — but big banks are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to call for reckless deregulation.


Meeting students' basic needs

Many college students are worried about how campus shutdowns will affect their ability to put food on the table and pay bills. Here are a few of the ways that institutions are stepping up to meet students’ basic needs in this moment of uncertainty.

Freeze student loan repayment

Congress needs to relieve the financial pressures of social distancing so that people don't need to choose between their family's health and paying the bills. Cancelling student loan payments for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic will allow Americans to keep food on the table and stay safe.


25 things to do at home

Many people across the United States are bracing for weeks of school closures and social distancing and are searching for ways to make the most of this challenging period. To help parents grapple with the new realities of child-rearing during social distancing, we've come up with a list of 25 activities kids can do to make a positive impact from home.

Get consumer alerts

Sign up for our consumer alerts, and spread the word about unsafe products and other consumer risks to your friends, family and others.