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Sens. Moran, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Protect Consumers From Injuries and Deaths During Coronavirus Pandemic

Requires comprehensive study on injuries and deaths caused by consumer products during the coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) – chairman and member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection – introduced the COVID-19 Home Safety Act, legislation to protect consumers from injuries and deaths related to consumer products during the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent reports indicate that pediatricians and emergency room doctors have seen an increase in patients seeking treatment for home injuries, such as broken bones on bikes and trampolines as well accidental hand sanitizer poisoning in children. The COVID-19 Home Safety Act requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to study injuries and deaths caused by consumer products during the coronavirus pandemic. The study will examine products and evaluate the impact of these injuries on members of vulnerable groups—including children, minorities, seniors and people with disabilities. This bill also directs the CPSC to collaborate with the media to distribute information, such as the CPSC’s Home Safe Checklists, to help improve home safety during the pandemic.

"The daily lives of Americans have changed significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic," Sen. Moran said. "Recent reports of increased injuries, particularly to children, minorities, seniors, and people with disabilities, caused by consumer products is concerning, and this legislation would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to provide a comprehensive assessment of safety issues under its jurisdiction to determine future federal action."

"As we continue to confront the coronavirus pandemic, American families should not also have to worry about the safety of products in their own homes,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “This legislation will help protect our children, seniors and other vulnerable populations from injuries and deaths caused by consumer products during and after the pandemic.” 

Companion legislation led in the House by U.S. Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), passed the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in September. The bill is endorsed by Consumer Reports, National Consumers League, the Consumer Federation of America and Kids in Danger.

"American families are facing a multitude of difficulties during this pandemic—from unemployment to child care concerns. While we work to address all challenges that arise, we must also specifically address the very real problems of consumer safety and home injuries brought upon by COVID-safety restrictions," Congressman Tony Cárdenas said. "As Americans spend more time at home, we cannot ignore the child-safety risks that certain consumer products pose. This bipartisan bill will require that these issues be studied, so lawmakers can take appropriate measures to protect American consumers and children by preventing future injuries.”

"Understanding the full impact of COVID-19, including its effects on consumer safety and home injuries, is critical to protecting public health during this pandemic," Congressman Rodney Davis said. "I’d like to thank Senators Klobuchar and Moran for introducing the bipartisan COVID-19 Home Safety Act in the Senate. It is my hope that both chambers of Congress pass this important legislation in the coming weeks so we can take appropriate action to keep American families safe."

As a Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Sen. Moran has been a leader in the fight to protect consumers, especially children and seniors, during the coronavirus pandemic.

In July, Sens. Moran and Klobuchar led a letter urging the FTC to protect seniors from contact tracing scams following reports that scammers were posing as contact tracers in an attempt to financially exploit consumers and steal their personal identifying information, such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers. The letter also urged the FTC to commit to taking action to better educate and assist seniors in recognizing legitimate contact tracing and understanding their recourse options should they fall victim to these scams.

In May, Sens. Moran and Klobuchar introduced legislation to protect seniors from scams during the coronavirus pandemic. The Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act directs the Federal Trade Commission to report to Congress on scams targeting seniors during the coronavirus pandemic and make recommendations on how to prevent future scams during emergencies. In March, Klobuchar and Moran led a bipartisan letter with 32 colleagues urging FTC Chairman Joseph Simons to protect seniors from coronavirus-related scams, better inform consumers about scams, and assist victims in understanding their recourse options to ensure that seniors are protected from those attempting to financially exploit them during the pandemic.

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