UPDATED 4:00 PM PT — Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Federal funding is headed to Texas and Florida after President Trump approved disaster declarations for both states on Wednesday.
The money will be available for state and local governments, whose economies have been hit hard by the pandemic. It will also make funding available to those who wish to take part in crisis counseling.
A Major Disaster Declaration has been issued for the State of Texas.
The President’s declaration opens up new sources of funding for individual and public assistance that will help Texas respond to this public health emergency and protect public health and safety. pic.twitter.com/PHe2dtKWig
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 25, 2020
There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in each state.
President Trump approved the federal disaster declaration for Florida at the request of Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis recently sent the president a letter, which stated that the coronavirus crisis has had a “drastic effect” on the state’s economy and medical providers.
Thank you, President @realDonaldTrump for approving Florida’s Disaster Declaration which will provide federal funds to help communities recover from the effects of #COVID19. We are prepared for the fight ahead and will come out stronger than ever before. pic.twitter.com/PJXdL687G2
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 25, 2020
According to the Republican governor, the state’s hospitals and first responders are overwhelmed and are facing challenges rarely experienced. The declaration will give Florida access to federal funding and several FEMA programs.
The World Health Organization has said the U.S. still has time to avoid becoming the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris encouraged the U.S. to change its course, with the help of health experts.
Harris praised the U.S. health system and its workers for coming up with innovative, out-of-the-box ideas. She added the formula for success will include testing people, finding and identifying infection, and isolating those who are infected.
“The potential is there, but you’ve still got time to turn it around,” she said. “You’ve got the best public health brains in the world,…you’ve got people who can really think out of the box.”
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