President Trump has declared both Texas and Florida as “major disaster areas,” which means they will be entitled to immediate Federal funds to help combat COVID-19 in their respective states.
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.
As of this writing 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.
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.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the declaration will pave the way for access to additional federal resources.
“GREAT NEWS,” he tweeted. “President Trump just granted a Major Disaster Declaration for Texas. This will expand the resources available to Texas & speed our ability to robustly respond to #coronavirus.”
The World Health Organization has said the US still has time to avoid becoming the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Late last week, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris encouraged the US to change its course, with the help of health experts.
Harris praised the US healthcare 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.”