A Major Disaster Declaration has been issued for New York by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The move will unlock access to aid from its Disaster Relief Fund, a critical move as new confirmed coronavirus cases soar in the state.
Medical supplies remain scarce in New York, according to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. Having access to the $42 billion federal fund is a first step toward shoring up supplies.
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“With no time to waste, the administration heeded the call and approved the nation’s first Major Disaster Declaration in response to the coronavirus, right here in New York,” Schumer said in a statement.“With more and more cases confirmed here each day, it’s imperative that the federal government does everything within its power to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.”
The declaration arrives as Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a statewide lockdown that will take effect on Sunday. The move, similiar to orders enacted by the governors of California and Illinois, will order non-essential businesses to close and limit the number of people who can gather. New York now has more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed, with more than 5,000 of them in New York City. 29 deaths in NYC have occurred, and officials fear being overwhelmed if they exponentially increase.
Pres. Trump just approved a major disaster declaration for New York to fight coronavirus.
Sen. @GillibrandNY and I pushed for this!
FEMA needs to get to work NOW to open these MANY billions in direct aid for New York and individuals to help save lives and protect public health.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 20, 2020
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