California seeks 'major disaster' declaration from Trump over coronavirus

Gov. Gavin Newsom asked President Trump on Sunday for a declaration of a “major disaster” in California to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with mass care and emergency assistance, unemployment assistance and disaster legal services, among others.

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“Unfortunately, California has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Newsom wrote to Trump. “Besides California being home to nearly 40 million people, which itself poses significant logistical issues few other states face, California partnered with the federal government in several extremely complex and challenging repatriation missions, which strained California’s resources and impacted California’s healthcare delivery system.”

Newsom noted in the letter that he has issued 10 executive orders in the last week to facilitate a quick response to the outbreak.

“Thank you for recognizing that without the additional resources requested, impacts will be felt throughout the nation, as well as around the world, and thank you for your concern and leadership during this difficult time in our state,” Newsom’s letter concluded.


President Trump said he received California’s disaster declaration request, which he expects to sign shortly.

Trump also said he’s signed paperwork so that the federal government will pay for National Guard deployments in California, Washington and New York.

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The National Guard will remain under control of state governments, but the federal government will cover the costs.


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