Trump approves disaster declaration for coronavirus in California
President Trump on Sunday approved a disaster declaration for California over cases of the coronavirus spreading in the state.
A news release Sunday evening from the White House stated that federal funding would be available for state, local and tribal organizations in California as officials attempt to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. More than 1,600 cases have been confirmed in the state.
“The President’s action makes Federal funding available for Crisis Counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of California,” said the release.
“Federal funding is also available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of California impacted by COVID-19,” the White House continued.
At least 30 people have died in the state as California has reported the fourth-highest number of cases among all 50 states, behind only New York, Washington state and New Jersey, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In a letter to Trump this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) predicted that more than half of the state’s nearly 40 million people will be infected within weeks.
That number, a spokesman later explained, was calculated without considering actions taken to mitigate the disease’s spread.
“Governor Newsom has been honest about the threat of the virus and its impact on the health and welfare of Californians,” Jesse Melgar told The Hill. “This projection shows why it’s so critical that Californians take action to slow the spread of the disease – and those mitigation efforts aren’t taken into account in those numbers. The state is deploying every resource at its disposal to meet this challenge, and we continue to ask for the federal government’s assistance in this fight.”