Governor Brown Seeking More from Federal Government than Disaster Declaration

President Donald Trump on Sunday approved Oregon’s request for a federal disaster declaration. It was an “important first step,” according to Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, but she says much more is needed.

“This is far from everything Oregon needs from the federal government to actively and effectively combat this crisis,” the governor said. “We have a number of significant requests pending with the federal government, first and foremost Oregon’s request for more personal protective equipment from the national stockpile.”

The state had also requested individual assistance for all Oregon counties and tribes — including child care assistance, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster legal services and disaster unemployment assistance for Oregonians.

“That request is still also pending, and would provide significant relief to Oregon families if approved,” Brown said. “This is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands a coordinated national response, backed by the full resources of the federal government.”

She said she will continue to work with the White House and Oregon’s congressional delegation to “fight for access to every tool available to keep Oregonians safe from COVID-19.”

The Major Disaster Declaration by President Trump, retroactive to January 20, allows for the activation of FEMA’s Public Assistance program for reimbursements of emergency actions taken by state, territorial, tribal, and local government entities, as well as certain non-profit organizations.

The declaration covers expenditures related to the management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety; emergency operation and coordination costs; disinfection of eligible public facilities; medical sheltering; and the purchase and distribution of food, water, medicine and other consumable supplies, including PPE.

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