Whitmer submits disaster declaration request to President Trump

Posted at 7:49 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 09:34:22-04

(WXYZ) — “This crisis is ramping up exponentially,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer, after she officially called on President Trump for a major disaster declaration in Michigan.

“This will help us provide meals to families who need them, it would help us provide rental assistance, and temporary housing to families,” said Whitmer.

The Governor says it would also help the state provide counseling and therapy for families devastated by covid19.

“It would also provide additional capacity in our state, in the event we need to quickly set up field hospitals, or other facilities. I’m hopeful that the president will grant my request for major disaster declaration in full,” said Whitmer.

Whitmer has now signed several executive orders, including extending the deadline for counties to complete the canvass of the March 10th primary vote.

She also signed an order that allows pharmacists to dispense emergency prescription refills for up to 60 days worth of supply for patients that insurers must cover.

And the Governor reminding Michiganders that her stay at home order is not a request, it’s the only way to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“It doesn’t mean inviting 10 of your closest friends over for dinner, or hosting a party at your house,” said Whitmer. “If we don’t all do our part, more people are going to get sick. And more people are going to die, and this will go on longer than it needs to .”

Whitmer is also calling on businesses to comply with that order as well.

“If you’re not a life sustaining business, you’re in violation of the law, and you’re needlessly exposing your employees to covid19. You’re needlessly endangering our communities by putting more pressure on a healthcare system that is very close to the maximum already, and risking your business license and fines,” said Whitmer.

7 Action News reached out to the White House to find out how soon Mr. Trump will grant Whitmer’s request. A White House spokesman did not give us a timeline but said the president wrote in a letter on March 13: “I encourage all governors and tribal leaders to consider requesting Federal assistance under this provision of the Stafford Act, pursuant to the statutory criteria. I stand ready to expeditiously consider any such request.”

So far, these states have received disaster declarations from the White House to COVID-19 federal support:

  • March 26th - Missouri, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey
  • March 25th - North Carolina, Florida, Texas
  • March 24th - Louisiana, Iowa
  • March 22nd - California, State of Washington
  • March 20th - New York

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