After numerous attempts for cooperation from the White House, President Donald Trump has approved Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Major Disaster Declaration request. Thus allowing access to resources from the federal stockpile and financial assistance.
Michigan received 112,800 N95 masks this morning from the strategic national stockpile with 8,000 more to come, Whitmer announced in a Tweet Saturday.
“Great news for our health care workers,” read more of the tweet. “We’ll keep working hard along with FEMA and the White House to get more of the PPE we need to keep Michiganders safe.”
This came after a slew of digs from the president to Whitmer throughout this pandemic. Some of the latest happened yesterday in the daily coronavirus task force press conference. Trump said to Vice President Mike Pence, “Don’t call the woman in Michigan.” Adding that he doesn’t believe governors who haven’t been “appreciative” enough of the assistance the federal government has provided should be receiving calls from Pence.
Michigan applied for support in every Individual Assistance and Public Assistance program. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, which has been hitting Michigan particularly hard, the state may now receive aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Additionally, funding was approved for the emergency protective measures and crisis counseling.
“This is a good start, and it will help us protect Michiganders and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer stated in a release. “I’m hopeful that the president will review my request for individual assistance programs that would provide meals to families who need them and rental assistance and temporary housing for families. I look forward to the federal government’s continued partnership as we work to fight this virus.”
Whitmer’s request for funding for emergency protective measures such as the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), medical supplies and protection equipment, medical care and transportation, and childcare was granted by Trump. A request for Hazard Mitigation assistance, which helps to provide relief for long-term recovery, is under review. Additionally, Michigan is still waiting for approval for Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
On Thursday, the governor sent a letter requesting a major disaster declaration to the president. The individual assistance programs that Whitmer requested aid for include, but are not limited to:
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance
- Disaster Crisis Counseling
- Disaster Case Management
- Individuals and Households Program
- Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Disaster Survivor Assistance
- Disaster Legal Services
- Voluntary Agency Coordination
Pending approval, the aforementioned programs would provide direct assistance to Michigan residents. According to a statement, “Disasters hit the most vulnerable first, and the programs were requested to provide relief to the homeless, those looking for legal assistance, the loved ones of individuals lost to COVID-19, those without access to water, and more.”