Menendez, NJ Delegation Urge President to Issue Major Disaster Declaration for NJ due to COVID-19

Menendez

Menendez, NJ Delegation Urge President to Issue Major Disaster Declaration for NJ due to COVID-19

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today led a New Jersey congressional delegation letter to President Trump supporting Governor Phil Murphy’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, making the state eligible for more federal resources to combat the growing spread of COVID-19.  There are over 2,800 confirmed coronavirus cases and 27 deaths in New Jersey.

“The federal government needs to provide support for our state and municipalities who have been frontline responders during this difficult time,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Trump.

Despite aggressive steps taken by the state to address the outbreak and mitigate its impact on residents and an overwhelmed health system, the delegation cited testing and protective gear shortages and strains on state and local budgets to confront the health and economic emergency.

“We ask that you approve Governor Murphy’s request, which would make our residents eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA).  Federal funds will allow New Jersey to provide Disaster Unemployment Insurance, Childcare Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance.  These programs, along with others that Governor Murphy officially requested, will help equip New Jersey with the necessary resources to respond to the immediate health pandemic and its corresponding economic impacts,” the letter continued.  “In addition, we call for the approval of Governor Murphy’s request for FEMA Public Assistance programs.  Public Assistance for Emergency Protective Measures, Direct Federal Assistance, and Community Disaster Loans will mitigate the financial burden imposed on state and local governments.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker and U.S. Representatives Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), Jeff Van Drew (N.J.-02), Andy Kim (N.J.-03), Chris Smith (N.J.-04), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06), Tom Malinowksi (N.J.-07), Albio Sires (N.J.-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.-12).

Full text of the letter is below and can be downloaded here:

March 24, 2020

 

President Donald J. Trump

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear President Trump:

 

Governor Murphy has formally requested a Major Disaster Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are writing to urge you to approve this request to ensure New Jersey has the resources it needs to respond to this growing crisis.

 

New Jersey is one of the most impacted states with more than 2,800 confirmed cases as of the date of this letter.  Governor Murphy has taken unprecedented actions to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.  New Jersey has activated its State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to take all necessary actions to curb the pandemic, which has received an overwhelming amount of requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that our state has not been able to keep up with.  This shortfall will jeopardize the ability of healthcare professionals, law enforcement and public safety officials to do their job safely and effectively.  Our state has established two mobile testing sites and is looking to create additional sites but currently lacks the PPE and test kits necessary to meet growing demand.  While New Jersey’s actions have been robust, we anticipate that our state is not through the worst part of this pandemic. 

 

We ask that you approve Governor Murphy’s request, which would make our residents eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA).  Federal funds will allow New Jersey to provide Disaster Unemployment Insurance, Childcare Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance.  These programs, along with others that Governor Murphy officially requested, will help equip New Jersey with the necessary resources to respond to the immediate health pandemic and its corresponding economic impacts.

 

In addition, we call for the approval of Governor Murphy’s request for FEMA Public Assistance programs.  Public Assistance for Emergency Protective Measures, Direct Federal Assistance, and Community Disaster Loans will mitigate the financial burden imposed on state and local governments.  The federal government needs to provide support for our state and municipalities who have been frontline responders during this difficult time.

 

We urge you to promptly approve Governor Murphy’s request a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey. We appreciate your consideration of the request.

 

Sincerely,

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