Tacoma, WA – Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and the entire Washington state congressional delegation in urging President Trump to issue a major disaster declaration to help address the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state. This declaration would open up a full suite of Individual Assistance Programs as requested by Governor Inslee for Washington state, including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Legal Services, Disaster Care Management, Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program, Individuals and Households Program Assistance, Voluntary Agency Coordination, and Mass Care and Emergency Assistance.
“Taken together, the effects of this virus are unprecedented,” the Delegation wrote. “Governor Inslee and the Washington Emergency Management Division have implemented necessary precautions in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, since this public health crisis began state and local government resources have been overwhelmed. This is unsustainable for our state and highlights why federal support is necessary.”
The Delegation continued: “We fully support Governor Inslee’s request for a major disaster declaration and ask that you grant the full suite of Individual Assistance programs as soon as possible.”
COVID-19 has caused, and continues to cause, unprecedented disruption of normal community functions including lifesaving and life-sustaining services, essential community services, and the overall health and safety of all residents in Washington state. Schools have been closed across the state, impacting students’ access to nutritious meals and more. Additionally, with major employers closing their doors or encouraging employees to work from home, small business, hospitality, and entertainment commerce has dropped precipitously across the state, especially in the Puget Sound region. The additional programs granted to the state under a major disaster declaration would go a significant way towards getting local and state governments the resources they need to meet these challenges.
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