President Trump Declares Major Disaster In Florida At Urging Of Gov. DeSantis

Mar 25, 2020

President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster exists in Florida, which opens the door to more federal assistance.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote a letter to the president earlier this week, requesting the declaration as the nation tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The president has ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia B. Szczech has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in Florida.

The governor said the virus has already had a "signficant impact" on Florida's economy, writing in the letter that current projections show state coordination and response actions total nearly $209 million. He said that number doesn't include the direct expenses of local governments or businesses.  

At the time of this story’s publication there had been 1,682 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths in Florida.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.