Texas and Florida latest to declare ‘major virus disasters’ with more than 125MILLION in emergency zones – The Sun

TEXAS and Florida are the latest of six states to declare “major virus disasters” – meaning 125 million are now living in emergency zones.

New York, California, Washington state and Louisiana have also been branded "disasters" as the US death toll soared past 860.

Gov. Greg Abbott said today's declaration will expand resources available to Texas as well as its ability to "robustly respond" to COVID-19,

"GREAT NEWS. President Trump just granted a Major Disaster Declaration for Texas," he wrote.

"This will expand the resources available to Texas & speed our ability to robustly respond to #coronavirus."

The approval comes a day after Abbott wrote a letter to the president requesting additional help from the federal government to save lives and protect residents from the outbreak that has killed more than 800 in the US.

"Texas is all-in on our response to COVID-19 and we need Washington's financial assistance to support our efforts to limit the spread of the virus," he said in a statement Tuesday.

The state's coronavirus-related expenses have already exceeded $50 million, so "additional funding is essential for us to maintain our aggressive course of action to protect our state," Abbott said.

He said Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the state $36.9 million as part of its initial allotted funding from the first emergency COVID-19 bill passed by Congress.

The White House announced Florida will receive additional FEMA assistance after being declared a "major disaster" for coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon.

More than 125 million residents in all six states are living in emergency zones, meaning that they are highest at risk of contracting the virus.

A major disaster declaration gives states access to federal assistance programs for individual and public infrastructure, including money for emergency and permanent work, according to the Alabama Statesman.

Trump approved the disaster declarations for Washington state and New York on Sunday as more than 100 million Americans were told to "stay home".

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