On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida will receive almost $252 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse expenses related to efforts against the coronavirus.
DeSantis said FEMA will cover 75 percent of the state’s expenses from March 13 through the end of April, covering $251,901,828 of the total $335,869,104. March 13 was the day when President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic to be a national emergency.
“Florida’s targeted and data-driven approach to fighting COVID-19 and our actions to protect the most vulnerable have flattened the curve in Florida,” said DeSantis on Wednesday. “These additional federal funds will further our efforts to expedite critical projects as we move forward our safe, smart, step-by-step plan for Florida’s recovery. I thank the president, FEMA and the many hard-working health care workers and first responders who have responded swiftly and appropriately to the challenges presented by this pandemic.”
“Never before has our nation seen a time when all 50 states had a disaster declaration from FEMA, and so we knew how critical it would be to work closely with our federal partners and get these requests in early,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Jared Moskowitz. “We strategically submitted large projects to be expedited, allowing Florida to receive one of the largest awards so far in the country. Receiving this funding today is a huge win, and I’m thankful to FEMA for their support.”
“Over the last few months Florida has taken unprecedented actions to protect the health and safety of its residents during the coronavirus pandemic,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “This funding will help the state as it continues to recover and prepares for the next disaster.”
The funds will come through FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant program. The governor’s office offered some information on how the costs the state will be reimbursed for.
“In response to COVID-19, Florida activated its Emergency Operations Center, provided training to personnel, purchased and delivered critical medical supplies such as N95 masks, medical gowns and latex gloves to hospitals and first responders. Additionally, the state augmented medical staffing, purchased ventilators and increased law enforcement presence at testing sites and hospitals. This funding also reimburses the state for emergency protective measures which include meals for emergency workers and the purchase and distribution of food, water and ice,” the governor’s office noted.
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