The federal government continues taking aggressive and proactive steps to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The health and safety of the American people is our top priority.
We are halfway through 15 Days to Slow the Spread
. Do your part to flatten the curve:
- Stay home as much as much as possible.
- If you need to go out, practice social distancing.
Under the direction of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, FEMA, HHS and our federal partners are working with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to execute a whole of government response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public.
On March 22, President Trump directed the Secretary of Defense to allow the states of California, New York and Washington use of the National Guard in a Title 32 status to support state and local emergency assistance efforts. This allows the governors to activate the National Guard to support their disaster response efforts, on a fully reimbursable basis and under their respective command and control, if that becomes necessary. To date, 8,000 National Guard troops have activated to help with testing and other response efforts. Additional states can request this assistance and those requests will be considered.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of Stafford Act. The President's action cuts red tape and bureaucracy and avoids governors needing to request individual emergency declarations. In addition, the states of New York, Washington and California were approved for major disaster declarations to assist with additional needs identified in these states.
Medical supplies are en route to these states, including respirators, surgical masks and gowns, face shields, coveralls and gloves, with quantities already delivered to Washington and New York. We anticipate additional supplies will be delivered within the next 24 hours. The U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy is en route to Los Angeles to provide additional hospital beds and medical staff because the projected cases there are expected to be greater than Washington. FEMA issued a $350 million Mission Assignment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of alternate care facilities in New York. Four sites have been selected. FEMA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the state of New York to complete the construction of a 1,000-bed medical station at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City to care for patients with special health needs. These medical stations increase local healthcare capabilities and can be tailored to meet local requirements.