March 22, 2020
Contact: Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division
Federal Government Continues to Support Response to COVID-19
“The whole of government and the whole community is involved in the fight against COVID-19. We will prevail, but it will take government, the private sector and individual Americans working together.” – FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor
The federal government continues taking aggressive and proactive steps to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The health and safety of the American people are our top priority. FEMA is leading federal operations on behalf of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which oversees the whole-of-government response to the pandemic. As part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, HHS continues providing their subject matter expertise as the nation’s pre-eminent public health responders.
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. The nationwide emergency declaration increases federal support to the White House Task Force as it leads the ongoing federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to this declaration, FEMA, in coordination with HHS, is assisting state, local, tribal, territorial governments, and other eligible entities, with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories and one tribe are working directly with FEMA under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19. On March 20, 2020, President Trump declared a major disaster declaration for the State of New York making federal funding available for crisis counseling services in addition to emergency protective measures.
To help the American public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to COVID-19, FEMA has created a Rumor Control page on FEMA.gov. The public can help control the spread of rumors by sharing our page: fema.gov/coronavirus.
FEMA and our interagency partners are working to meet demands for personal protective equipment (PPE) through new acquisition, DOD allocation or Strategic National Stockpile sources.
Every American has a role to play. Consider donating cash, giving blood or volunteering your time to help fight COVID-19.
Please see attached for updated information on FEMA’s response efforts, including eligibility under the National Emergency Declaration, How To Help, Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS) and the Defense Production Act.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.
FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during and after disasters.
Follow FEMA online, on Twitter @FEMA or @FEMAEspanol, on FEMA’s Facebook page or Espanol page and at FEMA’s YouTube account. Also, follow Administrator Pete Gaynor’s activities @FEMA_Pete.