Katko, Brindisi Lead New York Congressional Delegation in Urging President Trump to Support Major Disaster Declaration in New York

March 18, 2020
Press Release

Katko, Brindisi highlight immediate need for federal resources to support New York’s response to COVID-19.

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – U.S. Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) today led members of New York’s Congressional Delegation in urging the Administration to support a major disaster declaration requested earlier this week by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  

Reps. Katko and Brindisi highlighted the already devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, and asked that the President issue a major disaster declaration as soon as possible.  Katko also echoed the need for urgent action in a call with regional representatives from FEMA, and pushed for federal resources to address the significant strains on the state.

In a letter to President Trump, Reps. Katko, Brindisi, and their colleagues stated, “As of March 18, 2020, there have been 2,382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State across 27 counties and New York City. Recorded cases will soon overwhelm public health resources, with the State’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds currently at 80% capacity. Although resources have been deployed within New York State to increase testing capabilities and increase the availability of telehealth services, the State’s ability to respond effectively is already facing significant strains as confirmed cases rise exponentially.”

Additionally, Reps. Katko, Brindisi and their colleagues noted the imminent and acute threat to New York’s economic security in urging immediate action to grant Governor Cuomo’s request, waive non-federal share requirements, and immediately deploy federal resources to support New York’s response to COVID-19.

The lawmakers were joined by Reps. Meng, Tonko, Higgins, Rice, Rose, Engel, Nadler, Suozzi, Delgado, Stefanik, King, and Zeldin in sending the below letter:

 

March 18, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear President Trump,

On March 16, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially requested that a major disaster declaration be issued for New York State as a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. As Members of Congress representing areas directly impacted by the spread of COVID-19, we urge you to issue such a declaration as soon as possible.

As of March 18, 2020, there have been 2,382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State across 27 counties and New York City. Recorded cases will soon overwhelm public health resources, with the State’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds currently at 80% capacity. Although resources have been deployed within New York State to increase testing capabilities and increase the availability of telehealth services, the State’s ability to respond effectively is already facing significant strains as confirmed cases rise exponentially.

In addition to immediate health concerns, necessary efforts currently underway to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will have severe long-term consequences on New York State’s economy. Disruptions facing our business, government and community activities are likely to continue in the coming weeks, leaving millions of Americans without work and placing a significant strain on public resources. Combined with the challenges already facing municipal budgets statewide, as well as the State’s ongoing recovery from several major disasters in recent years, COVID-19 poses an imminent and acute threat to New York’s economic security.

On behalf of our constituents, including New York State’s families, doctors, first responders, and business owners, we respectfully urge you to grant Governor Cuomo’s request and immediately deploy federal resources to support New York’s response to COVID-19. Additionally, we request that non-federal share requirements be waived for such assistance due to the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact across New York State.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this request.


 

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