**Announcement Follows Calls from Shaheen & others in Congress to Grant Disaster Declarations to Provide Emergency Funds to Aid State and Local Government Coronavirus Response**
**Shaheen Has Been Sounding the Alarm on the Need for a Comprehensive Response to the Spread of the Coronavirus**
(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of the Coronavirus:
“This declaration is the right call as it will allow the federal government to immediately implement emergency measures to respond to this crisis and free up significant federal funding to help New Hampshire and other states,” said Shaheen. “Time is of the essence. As a nation, we need to continue to use every tool at our disposal to respond to this public health emergency. I’m urging all levels of government to work on a bipartisan basis to protect public health, and assist working families and small businesses.”
On Wednesday, Shaheen joined a group of Senators urging the President to immediately consider any disaster declaration requests so states can utilize the $42.6 billion currently available in the Disaster Relief Fund in their efforts to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus and protect public health. The Senators wrote that as the number of confirmed cases increases across the United States, the Trump administration must employ a whole-of-government approach, including the use of un-tapped Disaster Relief Fund money, and close collaboration with state, local and tribal officials to provide necessary resources to those on the frontlines. This declaration under the Stafford Act will also provide authority for the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive certain interstate physician licensure rules and other requirements that prevent health care providers from being able to be nimble and fast-acting in their response to the Coronavirus.
Shaheen has been sounding the alarm on the need for additional federal funding and access to public information in preparation for the spread of the Coronavirus. This week, Shaheen urged Trump administration officials to provide necessary support to students and workers impacted by the Coronavirus. Shaheen supported bipartisan government funding legislation to help states’ response efforts, which was recently signed into law. Also earlier this week, the CDC disbursed the $4.9 million in funds for New Hampshire included in that funding package. Further, Shaheen joined a group of 25 Senators earlier this month, calling on the National Security Council (NSC) to address and coordinate administration efforts in response to the Coronavirus and other global health security threats.