PORTLAND, Ore. — President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration to free up federal emergency aid for the state of Oregon, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Sunday morning.
The aid that has been released will supplement efforts by the state, tribal governments, local governments and non-profits in the areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released later in the day, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown called the release of aid "an important first step" but said it's "far from everything Oregon needs from the federal government to actively and effectively combat this crisis."
Brown outlined several important requests that are still pending, including more personal protective equipment from the national stockpile; and assistance for all Oregon counties and tribes in child care, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster legal services and disaster unemployment assistance.
"This is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands a coordinated national response, backed by the full resources of the federal government," Brown said. "I will continue to work with the White House and Oregon's congressional delegation to fight for access to every tool available to keep Oregonians safe from COVID-19."
Michael F. O'Hare is the federal coordinating officer for Oregon. He's also the FEMA regional administrator for Alaska, Idaho and Washington. Trump released federal emergency aid for the state of Washington last Sunday.
The entirety of the press release can be found on the FEMA website.
Here's the full statement from Gov. Brown:
This declaration is an important first step towards unlocking all available federal resources for Oregon’s state, tribal, and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I appreciate the responsiveness of Vice President Pence and federal administration officials to our requests for aid.
However, this is far from everything Oregon needs from the federal government to actively and effectively combat this crisis. We have a number of significant requests pending with the federal government, first and foremost Oregon’s request for more personal protective equipment from the national stockpile.
In addition, a significant part of our disaster declaration request was for individual assistance for all Oregon counties and tribes—including child care assistance, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster legal services, and disaster unemployment assistance for Oregonians. That request is still also pending, and would provide significant relief to Oregon families if approved.
This is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands a coordinated national response, backed by the full resources of the federal government. I will continue to work with the White House and Oregon’s congressional delegation to fight for access to every tool available to keep Oregonians safe from COVID-19.
Today's Major Disaster Declaration by President Trump for the State of Oregon, retroactive to January 20, 2020, allows for the activation of FEMA’s Public Assistance program for reimbursements of emergency actions taken by state, territorial, tribal, and local government entities, as well as certain non-profit organizations.
Organizations eligible for recovery efforts on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures include, but are not limited to:
- Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety;
- Emergency operation and coordination costs;
- Disinfection of eligible public facilities;
- Medical sheltering;
- Purchase and distribution of food, water, medicine and other consumable supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment.