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Trump approves Major Disaster Declaration for California over COVID-19

(Xinhua)    12:58, March 23, 2020

LOS ANGELES, March 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump has approved California's request for a presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the most populous U.S. state's COVID-19 emergency response efforts, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Sunday.

The announcement came hours after Newsom sent a letter to Trump to request the action in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Earlier today we requested a presidential Major Disaster Declaration and this afternoon we got it," said Newsom in a statement. "The declaration will supplement our state's comprehensive COVID-19 surge planning and make vital resources available."

"We appreciate the quick response and partnership from the White House," he added.

The governor noted in his letter that "unfortunately, California has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19."

"Besides California being home to nearly 40 million people, which itself poses significant logistical issues few other states face, California partnered with the federal government in several extremely complex and challenging repatriation missions, which strained California's resources and impacted California's healthcare delivery system," Newsom wrote in the letter, adding that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in the state day by day.

"The crisis is having wide-ranging impacts on families, communities, and in every sector of California public and private life," he explained.

The Major Disaster Declaration enables individual assistance programs to assist those affected by the outbreak and lessen its economic impacts, according to a statement of Newsom's office.

It allows for additional assistance, including but not limited to mass care and emergency assistance, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster unemployment assistance, disaster legal services and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Newsom issued a Stay-at-Home order last week, asking all Californians to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to head out.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Liang Jun)

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