Trump signs off on RI’s coronavirus disaster declaration


(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (WPRI) ─ President Donald Trump has approved a coronavirus disaster declaration for Rhode Island, which should free up federal emergency aid to stem the spread of the virus.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said he received word of the declaration on Monday evening from Peter Gaynor, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and former head of the R.I. Emergency Management Agency.

“This disaster declaration recognizes the severity of the crisis Rhode Island is facing and will help the state access additional federal funding,” Reed said in a statement. “It will also allow local governments and non-profit organizations to get federal assistance for community initiatives to provide emergency protective measures”

Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a state of emergency in Rhode Island on March 9. Trump issued a national emergency declaration on March 13 and has since approved disaster declarations for several other states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The order is backdated to Jan. 20.

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