President Donald Trump on Sunday declared that a major disaster exists in Washington, D.C., due to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that allows the city to access federal funds to help the district’s efforts in combatting COVID-19.
The declaration orders federal assistance to aid state, tribal and local recovery efforts. The order is back-dated to Jan. 20 and brings to 18 the number of states with disaster declarations due to the novel coronavirus.
Trump on Sunday also approved major disaster declarations for Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado and Georgia.
Washington, D.C. has 342 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 38 new positive tests Saturday.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week slammed the amount the district was allocated in the latest coronavirus bill, $725 million to $1.25 billion for each of the 50 states.
"It's wrong. It's outrageous," she said during a press conference. "We're not a territory. We pay more taxes — unlike the territories — than 22 states. We have a larger population than several states and we are treated as a state by thousands of federal laws and programs."
She continued, "it's unconscionable to give DC the least amount of funding of any state, especially given the unique challenges we take on as the seat of the federal government."
Bowser on March 11 declared a public health emergency and state of emergency due to coronavirus.
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