March 27, 2020

Massachusetts Delegation Urges Trump Administration to Approve Commonwealth's Request for Federal Disaster Declaration to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic

Massachusetts cities and towns, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations are responding to the pandemic as aggressively as possible, but need additional federal assistance

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led the Massachusetts congressional delegation, including Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Richard E. Neal (D-MA-01), James P. McGovern (D-MA-02), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-08), William Keating (D-MA-09), Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA-04), Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) and Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), in a letter urging the White House to approve the Commonwealth's request for a declaration of a federal major disaster due to the state's outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance (Stafford) Act.

The Commonwealth's request, which includes critical federal assistance such as disaster unemployment assistance and crisis counseling assistance, was made yesterday by Governor Charlie Baker and follows an emergency stay-at-home order and an executive order closing Massachusetts schools.

"As the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19 impacts the entire country, many Massachusetts residents are being forced out of work," the Massachusetts delegation wrote. "These programs are vital for Massachusetts to adequately respond to the economic and health care impacts of pandemic, particularly as the Commonwealth currently needs additional resources and potentially health care infrastructure to meet the state's needs."

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Senator Warren has pressed the Trump Administration to respond effectively to deliver the robust set of resources needed to address this emergency. She recently unveiled detailed plans to increase diagnostic testing nationwide, and sounded the alarm alongside Senator Markey over the Trump Administration's failure to deliver federal support for testing and care in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, she put out a plan for getting relief directly to workers, families, and small businesses, and has fought to prioritize federal aid for keeping workers on payroll and helping hospitals, states and localities respond to the crisis -- before bailing out giant corporations.