FLINT, Mich - Early Saturday morning President Donald Trump announced he approved Governor Gretchen Whitmer's request for a disaster declaration for the state.
With the approval, Michigan will now be open to federal aid to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last few days, Governor Whitmer and President Trump have been exchanging words on Twitter and on television.
“This is a good start, and it will help us protect Michiganders and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “I’m hopeful that the president will review my request for individual assistance programs that would provide meals to families who need them and rental assistance and temporary housing for families. I look forward to the federal government’s continued partnership as we work to fight this virus.”
The Crisis Counseling Program is a direct-support program to provide services for those whose mental health has been impacted by the spread of COVID-19. The federal government also granted the governor’s request for emergency protective measures, including funding for transporting and pre-positioning equipment, Emergency Operation Center (EOC)-related costs, medical supplies and personal protective equipment, medical care and transport, and childcare. The governor’s request for Hazard Mitigation assistance to help provide relief during planning for recovery in the long-term is currently under review.
While the relief package approved by congress on Friday will provide relief in some of the requested areas of individual assistance, including Unemployment Insurance Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programming (D-SNAP) under the Stafford Act, FEMA can also provide aid in these areas where they do not overlap with existing programs. Michigan requested assistance for both Disaster Unemployment Assistance and D-SNAP that have not yet been approved.