President Donald Trump today declared “a major disaster exists” in Hawaii due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ordered federal assistance to supplement the state’s current efforts.
The declaration covers the state from Jan. 20, when the pandemic began, and continuing. Federal funding will be available to the state and eligible local governments, along with certain private nonprofit organizations, for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19, the White House said.
The Department of Homeland Security has named Robert J. Fenton as the federal coordinating officer for recovery operations in Hawaii. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested and warranted, according to the White House.
After the declaration was announced, U.S. Sen.Mazie K. Hirono said in a statement, “Combating the coronavirus pandemic will require us to marshal resources at the federal, state, and county level. Today’s approval of the federal disaster declaration will unlock crucial federal resources to assist our state and county governments as they work to contain this growing threat.”