WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared a "major disaster" in Florida, two days after Gov. Ron DeSantis requested that designation because of impacts from the new coronavirus.
The declaration clears the way for the state to receive federal assistance.
In a letter to Trump on Monday, DeSantis wrote that Florida's "hospitals, medical facilities and first responders are facing challenges rarely experienced before."
He said the state has already spent $208 million on related unemployment assistance, food stamps, disaster loans and mental health counseling.
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Despite the designation, the Republican governor has resisted calls from mostly Democrats to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, calling it "inappropriate."