On March 28, President Donald J. Trump approved Kentucky's request for a declaration of a major disaster in relation to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement from the White House, Trump ordered federal assistance to supplement the commonwealth's and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the disease beginning on Jan. 20 and continuing.
The action, the statement said, makes federal funding available to the commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance for all areas in the commonwealth impacted by COVID-19.
Pete Gaynor, administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Gracia B. Szczech as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the commonwealth and warranted by the results of further assessments, the statement said.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement applauding Trump's action.
“The additional federal resources this declaration makes available will help communities across Kentucky continue responding to the coronavirus. I’m grateful President Trump quickly answered our bipartisan call to deliver this vital assistance,” said Senator McConnell. “As Senate Majority Leader, I’m working with President Trump and the members of his cabinet to help Kentucky receive the necessary supplies and funding to care for those in need. We should all listen to the experts and continue looking for ways to help our fellow Kentuckians. I’m inspired by the generosity shown by the people of this great country, and I know we’ll make it through this crisis.”