Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Statement about President’s Actions to deal with Coronavirus

March 13, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. issued the follow statement today after President Trump invoked the Stafford Act and declared a national state of emergency to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

“I am glad the President has invoked the Stafford Act and declared a state of emergency,” said Congressman Payne, Jr.  “The Stafford Act was one of the recommendations health experts stated in testimony before my subcommittee on emergency preparedness this week as a necessary step to fight this public health crisis.  I had hoped the President would have acted more judiciously when our country is facing a global pandemic.  But there is still significant work to be done with testing and treatment of disease carriers and patients.  It’s interesting to know that countries in Africa were more prepared to do coronavirus testing than this administration.”     

Congressman Payne, Jr. is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery for the House Committee on Homeland Security.  The subcommittee held a hearing on March 10, 2020, to discuss the country’s coronavirus preparedness. The Stafford Act, or Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, is a federal law that empowers the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to aid state and local governments during natural disasters as well as help coordinate the nation's response.  Both actions allow medical and emergency relief efforts to access billions of dollars in aid to prevent and treat the disease.      

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