- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2020

President Trump late Friday approved a disaster declaration for New York, which has been the hardest-hit state amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Trump’s action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected people in New York. It also opens up federal funding for local governments and certain nonprofit groups for emergency protective measures for all areas of the state affected by COVID-19.

“There is no compromise when it comes to the health and lives of New Yorkers, and I’m glad the administration recognized that and approved the nation’s first major disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus, right here in New York,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday called on the federal government to waive the typical 25% state cost-sharing that comes with such a declaration.

“If there’s any situation where FEMA should waive the 25%, this is the situation,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Mr. Cuomo on Friday had ordered 100% of the state’s non-essential workforce to stay home or face civil penalties.

There are now more than 8,300 positive coronavirus cases in the state of New York and more than 5,100 cases in New York City.

“I hate to say this but it’s true, we are now the epicenter of this crisis,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

There are more than 19,600 cases in the U.S., according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

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