Gov. DeSantis wants state declared a disaster area

Florida
Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about the COVID-19 virus during a news conference at the Florida Department of Health on Monday, March 2, 2020, in Miami. Florida officials are trying to reassure residents that the risk posed by a new strain of coronavirus remains low, despite revelations that two people have become the first in the state to be confirmed to have the virus. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked President Donald Trump to declare Florida a disaster area, saying the coronavirus outbreak is having a “drastic effect” on the state’s economy and medical providers.

His letter to Trump released late Monday says Florida’s hospitals and first responders are facing challenges rarely experienced.

A declaration would make Florida eligible for federal aid.

This is no hurricane but DeSantis wrote that the state has already spent $208 million and its medical system is already burdened, with limited testing showing more than 1,400 people infected and 17 deaths.

Trump has not acted on the request.

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