BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Just as Congress hinted the nation would soon get a $2 trillion stimulus, President Trump signed off on another thing: a disaster declaration amid Louisiana’s coronavirus response.
The White House approval came just hours after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request.
“This puts Louisiana into the national conversation,” Edwards said at a news conference Wednesday. “It ensures we are not being left out of the conversation when talking about allocating resources to hard-hit areas around the country.”
“The fact that we got all this on the same day speaks volumes to the cooperation,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Jefferson) told BRProud.com in a news interview Wednesday.
The federal moves follow concerns that without action soon, south Louisiana’s hospitals could top their capacities within two weeks.
Congressman Garret Graves says help from the White House and Capitol Hill aren’t fix-all solutions, but he maintains they mark a start for a state that’s had its share of past hardship.
“In Louisiana, we’re good at this,” Graves said. “We are good at this. We adapt well, we innovate, and we’re resilient. We have an opportunity to demonstrate our experience from previous disasters to lead.”
“If you can reach out on the phone and pick up the phone and call somebody you know is going through a difficult time, I’m sure it would mean a lot to them,” said Scalise. “We’re going to stick together and we’re going to get through this.”
Louisiana, whose rate of COVID-19 cases has been among the nation’s highest, is the fifth state to get a coronavirus-related disaster declaration — after New York, California, Washington and Iowa.