All 50 states under disaster declaration for first time in US history

All 50 states are under a major disaster declaration for the first time in U.S. history, after President TrumpDonald John TrumpWaPo: Trump allegedly asked Fauci if officials could let coronavirus ‘wash over’ US Kansas Supreme Court upholds order banning religious services of over 10 people Biden wins Alaska primary MORE approved Wyoming’s declaration Saturday.

Within 22 days, Trump declared a major emergency in all 50 states and most territories through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The final disaster declaration occurred on the same day the U.S.’s death toll surpassed Italy’s to become the country with the most deaths from the virus. 

Trump approved the first major disaster declaration for coronavirus in New York on March 20, followed two days later by Washington and California, the early hotspots of the virus. New York has become the most affected state from the virus, recording 188,694 positive cases and 9,385 deaths, according to the state’s health department

The U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico all received approved major disaster declarations. The American Samoa is the only U.S. territory that has not received a disaster designation. 

Trump praised the declarations in a tweet Sunday, saying “We are winning, and will win, the war on the Invisible Enemy!”

The FEMA declaration allows federal funding to become available to the states to use to fight the spread of the virus. State and local governments have struggled to obtain enough medical  supplies amid the pandemic, with some governors saying there have been bidding wars between states and also with the federal government.

The U.S. has the most cases in the world at at least 547,681, leading to at least 21,686 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Italy has documented at least 19,899 fatalities.

Worldwide, more than 1.8 million cases have been identified, leading to at least 113,362 deaths.

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