NBC News reports that FEMA is prepping for an emergency declaration:

FEMA preparing for possible coronavirus emergency declaration

“To me this is another indication that the president and the White House are finally aware of the gravity of the situation,” said former FEMA official Michael Coen.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning for the possibility that President Donald Trump could make an emergency declaration to bring in extra funds and personnel to assist the administration’s coronavirus response, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News.

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FEMA officials are preparing for an “infectious disease emergency declaration” by the president that would allow the agency to provide disaster relief funding to state and local governments, as well as federal assistance to support the coronavirus response, according to agency planning documents reviewed by NBC News.

The Trump administration would have to use the 1988 Stafford Act to enable FEMA to provide such disaster assistance. Emergency declarations are most often used in the event of natural disasters but can be used to help manage disease outbreaks.

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