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President Donald Trump approves disaster declaration for Florida

Declaration comes at request of Gov. Ron DeSantis
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Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 16:21:19-04

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared a "major disaster" in Florida, two days after Gov. Ron DeSantis requested that designation because of impacts from the new coronavirus.

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The declaration clears the way for the state to receive federal assistance.

In a letter to Trump on Monday, DeSantis wrote that Florida's "hospitals, medical facilities and first responders are facing challenges rarely experienced before."

He said the state has already spent $208 million on related unemployment assistance, food stamps, disaster loans and mental health counseling.

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Despite the designation, the Republican governor has resisted calls from mostly Democrats to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, calling it "inappropriate."