Congressional Delegation Urges Support for Connecticut's Major Disaster Declaration Request

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, in a letter to President Donald Trump, Connecticut’s entire Congressional delegation urged support for Governor Ned Lamont’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Connecticut in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives John Larson (CT-1), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Jim Himes (CT-4) and Jahana Hayes (CT-5).

“Over the last two days alone, our state has confirmed 400 new cases of COVID-19.  Our residents share a close geographic border with New York making Connecticut well within the epicenter of infection.  As our state continues to take action to mitigate the spread of infection, schools are closed, non-essential business are shuttered and the everyday lives of the people of Connecticut remain upended.  We are deeply concerned for the health, safety, and well-being of our fellow constituents – particularly high-risk individuals,” wrote the delegation.

As of March 25, 875 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, 113 are hospitalized, and nineteen have died. 

“It is absolutely necessary for the federal government to provide much-needed relief for our state.  Any failure to do so would result in dire consequences and the needless loss of life,” the delegation added.

The full text of the delegation letter is copied below, the Governor’s request can be found here:

March 26, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write strongly urging you to grant Governor Ned Lamont’s request for a major disaster declaration for all eight counties in the State of Connecticut – retroactively beginning on January 20, 2020.  The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across our state.  As of yesterday, 875 residents have tested positive, 113 are hospitalized, and nineteen have died.  Without additional assistance from the federal government, we fear this public health crisis is beyond our state and local governments’ ability to recover. 

Over the last two days alone, our state has confirmed 400 new cases of COVID-19.  Our residents share a close geographic border with New York making Connecticut well within the epicenter of infection.  As our state continues to take action to mitigate the spread of infection, schools are closed, non-essential business are shuttered and the everyday lives of the people of Connecticut remain upended.  We are deeply concerned for the health, safety, and well-being of our fellow constituents – particularly high-risk individuals.

Earlier today, Governor Lamont requested a major disaster declaration for all eight counties in Connecticut as a result of this global pandemic.  The request includes Public Assistance under Category B, and four supplemental assistance programs under the Individual Assistance Program: Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling Program, Disaster Case Management, and Disaster Legal Services.  Additionally, the Governor requested Other Needs Assistance for Child Care Assistance and Funeral Assistance under the Individuals and Households Program.  It is imperative that you make these federal resources available for the State of Connecticut and the tribal lands of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes.  

The Governor’s request is pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288), which provides financial aid and assistance for communities hit by unprecedented disasters like the pandemic that continues to affect Connecticut.  As the Governor’s major disaster declaration request makes clear, the state is taking unprecedented steps to help combat this national health crisis.  It is absolutely necessary for the federal government to provide much-needed relief for our state.  Any failure to do so would result in dire consequences and the needless loss of life.

We appreciate your immediate consideration of this request.