Missouri governor asks for federal assistance for COVID-19 response

Gov. Mike Parson
Posted at 11:02 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 14:25:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday requested federal assistance for state and local response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the request, Parson asked President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster declaration for Missouri, saying a response to the pandemic is beyond the scope of local and state government.

“Although it is continuing to develop, it’s already clear the COVID-19 pandemic will have a more sweeping impact on the entire state of Missouri than any other previous disaster that has affected our citizens,” Parson said in a news release. “There is an urgent need for federal assistance to help Missouri families meet today’s challenges and the many more that we will face.”

Parson requested federal assistance to provide mental health services and to assist local governments and nonprofit organizations with emergency response expenses.

He also requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency assist with expenses related to debris removal and the disposal of bio-hazard and other contaminated materials related to the pandemic response.

Missouri's congressional delegation — which includes U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley and U.S. Reps. Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Emanuel Cleaver II, Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, Wm. Lacy Clay, Billy Long and Jason Smith — sent a letter to Trump urging support for the disaster declaration request.

"Access to federal resources may better equip Missouri communities to appropriately respond to this public health emergency," the delegation wrote. "We respectfully request your prompt action to ensure that our communities receive the immediate support needed to respond to this unprecedented disaster."

Parson declared a state of emergency for the state on March 13.