Governor Parson requests major disaster declaration

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson is requesting a major disaster declaration from the White House.

The Governor believes the covid-19 pandemic is too severe for the state and local governments to handle on their own.

Much of the focus on this latest briefing was on the economic toll covid-19 will be taking on the state.

We reported Tuesday the State’s Director Of Public Safety declared covid-19 will have a more sweeping impact on the state than any other previous disaster.

The governor echoed that comment today.

The governor is seeking federal unemployment assistance and crisis counseling through FEMA.

The governor is also requesting FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to help local governments and qualifying non-profits agencies with emergency response expenses.

He also requested that FEMA assist with debris removal expenses if needed for the removal and disposal of bio-hazard and other contaminated materials as a result of the pandemic response.

The Governor also talked about the workers involved in the food chain.

He has said empty store shelves have not been the result of a supply problem.

He said it’s been the result of an excessive demand.

Gov. Mike Parson, R-Missouri, said, “These are unprecedented times. And I want every worker and employer involved in the food industry to know that your work has never been more important. Obviously, employee safety and public safety are our first priority. If you are sick, stay at home. However, if you are able to work, we need you at your farm, we need you in your truck, we need you in the grocery store and everywhere else to keep doing your job and to keep our farm products on American shelves.”

The Governor said today he does not believe food workers should be designated Emergency First Responders as the union representing many of them has asked.

That designation would give priority to those workers for testing and receiving protective equipment.

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