"I spoke to Vice President Pence yesterday and requested the federal government immediately declare COVID-19 a national emergency under the Stafford Act. This will unlock additional resources and authorities for states like Washington on the front lines of this crisis. I am hopeful the president’s actions today will provide the assistance I asked for to help the workers, businesses, families and communities that are being impacted across Washington state.
“It is incumbent on all of us to acknowledge the gravity of this public health emergency and take the necessary actions now — not tomorrow, not next week — to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. By declaring a national emergency, the federal government can provide states with direct assistance to meet our residents’ needs for health care, shelter, food and cash assistance, and more.”