MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump has approved a request made by Governor Ron DeSantis to declare that a major disaster exists in Florida.

President Trump ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020.

Gov. DeSantis had sent a letter to the president on Monday making the request through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Click here to read the governor’s letter

The declaration makes Florida eligible for federal aid. This is no hurricane, but DeSantis wrote that the state’s medical system is already burdened and the situation will get worse, with limited testing showing more than 1,400 people infected and 17 deaths.

“The process of triaging and isolating affected individuals is significantly disrupting lifesaving and life-sustaining services,” DeSantis wrote. “Additionally, the insufficient medical resources and capacities of medical facilities and the already limited number of qualified medical personnel will only continue to rapidly deplete as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to spread.”

DeSantis added that a survey of more than 6,600 businesses shows more than half have laid off employees, totaling more than 40,400 people. He also said requests for unemployment benefits have spiked, to 130,000 in four days last week, compared to 28,000 for the entire previous week.

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