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President Trump approves Florida disaster declaration

Declaration makes Florida eligible for federal aid

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – President Donald Trump has approved Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to declare Florida a disaster area.

The governor made the request this week, saying the coronavirus outbreak is having a "drastic effect" on the state's economy and medical providers.

His letter to Trump released late Monday said Florida's hospitals and first responders are facing challenges rarely experienced.

This is no hurricane but DeSantis wrote that the state has already spent $208 million and its medical system is already burdened, with limited testing showing more than 1,400 people infected and 17 deaths.

The declaration makes Florida eligible for federal aid.