From: Crozer, William F. EOP/WHO <William.F.Crozer@who.eop.gov>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 4:40 PM
Subject: The Trump Administration Is Supporting the People of Pennsylvania In Response to the Coronavirus (Updated 5/14)
■ EXTERNAL EMAIL ■
Pennsylvania State and Local Partners,
Today, President Donald J. Trump visited Allentown, Pennsylvania and toured and delivered remarks at Owens & Minor, Inc. Distribution Center, a 137 year-old American medical distributor that has sent millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns, and gloves to hospitals and surgery centers across the country to respond to COVID-19. The President outlined how the Administration is working to ensure a fully stocked, resilient national stockpile and a domestic industrial base capable of meeting any future challenges. In conjunction with today’s visit, we would like to share with you an updated fact sheet (The Trump Administration Is Supporting the People of Pennsylvania) overviewing ongoing Federal coordination and assistance provided to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the people of Pennsylvania in response to the Coronavirus. The attached information is bolstered by hundreds of additional actions by the Federal government to help the people of Pennsylvania in partnership with State and local leaders.
The White House and Administration appreciate your continued efforts in this whole-of-government, all-of-America response to the Coronavirus. As you know, our citizens are best served when response is locally executed, State managed and Federally supported. The Federal government scales best practices, coordinates key priorities, provides regulatory flexibilities, guidance, and resources to supplement, but not replace, private sector, local, and State resources. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (WH IGA) will continue to share pertinent information as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if we can be of assistance. As a reminder, WH IGA is the primary liaison between the White House and the country’s State and local elected officials and Tribal Governments.
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
William F. Crozer
Special Assistant to the President/Deputy Director
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
COVID-19: Important Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Officials
- Guidelines for Opening Up America Again: On April 16, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force unveiled new guidelines (download here) for the reopening of America. Developed by the top medical experts from across the Government and based on verifiable metrics regarding the situation on the ground, the guidelines outline a phased return to reopening and include specific steps for State, Local, and Tribal officials to follow in tailoring their response. The guidelines also set clear benchmarks on new cases, testing, and hospital resources for States to meet to proceed toward a phased reopening. In the days and weeks ahead, the Administration plans to continue robust coordination and outreach with State, Local, and Tribal leaders as we collectively work to reopen the country.
- Opening Up America Again Testing Overview and Testing Blueprint: On April 27, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force unveiled the Opening Up American Again Testing Overview and Testing Blueprint designed to facilitate State development and implementation of the robust testing plans and rapid response programs described in the President’s Opening Up America Again Guidelines. The Testing Blueprintsets forth the partnership between Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, along with the private-sector and professional associations, all of which will play important roles in meeting the Nation’s testing needs.
- Up-To-Date Information: The most up-to-date, verified information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website – www.coronavirus.gov. The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent briefings, which can be viewed live here.
- COVID-19 Response and Recovery Primer: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. It is important that requests for assistance, including for critical supplies, get routed through the proper channels as soon as possible. Learn more about the response and recovery process via this important resource – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Response and Recovery Through Federal-State-Local-Tribal Partnership. FEMA’s public assistance guidance for COVID-19 response efforts can be found here. Guidance for Tribal Governments can be found here.
- Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidelines: On March 16th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued updated critical infrastructure guidance in response to the COVID-19 emergency. DHS continues to work with stakeholders in the critical infrastructure community to update the advisory list if necessary as the Nation’s response to COVID-19 evolves. The guidance, and accompanying list, is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard.
- Rural Resource Guide: USDA and Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses, and communities. USDA developed a resource guide for State, Local, and Tribal leaders, and other stakeholders.
- Coronavirus Fact vs. Myth: Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. FEMA setup a website to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Fraud & Scam Protection: The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJ’s Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website with helpful information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams.
- Social Media Resources: Download the Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool. Follow the White House on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow HHS (Twitter/Facebook) and CDC (Twitter/Facebook) You can also find informational videos from Coronavirus Task Force members on mitigation, social distancing, etc. on the White House’s YouTube page.
- Mental Health Resources: Natural disasters – including such pandemics as the coronavirus outbreak – can be overwhelming and also can seriously affect emotional health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 (or text TalkWithUs to 66746) – provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about the Disaster Distress Helpline here.
- Addiction & Substance Abuse Resources: The COVID-19 pandemic has created countless challenges for those delivering care to our most vulnerable populations. People with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) are especially at high risk suffering complications from COVID-19. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which leads and coordinates the development, implementation, and assessment of U.S. drug policy, released a fact sheet that contains information on Federal actions to expand telemedicine and e-prescribing, to increase flexibility for treatment with methadone and buprenorphine, to improve access to prescribed controlled substances, and to expand assistance to rural areas.
- Administration Actions and Federal Agency Resources: USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here. Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website, where you can find important information and guidance. They include: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
The Trump Administration Is Supporting the People of Pennsylvania Updated
“We have the best doctors, the best military leaders, and the best logistics professionals anywhere in the world. And we’re orchestrating a massive Federal response unlike anything our country has ever seen.”
– President Donald J. Trump
Overview: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. Successful emergency management requires nationwide cooperation and unity of effort, combining the strength and ingenuity of our citizens and private sector with a sweeping, all-inclusive, and whole-of-government response. The below is a partial overview of Federal assistance provided to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the people of Pennsylvania to combat the Coronavirus. The information is bolstered by hundreds of additional actions by the Federal government to help the people of Pennsylvania. Implementation of the CARES Act and other supplemental funding measures is ongoing and will also bring additional support to Pennsylvania. President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have appreciated the strong State-Federal partnership with Governor Tom Wolf and other Pennsylvania leaders.
Executive Summary of Federal Support to the Commonwealth and People of Pennsylvania:
- The President quickly approved Pennsylvania’s major disaster and National Guard funding requests providing additional Federal resources to supplement State response efforts.
- This year, over 2.6 million N-95 masks, 18 million surgical & procedural masks, 600,000 eye and face shields, 9.4 million isolation & surgical founds, and 470 million medical gloves have been shipped to Pennsylvania through private sector and federal collaboration.
- To supplement private sector supplies, all of Pennsylvania’s 683 Medicaid & Medicare certified nursing homes are receiving a 14 day supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- The Department of Defense deployed a Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System that can decontaminate up to 80,000 N-95 masks daily.
- Pennsylvania is receiving $301 million in testing assistance funding and other resources to help scale and meet testing goals.
- Pennsylvania medical providers have received $2.3 billion of Provider Relief Funds to date to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and ensures uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.
- The Commonwealth and eligible local governments received over $4.9 billion from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to help address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- The SBA has issued over $21.4 billion in loans to over 150,000 Pennsylvania small businesses as of May 8.
- The U.S. Department of Treasury has made 5.2 million Economic Impact Payments totaling more than $8.8 billion to hardworking Pennsylvanians.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has made over $288.8 million in COVID-19 funding available to Pennsylvania grantees via CARES Act authorizations to help America’s low-income families and most vulnerable citizens.
- The U.S. Department of Education provided $487.1 million to support postsecondary education students and institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania, authorized $104.4 million for the Commonwealth from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, and $523.8 million to ensure learning continues for all students.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation allocated more than $1.1 billion to help the Pennsylvania public transportation systems and $232.1 million to help Pennsylvania airports.
Supportive Actions by President Donald J. Trump:
- President Trump Declares a National Emergency: On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning COVID-19. The emergency declaration authorized direct Federal assistance, temporary facilities, commodities, equipment, and emergency operation costs for all States, including Pennsylvania, pursuant to section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
- Pennsylvania’s Major Disaster Declaration: On March 28, Governor Wolf submitted a major disaster declaration request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On March 30, President Trump approved the request declaring a major disaster in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, local, and tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by COVID-19. For the first time in our Nation’s history, every State and territory has a presidential disaster declaration at the same time.
- Historic Economic Relief: On April 24, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. The law provides further unprecedented economic relief to American citizens, small businesses, workers, healthcare providers, and State, local, and tribal governments and builds on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriation. More here. Additional Pennsylvania allocation information is found below.
- National Guard Support: On April 7, President Trump directed FEMA to fund 100% of the emergency assistance activities provided by Pennsylvania National Guard personnel in Title 32 duty status, per Governor Wolf’s request.
Testing, Resource & Logistics Support: FEMA is working with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), other Federal agencies, and private sector partners, to produce, allocate, and distribute key resources to Pennsylvania. Most notably, these include personal protective equipment (PPE), testing supplies, ventilators, and the expedition of critical supplies from overseas to various U.S. locations.
- HHS, the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are providing unprecedented regulatory flexibilities, resources, and guidance to expand the availability of testing and to assist Pennsylvania and States across the country in scaling testing. Learn more from the CDC here and FDA here. In addition, the CARES Act and other supplemental disbursements, alongside FEMA resources, are important avenues for States to scale testing.
- The Trump Administration, through the White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), continues to provide the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with technical assistance and resources to enhance coronavirus testing in the Commonwealth. To date, the Administration has held several testing technical assistance calls with Commonwealth officials and continues to partner through additional briefings and direct engagements.
- The Federal government is supporting mobile testing efforts in Pennsylvania to increase testing capacity and availability in the Commonwealth.
- On May 11, President Trump announced that the Administration is sending nearly $11 B to help States, territories, and tribes meet testing goals; the Administration is also sending approximately 12 M testing swabs to States to supplement private-sector resources. This effort has resulted in $301 M in testing assistance to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- In support of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, FEMA and HHS are coordinating a whole-of-America approach to source PPE, ventilators, testing supplies, and other critical resources for States, Tribes, and Territories. The effort is led by Rear Admiral John Polowczyk of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For more on the Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force, read more here.
- The Trump Administration is coordinating Project Air Bridge, a coordinated public-private partnership designed to expedite the movement of critical supplies from other countries to the United States. The below table shows recently delivered supplies to Pennsylvania through various sources, including Project Air Bridge, to bolster private sector supply chains.
|PPE||5/2 – 5/8||Total (YTD)|
|Surgical & Procedural Masks||1,318,600||17,934,500|
|Eye & Face Shields||27,300||461,500|
|Isolation & Surgical Gowns||849,300||9,363,700|
|Surgical & Exam Gloves||43,546,800||472,239,200|
- In addition to the Project Air Bridge and efforts outlined above, as of May 13, FEMA has delivered 365,292 N-95 masks, 869,210 surgical masks, 141,761 medical gowns, 60,040 coveralls/Tyvek suits, 173,271 face shields, and 690,346 gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile to Pennsylvania.On May 2, FEMA announced that, under the direction of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, it will coordinate two shipments totaling a 14-day supply of PPE to more than 15,000 nursing homes across the Nation, including the 683 Medicaid & Medicare certified nursing homes in Pennsylvania, to care for our seniors. The mission will supplement existing efforts to ensure nursing homes across the country have PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA will ship PPE to Medicaid- and Medicare-certified nursing homes based on input from the American Health Care Association to serve as a bridge between other PPE shipments.
- As of May 13, FEMA obligated $63 M for COVID-19 response efforts in Pennsylvania and will continue to obligate additional dollars per validated State requests.
- The Defense Logistics Agency awarded a contract to Battelle Critical Care Decontamination Systems for 60 N95 decontamination system units for the sanitation and reuse of N95 respirators. A system is currently deployed in Pennsylvania and has the capacity to decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 respirators per day.
Federal Agency Support: The Trump Administration continues to provide unprecedented resources, guidance, and regulatory flexibilities for State, local and tribal governments to develop and deploy innovative solutions for addressing COVID-19.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
- As of April 23, through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the CARES Act, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided over $43.7 M to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. More here.
- As of April 8, HHS has awarded over $37.2 M in CARES Act funding to 43 health centers across Pennsylvania to assist in combatting COVID-19. More here.
- Medical providers in Pennsylvania were allocated more than $2.3 B for the first round of funding from the Provider Relief Fund, with most of that provided Friday, April 10. The funding supports healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and ensures uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.
- As of May 13, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has received over $2.6 B from HHS through the Provider Relief Fund, CDC State and local funding, HRSA health centers, and other HHS grants.
- On April 22, Pennsylvania State University was awarded more than $2.2 M to support small rural hospitals and promote telehealth in rural communities. More here.
- On March 24, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania submitted an 1135 Medicaid Waiver request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). On March 27, CMS approved Pennsylvania’s waiver request offering new flexibilities to focus resources on combatting the outbreak and providing the best possible care to Medicaid beneficiaries in Pennsylvania.
- HHS, CMS, and FDA have issued guidance on several topics to help inform decisions made by State and local health officials and private sector partners, including operational guidance for Pennsylvania nursing homes, telemedicine, elective surgery, and insurers. Learn more from CMS here, CDC here, and FDA here.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
- As a result of the CARES Act, the SBA created four additional loan/funding programs to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. As of May 8, the SBA issued over $21.4 B in loans to over 150,000 Pennsylvania small businesses. Nationally, SBA executed more loans in 14 days of the CARES Act implementation than the agency had done in the previous 14 years. More here.
- On March 19, SBA declared an economic disaster in Pennsylvania at the request of Governor Wolf. The disaster declaration creates access to low interest loans for small businesses across Pennsylvania. As of May 8, the SBA has approved 99,790 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances of up to $10,000 for Pennsylvania small businesses impacted by COVID-19; these funds, as authorized by the CARES Act, do not need to be repaid and have totaled more than $332.3 M in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- U.S. Department of Treasury (DT)
- As of May 8, the Internal Revenue Service has issued over 5.2 M Economic Impact Payments (EIP) totaling more than $8.8 B to eligible individuals in Pennsylvania. Nationally, the IRS has issued 130 million payments totaling more than $200 B to hardworking taxpayers across the Nation. Authorized under the CARES Act, EIPs are being automatically issued to eligible 2019 or 2018 Federal tax return filers who received a refund using direct deposit. Social Security recipients who do not file tax returns will automatically receive economic impact payments. Additional information on the EIP program, including frequently asked questions, can be found here.
- Treasury has completed all disbursements from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to States and units of local government eligible for direct allocation. Over $4.9 B has been distributed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania combined with eligible units of local government in the Commonwealth to help address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency. More information on the Coronavirus Relief Fund, including updated guidance and frequently asked questions, here.
- On May 5, Treasury and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced initial allocations of the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to Native American Tribes for coronavirus preparedness, response, and recovery. Totaling nearly $5 B (of $8 B), the allocation represents one of the largest programmatic investments in Indian County in our Nation’s history.
- On April 9, the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve launched a Main Street Business Lending program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, States, counties, and cities across the Nation, including in Pennsylvania, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MLF will provide up to $500 B in direct financing to States and eligible units of local government (counties with > 500,000 population and cities with > 250,000 population) to help ensure they have the funds necessary to provide essential services to citizens and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information, including the term sheet and guidance, can be found here.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- As of May 11, HUD has made over $288.8 M in COVID-19 funding available to Pennsylvania grantees via CARES Act authorizations to help America’s low-income families and most vulnerable citizens. More here.
- On April 1, HUD implemented the CARES Act requirement to provide up to one year of payment forbearance for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family borrowers in Pennsylvania and across the Nation who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. More here.
- On April 10, HUD implemented the CARES Act requirement to provide FHA multifamily borrowers in Pennsylvania and across the Nation with forbearance for up to three months if they agree not to evict tenants during that period. More here.
- To ensure homeowners and renters have the most up to date and accurate housing assistance information during the COVID-19 national emergency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and HUD launched the new mortgage and housing assistance website.
- U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
- As a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, DOL expanded paid sick, family, and medical leave; the Department has offered flexibilities and emergency administrative capacity expansion grants for unemployment insurance that will help the people of Pennsylvania.
- DOL has awarded over $37.8 M in emergency administrative unemployment insurance grants to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- U.S. Department of Education (DoED)
- On March 20, DoED suspended Federal student loan payments and waived interest during the Federal emergency, which could help up to 1.6 M direct loan borrowers in Pennsylvania.
- DoED has also provided unprecedented reporting flexibilities to Pennsylvania to allow the State to best meet the needs of students and teachers during the emergency. More here, here and here.
- In April, DoED announced allocations under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the CARES Act totaling over $487.1 M to support postsecondary education students and institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania. More here and here.
- On April 14, DoED announced an allocation in the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, authorized by the CARES Act, of over $104.4 M for Pennsylvania. This is an extraordinarily flexible “emergency block grant” designed to enable governors to decide how best to meet the needs of students, schools (including charter schools and non-public schools), postsecondary institutions, and other education-related organizations. More here.
- On April 23, DoED made $523.8 M available to Pennsylvania through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund of the CARES Act to ensure learning continues for all students. More here.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- USDA has provided numerous flexibilities and resources to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to ensure children and low income Americans have access to food during the national emergency. More here.
- On May 7, USDA approved Pennsylvania to operate the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (PEBT), a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA), which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.
- On April 17, USDA announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in Pennsylvania and across the Nation in response to COVID-19. This $19 B relief program will provide $16 B in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers and $3 B in purchases of fresh produce, dairy, and meat, including producers in Pennsylvania.
- USDA published a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide for rural residents, businesses, and communities in Pennsylvania and across the country to find information about Federal funding and partnership opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- On April 28, President Trump signed an Executive Order, under the authority of the Defense Production Act, to keep meat and poultry processing facilities open during the COVID-19 emergency. The CDC and OSHA provided guidance to facilities to ensure employee safety, prompt reopening, and continued operation of facilities. USDA will work with meat processing facilities to ensure accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance, and with State and local officials to ensure plants are allowed to operate and continue to harden the security of the American food supply chain. More here.
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
- DOT allocated more than $1.1 B in Federal Transit Administration funds to help the Pennsylvania public transportation systems respond to the challenges of COVID-19. More here.
- DOT awarded more than $232.1 M from the Federal Aviation Administration to help fund continuing operations and lost revenue for airports in Pennsylvania. More here.
- U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)
- On May 7, the Department of Commerce announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will allocate $1.5 B in CARES Act funds to aid communities across the country, including in Pennsylvania, in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus pandemic. EDA will make CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants under the authority of the Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsible to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders. More information, including how communities in Pennsylvania can apply, can be found here.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- With the $19.6 B allocated under the CARES Act, the VA is hiring new staff and procuring additional resources to deal with the evolving needs of the pandemic. This includes expanding free or subsidized telehealth services and waiving a requirement that VA State homes maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in order to receive Federal benefits for times when the Veteran is not in the home. More here.
- The VA traditionally provides Veterans’ healthcare, benefits and memorial affairs. In times of national crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, VA provides services to the Nation based on requests from States, while being clear that Veterans are our first priority. This is known as VA’s Fourth Mission. The VA continues to evaluate opportunities to help States and local communities across the country.
- The U.S. Department of the Treasury and VA announced that VA benefit recipients in Pennsylvania and across the Nation will automatically receive $1,200 in Economic Impact Payments provided for under the CARES Act.
- On April 3, the VA announced a number of actions to provide Veterans in Pennsylvania and across the Nation with financial, benefits and claims help as part of the VA’s COVID-19 response. The financial relief actions include – until further notice – (i) suspending all actions on Veteran debts under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department and (ii) suspending collection action or extending repayment terms on preexisting VA debts, as the Veteran prefers. More here.
- U.S. Department of State (DOS)
- The State Department launched an unprecedented global effort to bring home citizens from every corner of the globe and has repatriated thousands of Americans from multiple countries. As of April 17, DOS has coordinated the repatriation of nearly 70,000 Americans, including individuals from Pennsylvania. More here.
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- DOJ allocated more than $26 M in funds to Pennsylvania through the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program to assist the State and local government response to COVID-19. This includes over $17.6 M in funding to the State and over $8.4 M to local governments. More here.