WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Grijalva applauded FEMA’s emergency response to the pandemic in Arizona after the department informed him it has coordinated the movement of 130 doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other medical support personnel from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Arizona. According to FEMA, these federal personnel are supporting Arizona and many tribal nations throughout the state and will provide administrative support to state and local vaccination efforts. Additionally, FEMA is sending 53 FEMA personnel to the cities of Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Kingman.
On January 5, 2021 Rep. Grijalva requested the immediate coordination and deployment of field and response teams to Arizona to fill critical care staff shortages in Arizona hospitals.
“Arizona has one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the nation, and I welcome this support from FEMA,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I encourage the agency to continue working with the state to help fulfill the needs of Arizona’s health system as we work to get through this, including assisting with coordination and appropriate allocation of the COVID-19 vaccinations. I’m grateful for FEMA’s support during this time and would like to thank all of the medical support personnel coming to Arizona to help us control the pandemic and keep our communities safe.”
In addition to support from FEMA, President Joe Biden announced his new National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, a comprehensive national strategy to combat the pandemic. This includes a mask mandate for federal property, beginning the process to implement an OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers, and invoking the Defense Production Act to speed up the production of testing and vaccine supplies.
“I truly believe that today marks a turning point in our fight against COVID-19,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “Instead of relying on mistruths and misinformation, we will move forward under a steady path that is guided by science, information sharing, and federal coordination. The previous approach cost the lives of so many loved ones, and it is long past time for a comprehensive and targeted public health plan to control this virus. This is welcome news, and especially my fellow Arizonans who have suffered one of the worst outbreaks in the country.”