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Durbin, Duckworth join Pritzker in urging Trump to issue Illinois coronavirus disaster declaration

Trump has declared disasters in New York, California and Washington state.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are bolstering Gov. J.B Pritzker’s request to President Trump for an Illinois disaster declaration.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times file

Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth on Wednesday bolstered Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s request for a federal disaster declaration in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Illinois has requested assistance for all 102 counties in the state. The federal declaration would give Illinois access to more federal benefits.

The Democratic senators said in a letter to President Donald Trump, “Pritzker has indicated that this pandemic is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments. The pandemic has required extreme response efforts from the State, and federal assistance will be necessary to ensure the well-being of Illinoisans. This disaster has placed an unprecedented economic burden on not only communities across the State, but families and individuals.”

Trump has approved declarations for California, New York and Washington state.

Full text of the Durbin/Duckworth letter:

March 25, 2020

Dear Mr. President:

We write in support of Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois to help the State respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Pritzker has indicated that this pandemic is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments. The pandemic has required extreme response efforts from the State, and federal assistance will be necessary to ensure the well-being of Illinoisans. This disaster has placed an unprecedented economic burden on not only communities across the State, but families and individuals.

As such, Individual Assistance (IA) is requested for all 102 counties in the State of Illinois to support people of Illinois as the pandemic remains ongoing, and to assist them on a long road to recovery; this includes access to Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Legal Services, Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program, Individuals and Household Program Assistance, Mass Care and Emergency Assistance, and Voluntary Agency Coordination.

Thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this important request. We stand ready to assist in any way appropriate.