Fellow Emergency Managers,
This week marks our fourth month in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We, and our fellow Americans, have made great strides in slowing the spread and in allowing our hospital systems and first responders to provide continuing support. Several states faced monumental challenges in April and worked tirelessly to reduce their number of case counts, positivity rates, hospitalizations and most significantly, deaths.
We're in a much different place than we were at the beginning of the pandemic. As a result of our efforts, we've recently seen deaths decrease by 80% within each age group, and mortality rates also continue to decline. Our job, however, is far from over - and now the Sunbelt states need our help.
Right now, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas need skilled medical professionals. FEMA is surging medical support from across the federal family to assist state responses. This support includes funding, medical supplies and technical assistance, but more help is urgently needed in these five states.
My ask is simple: please seriously consider supporting various EMAC requests as they come in for doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other medical professionals. These high demand, low density highly skilled professionals are key to minimizing suffering and saving lives. These states are in distress, and they need our help.
To the state directors who are now on the other side of significant case counts and hospitalizations, you fully understand what is at stake. I urge you to share your best practices, support your colleagues and encourage your governor to approve these requests for support.
I know it has been a long fight, and we still have a challenging road ahead. But as the Vice President said in a recent address to governors: "We have been here before and ·we can do it again."
Keep up the direct messaging to your citizens about the importance of mitigation. Continue to stay in close contact with your Regional Administrators and know that FEMA will do everything we can to help you fight this pandemic.