Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

How the Trump Administration is supporting the people of Arkansas during the COVID-19 pandemic

Washington D.C.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the coronavirus response with Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (KARK/FOX16) – Below is a brief look at how the federal government and the Trump Administration has assisted the state of Arkansas in their battle against COVID-19.

  • FEMA has delivered from the Strategic National Stockpile to Arkansas:
    • 116,552 N-95 masks
    • 277,156 surgical masks
    • 46,437 medical gowns
    • 1,871 coverall
    • 56,655 face shields
    • 258,137 gloves
  • Arkansas has received over $403.8 M from HHS through the Provider Relief Fund, CDC State and local funding, HRSA health centers, and other HHS grants
  • FEMA has obligated $340,700 for COVID-19 response efforts in Arkansas and will continue to obligate additional dollars per validated State requests
  • SBA issued over $2.7 B in loans to over 21,000 Arkansas small businesses
  • Internal Revenue Service has issued over 778,000 Economic Impact Payments (EIP) totaling more than $1.4 B to eligible individuals in Arkansas
  • HUD made over $23.6 M in COVID-19 funding available to Arkansas grantees via CARES Act authorizations
  • Dept. of Ed suspended Federal student loan payments and waived interest during the Federal emergency, which could help up to 339,500 direct loan borrowers in Arkansas.

Here is the full press release from the White House:

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 State of Arkansas and the people of Arkansas to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information is bolstered by hundreds of additional actions by the Federal government to help the people of Arkansas. Implementation of the CARES Act is ongoing and will also bring additional support to Arkansas. President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have appreciated the strong State-Federal partnership with Governor Asa Hutchinson.

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 Arkansas, pursuant to section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
  • Arkansas’ Major Disaster Declaration: On March 30, Governor Hutchinson submitted a major disaster declaration request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On April 3, President Trump approved the request declaring a major disaster in the State of Arkansas 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 Arkansas allocation information is found below.

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 Arkansas. 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 Arkansas 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 Federal government is supporting mobile testing efforts to increase testing capacity and availability in Arkansas.
  • 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 Arkansas entities, including Project Air Bridge efforts to bolster private sector supply chains.
PPE4/18 – 4/24Total (YTD)
N-95 Masks7,80076,700
Surgical & Procedural Masks89,7002,250,500
Eye & Face Shields3,20042,700
Isolation & Surgical Gowns56,9001,299,100
Surgical & Exam Gloves3,671,70051,809,300
  • IN ADDITION TO the Project Air Bridge efforts, FEMA has delivered 116,552 N-95 masks, 277,156 surgical masks, 46,437 medical gowns, 1,871 coveralls, 56,655 face shields, and 258,137 gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile to Arkansas.
  • As of April 27, FEMA obligated $340,700 for COVID-19 response efforts in Arkansas and will continue to obligate additional dollars per validated State requests.

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 $13.1 M to the State of Arkansas. More here.
    • As of April 8, HHS has awarded over $10.5 M in CARES Act funding to 12 health centers across Arkansas to assist in combatting COVID-19. More here.
    • Medical providers in Arkansas were allocated more than $326.5 M for the first round of funding from the Provider Relief Fund, with most of that provided Friday, April 10.
    • As of April 27, the State of Arkansas has received over $403.8 M from HHS through the Provider Relief Fund, CDC State and local funding, HRSA health centers, and other HHS grants.
    • On April 22, organizations across Arkansas were awarded more than $3.6 M to support small rural hospitals and promote telehealth in rural communities. More here.
    • On March 30, the State of Arkansas submitted an 1135 Medicaid Waiver request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). On April 2, CMS approved Arkansas’s waiver request offering new flexibilities to focus resources on combatting the outbreak and providing the best possible care to Medicaid beneficiaries in Arkansas.
    • 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 Arkansas 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 April 16, the SBA issued over $2.7 B in loans to over 21,000 Arkansas 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 20, SBA declared an economic disaster in Arkansas at the request of Governor Hutchinson. The disaster declaration creates access to low interest loans for small businesses across Arkansas. As of April 27, the SBA has approved 7,548 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances of up to $10,000 for Arkansas 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 $30.9 M in the State of Arkansas.
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury (USDT)
    • As of April 17, the Internal Revenue Service has issued over 778,000 Economic Impact Payments (EIP) totaling more than $1.4 B to eligible individuals in Arkansas. Nationally, the IRS has issued 88.1 M payments to 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. Morehere and here.
    • Treasury is operationalizing stimulus relief to States, Tribes, and eligible units of local government as authorized under the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. The State of Arkansas, combined with eligible units of local government in the State that apply, will receive over $1.2 B. As of April 22, governmental entities in the State of Arkansas have already received their $1.2 B allocation. More here.
    • 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 in Arkansas and across the Nation impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MLF will provide up to $500 B, half a trillion, in direct financing to States, counties, and cities across the Nation to help ensure they have the funds necessary to provide essential services to citizens and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. More here. MLF term sheet and guidance can be found here.
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    • HUD made over $23.6 M in COVID-19 funding available to Arkansas grantees via CARES Act authorizations. 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas and across the Nation with forbearance for up to three months if they agree not to evict tenants during that period. More here.
  • 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 339,500 direct loan borrowers in Arkansas.
  • DoED has also provided unprecedented reporting flexibilities to Arkansas 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 $120.8 M to support postsecondary education students and institutions of higher education in Arkansas. More here and here.
  • On April 14, DoED announced an allocation in the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF), authorized by the CARES Act, of over $30.6 M for Arkansas. 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 $128.7 M available to Arkansas 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)
    • On April 17, Secretary Perdue joined President Trump in announcing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in Arkansas 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 Arkansas.
    • USDA has provided numerous flexibilities and resources to the State of Arkansas to ensure children and low income Americans have access to food during the national emergency. More here.
    • USDA published a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide for rural residents, businesses, and communities in Arkansas and across the country to find information about Federal funding and partnership opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
    • DOT allocated more than $82.7 Min Federal Transit Administration funds to help the Arkansas public transportation systems respond to the challenges of COVID-19. More here.
    • DOT awarded more than $51.3 M from the Federal Aviation Administration to help fund continuing operations and lost revenue for airports in Arkansas. More 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas. More here.

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