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Ocasio-Cortez proposes expanding disaster aid for COVID pandemic

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced legislation Friday to expand disaster aid to individuals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ocasio-Cortez said the current criteria only allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide direct assistance to individuals during natural disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes — not a pandemic.

James Messerschmidt

Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a companion measure in March.

AOC’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of Queens and the Bronx, has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Nearly 20,000 people in my district have tested positive for a deadly virus. Thousands of my constituents are without work. We built temporary field hospitals in public parks. This is what a disaster looks like. FEMA needs to begin immediately dispersing aid to individuals hurt by COVID-19,” she said.

The Pandemic Disaster Assistance Act would ensure that after any disaster declared by a governor or the president, individuals would be able to apply directly for FEMA aid from the following programs: Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (D-SNAP), Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), medical assistance, funeral aid and child care support.

AOC caught flak last week when she was the only House Democrat to vote against the $484 billion COVID relief package, or Payroll Protection Plan. The new law replenishes funds to a small-business loan program and steers $75 billion to reeling hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.

Ocasio-Cortez claimed the measure was inadequate given the extraordinary need.

James Messerschmidt

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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