According to three directives issued Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Administration will now cover the full costs of the National Guard through September 30 for Arizona, Connecticut and California. It does not give a justification for why those states were selected, or why their full federal funding will end earlier than that of Texas and Florida.
In a call from the Council of Governors of the National Association of Governors held Thursday with senior officials from the White House, the Department of Defense, FEMA and other agencies, several governors complained that states are not treated the same and that the decisions should not be made on the basis of a personal phone. call with Trump, according to reading of the call obtained by POLITICO.
In that call, the White House encouraged other governors to “send a ‘demand signal’ and inform the president why authorization and cost sharing are only necessary.”
California has the highest total number of coronavirus cases, but not the highest number per capita. Arizona, which Trump recently praised as a model, has improved in recent weeks, but continues to struggle with a high case count, a high percentage of people testing positive, and nearly full ICUs in its hospitals. Connecticut this week saw zero new deaths and its lowest test positivity rate in months, less than a quarter of one percent, indicating the state is on track to suppress the virus.
An estimated 25,000 Guard soldiers are deployed across the country in coronavirus response efforts, running test sites, tracing contacts and building hospitals.