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Biden approves major disaster declaration for Texas

February 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 70.2%. 2 min read.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 19: U.S. President Joe Biden departs after delivering remarks at a virtual event hosted by the Munich Security Conference in the East Room of the White House on February 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. In his remarks, President Biden stressed the United States' commitment to NATO after four years of the Trump administration undermining the alliance. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas, unlocking more federal resources to assist the state struggling to recover from deadly winter storms.

(CNN)President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas, unlocking more federal resources to assist the state struggling to recover from deadly winter storms.

Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms beginning on February 11, 2021, and continuing," the White House said in a statement Saturday.

The President's approval allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide more resources and assistance, including grants for temporary housing and repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help communities recover.

The White House has been proactive in responding to the crisis, with the President having already approved an emergency declaration for the state last weekend.

On Friday, Biden told reporters that he plans to travel to the state of Texas, when his presidential visit would no longer be a "burden" on the state's resources.

The President said he had spoken with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, twice this week including Thursday night.

Biden also spoke with acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton Friday afternoon, instructing him to "to mobilize other federal agencies to bring additional support to the people of Texas and ensure that any critical needs are met," according to a statement from the White House.

The governor had requested both individual and public assistance for all 254 counties, and the Biden administration approved individual assistance in 77 counties and public assistance in all counties, according to a statement from Abbott's office.

"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," Abbott said in the statement.

Liz Sherwood-Randall, Biden's Homeland security adviser, told reporters Thursday that FEMA had provided Texas with "60 generators and fuel available to support critical sites like hospitals and water facilities, 729,000 liters of water, more than 10,000 wool blankets, 50,000 cotton blankets, and 225,000 meals. "

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Biden had been receiving updates about Texas and the surrounding states impacted by the bad weather more than once a day and that the President directed his team to "make rapid decisions and be responsive to the specific needs of the states as they come up during this difficult time. "

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