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Newsom Warns More Than Half of California Might Get Virus

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday asked for $1 billion in federal funding to help fight the coronavirus and is warning President Donald Trump more than half of Californians could be infected by COVID-19.

According to the Los Angeles Times, California projects 25.5 million people in the state will be sickened over an eight-week period. There is an estimated 37 million residents. 

In a letter to President Donald Trump, the Democratic governor of the nation’s most populous state also asked for the federal government to deploy the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the port of Los Angeles through Sept. 1.

In a separate letter to the leaders of the Senate and House, Newsom said the financial aid is critical to the state’s ability to procure ventilators and other medical supplies, activate state-run hospitals, deploy mobile hospitals, and meet other healthcare needs, the Times reported.

In addition, he requested an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits beyond the 26-week maximum and more funding for Medicaid, federal food assistance, housing, and homelessness, state-subsidized early learning and childcare, and several other safety net programs, the news outlet reported.

“The economic disruption caused by this public health crisis will have immediate and devastating effects on our entire country, including too many families in California,” Newsom wrote. “The magnitude of this crisis is extraordinary and federal-state-local government coordination will be more critical than ever before.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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