WASHINGTON — FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell spoke today at the White House about FEMA and the federal government’s continuing support in the ongoing response to COVID-19.
Criswell’s comments came almost one year after FEMA began supporting community vaccination centers in 2021.
“We know that the most critical need right now is medical staffing for our hospitals, and we’ve been working nonstop with the Department of Defense and Health and Human Services, who have been on the ground in communities since day one to push even more medical teams out the door to communities who need it most,” she said. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact of these teams on their continued heroic efforts.”
Criswell added that FEMA policy will now provide funding for states to use their National Guard troops to fill critical healthcare vacancies.
“As critical as our doctors and nurses are, countless other professionals keep our hospitals running. Patient transporters, workers and cleaning staff are all at the heart of these healthcare facilities,” she said. “I am now directing an expansion of our FEMA policy to permit funding to states who elect to use their National Guard troops to fill these critical support roles in hospitals. This pandemic has shifted and changed through the delta variant and now the omicron variant, but our commitment of the entire federal family has not changed. Together, we will continue to surge staff, push resources and provide support using every tool that we have available to fight our fight against COVID-19.”