President Donald Trump says he would love to have the U.S. reopened by Easter on April 12. Health experts had said the coronavirus outbreak will overwhelm hospitals unless Americans drastically limit group gatherings and stay home.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson briefs Capitol reporters about the coronavirus on March 21, 2020 in Jefferson City

During Tuesday’s Capitol press conference on Facebook, Gov. Mike Parson said he hopes the president is right.

“But the reality of it is, we’re planning this much longer than two weeks here in the state of Missouri. I think that’s how you do – to make a good plan – how you’re going to deal with a crisis. I think when we’re all doing executive orders and the mayors are doing their orders for two weeks, the reality of it we all know that we believe this is going to continue for some time and for some weeks,” said Parson.

On Tuesday, Parson requested a federal major disaster declaration for the state’s response to COVID-19. In his request, Parson says the coronavirus pandemic is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the state and local governments. The governor has requested Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling and the Public Assistance Program to help local governments and nonprofits with emergency response costs.

Missouri’s entire congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, and U.S. Representatives Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Emanuel Cleaver, II, Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, Wm. Lacy Clay, Billy Long, and Jason Smith, sent a letter urging President Trump to support Parson’s disaster declaration request.

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