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Gov. John Bel Edwards Announces Opening of State Parks

KLAF/KADN-(5/13/2020)Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 32,662 cases, 64 of 64 parishes were affected and 2,315 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. At Wednesdays press briefing it was announced that 18 of 21 Louisiana State Parks will be opening this weekend. The parks will be open to Louisiana residents only. Those staying 3 nights can receive a 4th night free by using the promo code: WelcomeBack .  As Louisiana enters Phase One of the plan for reopening, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser today announced 18 State Parks, all 18 State Historic Sites, and all 9 State Museum buildings will reopen starting this weekend under the new guidelines. During phase one, all welcome centers will remain closed; however, those with exterior doors to restrooms will have 24-hour restrooms available.

 

“As we begin a careful, safe process to reopen Louisiana, the tourism and travel industry is faced with the task of recovering to the record-breaking success we saw prior to this crisis,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “I urge everyone in the state to take this time to be safe, but also get out and enjoy all the wonderful things right here in our backyard, like our state parks, historic sites, and state museums. The road to our recovery starts with the strong people of Louisiana.”

 

Louisiana State Parks & State Historic Sites

 

Louisiana residents can now begin making reservations to stay at the 18 state parks starting Friday, May 15. All previously-booked out-of-state reservations are being canceled. Additionally, all 18 State Historic Sites will be open on Friday, May 15. Reservations will be taken for campsites, cabins, large capacity lodges, meeting rooms, and group camps. Louisianans are encouraged to get out and explore our state parks and state historic sites in a safe manner, respecting social distancing and the Governor’s guidelines for Phase 1, keeping within in the 25% capacity for these facilities.

 

Each state park and state historic site will follow guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) to ensure all areas are disinfected and safe for visitors. All employee working in fee stations, and coming into contact with visitors, will wear PPE including masks and follow proper prevention hygiene such as washing their hands frequently and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Additional measures will be taken, following the CDC guidelines, on proper cleaning and sanitizing after guests leave to prepare for the next set of visitors.

 

Three state parks, which were used as isolation areas for patients, will remain closed. Those state parks are Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, Lake Bistineau State Park in Doyline, and Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego. Before opening each of these facilities to the public, certified cleaning crews will perform a decontamination cleaning of each area of the park.

 

For more information about Louisiana State Parks visit LaStateParks.com, or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Louisiana State Museums

 

Beginning Saturday, May 16, our 9 state museum facilities will reopen to visitors at 25% capacity. Employees with direct interaction with guests will follow CDC guidelines and will be wearing face masks. Throughout each museum, additional hand sanitizing stations have been set up for use by visitors and staff. Cleaning crews will take additional measures to properly clean and sanitize each of our state museum buildings throughout the day and overnight.

 

State museum building hours will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Final tickets each day will be sold at 3 p.m. and those visitors will be informed they have one hour to view exhibits. The exhibit spaces will close at 4 p.m. to all guests.

 

For more information on our Louisiana State Museums visit louisianastatemusem.org, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Welcome Centers

 

The lobby area of all Louisiana Welcome Centers will remain closed during Phase 1. Those Welcome Centers with exterior doors to restrooms will have 24-hour restrooms available. Cleaning crews will sanitize each restroom throughout the day and night. The Welcome Centers in St. Francisville on Highway 61, Pearl River on I-59, and in the French Quarter will remain closed to visitors as these buildings do not have exterior door access to restrooms.

 

During this time, employees will be working inside the lobby areas of the Welcome Centers. Each center will have a notice with a phone number for visitors to contact the staff inside for assistance. Welcome Center staff will assist visitors as needed, but do so without direct contact with visitors.

 

Focus on the Future

 

Lieutenant Governor Nungesser is urging all Louisianans to help in the recovery effort by staying safe, but also stay in the state. “The way to economic recovery starts with each of you making the choice to shop, play, and stay in parts of the state you have never before seen. Support your local Main Streets and businesses, hotels, and restaurants.”

 

As the state moves through the different phases to a complete reopening, Lieutenant Governor Nungesser and the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism will introduce the Louisiana Lagniappe program aimed at luring conventions and conferences back to Louisiana. Through the Louisiana Lagniappe program, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board will offer conventions and conferences Louisiana seafood for one meal, prepared by Louisiana chefs and caterers. Additionally, Louisiana musicians will be provided as entertainment at an event during their stay in the state.

 

“Some say this will be impossible. But in my experience, through hurricane, floods, and oil spills, Louisianans have always faced this challenge head on and done what many say cannot be done. We are a strong state, filled with strong people. Our resilience has inspired and changed the world. We have experienced hardships before and have always come back stronger because we are Louisiana Strong.”

 

 

(5/11/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 31,815 cases, 64 of 64 parishes were affected and 2,242 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. At Monday’s press briefing Governor John Bel Edwards announced phase one of opening the state. Phase One guidance will allow essential businesses, as defined by CISA, to remain open. Non-essential businesses (sometimes called “gray area” businesses) and places of worship may remain open at 25 percent of their occupancy. All business owners should read the order to understand which category their business falls into. Governor Edwards announced the Stay at Home order will be lifted Friday May 15, 2020. Phase one will be in effect for 21 days.

Now open at 25% occupancy :
Churches
Solo and non contact sports
Barbers and salons
Museums, zoos, aquariums
Restaurants, coffee shops -take out delivery dine in only
Theaters, casinos and video poker
Racetracks -not open to spectators

High risk individuals are encouraged to still take precautions.

Amusement businesses, tattoo parlors and massage parlors are to remain closed. For information on registering your business visit  OpenSafely.LA.Gov . This site allows you to register your business and your registration allows you to receive updated communication, notifications, and helpful guidance via email from the State Fire Marshal’s Office specific to your business type. These notifications will answer the important questions:

  • When can I partially or fully open my business?
  • What are the steps to open my business?
  • What changes can be expected for businesses that have been operating, but with restrictions?
  • What restrictions are my business subject to, if any?
  • Are there any new sanitation requirements for my business?
  • Are there any personal protective requirements (masks, gloves, etc.) for my employees?

 

Louisiana meets the statewide threshold criteria from the White House related to declining COVID-like symptoms, new cases and hospitalizations. In addition, testing and contact tracing are ramping up, which further supports the decision to go to Phase One.

  • Click here to see the data presented at the Governor’s May 11 media briefing.

“Because of the Stay at Home order, Louisianans were able to dramatically improve our trajectory, reduce the number of new cases, keep our health care system from being overrun and save lives. It is because of this hard work that I, in consultation with public health experts and business and industry leaders, feel confident that all across the state we can move forward with entering into Phase One. Because we meet the White House statewide threshold criteria, starting on Friday, additional businesses may open with reasonable limitations to ensure safety for their employees and their customers,” Gov. Edwards said. “Louisianans who are at high risk of dying from COVID-19, including the elderly, residents of long-term care facilities and those with poor control of certain illnesses, should continue to stay at home and only leave their homes only for essential reasons, like seeking medical care, going to an essential job or getting food.”

“Right now, the data shows improvement, and we also now have a much more robust testing and contract tracing program underway, which will allow us to better identify cases and isolate those who may have been infected. However, we are not out of the woods and if we see a dramatic spike in cases, we may have to increase restrictions. Our lives will not go back to normal for some time,” Gov. Edwards said. “I know this has been a trying time for our people, our churches and our businesses, and I am truly grateful for the continued adherence to mitigation measures designed to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. Louisianans are a remarkably strong and resilient people, and by working together, we will continue to protect each other and our state.”

 

 

 

(5/4/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 29,673 cases, 64 of 64 parishes were affected and 1,991 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. ” We remain under a ‘Stay at Home’ order”, says Gov. John Bel Edwards. With Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, the Governor wanted to remind citizens to keep social distancing and wear masks. Last week the Governor announced restaurants will be allowed to open their outside areas for patrons to eat meals only, without tableside service. This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the Governor wanted to remind residents of  GetAGamePlan.org . The website is there to provide information to families and businesses to prepare them for the upcoming hurricane season.

To get a game plan for your family click here.

To get a game plan for your business click here.

 

(4/30/2020) Gov. John Bel Edwards formally extended Louisiana’s Stay at Home order until May 15 as the state continues to slow the spread of COVID-19 to meet the White House threshold criteria for opening more of our economy. In recent days and weeks, Louisiana has seen a drop in new case counts and hospitalizations in some, but not all, regions of the state, though the death rate continues to be high.

More than 1,800 people in Louisiana have died from COVID-19. And while more than 17,000 people are estimated by the Louisiana Department of Health as being recovered,10,000 people in Louisiana are still sick, giving Louisiana a high disease burden. And this does not account for the thousands of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases in our state among those not tested. As of Thursday morning, Louisiana was six per capita for cases in the United States.

  • Click here for a copy of the order.

“My decision to extend the Stay at Home order was based on sound science and data and the recommendations of multiple public health experts and doctors as the best shot Louisiana has to protect the health of all people,” Gov. Edwards said. “We simply don’t meet the qualifications to move to Phase 1 yet, but all Louisianans should be hopeful that we will soon. Brighter days are ahead for Louisiana, and I am proud not only of our health care heroes and frontline essential workers, but also of our people who have shown extreme strength during this tough time and have largely abided by the Stay at Home order. We will get through this together and resume the celebrations we have had to put on hold when we are able to come together again safely.”

“Let me be clear – many businesses in Louisiana are allowed to open and operate as long as their employees wear face masks or coverings, limit the number of people on premises as outlined in the order and enforce social distancing. Businesses owners will need to review the order to be sure that they understand if their business may be open and how it may operate, if it is. In the coming days we will be providing additional information and tools to help business owners understand the guidance for Phase 1 so that they can protect the health and safety of their customers and their employees.”

  • Click here for information for businesses.

The order signed today is almost identical to the Governor’s previous orders. Businesses that previously were directed to be closed will remain closed, including salons, barber shops, bars and casinos. Businesses that are deemed essential under the third phase of federal CISA guidance will still be open. Non-essential retail and other businesses in Louisiana continue to be able to open with no more than 10 people total inside, including employees and customers.

Three noteworthy changes in the new Stay at Home order include:

  • Malls will remain closed to the public, but stores may open for curbside delivery.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to open their outside areas for patrons to eat meals only, without tableside service.
  • All employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask or face covering.

Additionally, both the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Health strongly urge everyone to wear masks or face coverings when in public.

Hopefully, Louisiana will meet the White House criteria and move to Phase 1 on May 15, provided symptoms, new case counts and hospitalizations decrease and the state continues to surge testing and contact tracing capacity. Phase 1 lifts the Stay at Home order and eases restrictions on some public spaces like houses of worship and restaurants and opens other businesses that have been closed such as barber shops and salons, but with restrictions on occupancy and strict requirements for personal distancing and masks to keep everyone safe. Phase 1 occupancy for these businesses will be limited to 25 percent, including employees and customers.

As Louisiana prepares to move forward to the next phase, the state will begin issuing guidance and additional resources for businesses, in the coming days and weeks.

Gov. Edwards intends to make his next announcement on moving to Phase 1 in Louisiana on or by May 11. Members of the public can continue to get information from the Governor’s office on Coronavirus.la.gov and by texting LACOVID to 67283.

(4/28/2020)–  Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 28,001 cases, 64 of 64 parishes were affected and 1,862 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he will extend Louisiana’s Stay at Home order until May 15 to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. Louisiana does not currently meet the White House criteria for entering Phase One of reopening.

While Louisiana has seen positive, improving trends statewide in terms of new case growth and new hospitalizations, in several regions across the state, new cases and hospitalizations continue to increase or to plateau, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Health. The White House criteria calls for declining numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, among other things.

“Thanks to the commitment of the people of Louisiana, our state has made progress in flattening the curve and reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, we still have a little work to do before we meet the criteria to safely move to the next phase of reopening, so I will extend the state’s Stay at Home order until May 15, with a few minor changes,” Gov. Edwards said. “While this is not the announcement I want to make, I am hopeful, and all of Louisiana should be hopeful, that we will enter into the next phase of reopening soon, in mid-May. I am anxious to get all areas of our economy reopened, but if we accelerate too quickly, we may have to slam on the brakes. That will be bad for public health and for businesses, bad for our people and bad for our state.”

Gov. Edwards’ decision is based on regional data that shows that while overall new cases and hospitalizations have decreased, this is not the case in several regions. In the Baton Rouge and Monroe regions, both new cases and new hospitalizations have increased. Some increases are also being seen in terms of new cases in Acadiana and a plateau for hospitalizations in Southwest Louisiana and a plateau of new cases on the Northshore.

  • Click here to view the Governor’s presentation on regional data trends.

Under the extended order, which will be issued on Friday, May 1, businesses that previously were directed to be closed will remain closed, including salons, barber shops, bars and casinos, among other things. Businesses that are deemed essential under the third phase of federal CISA guidance may still be open. Non-essential retail businesses in Louisiana continue to be able to open with fewer than 10 people total inside.

Three major changes in the new Stay at Home order include:

  • Malls will remain closed to the public, but stores may open for curbside delivery.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to open their outside areas for patrons to eat meals only, without tableside service.
  • All employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask.

Additionally, both the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Health strongly urge everyone to wear masks when in public.

“Wearing cloth masks or protective face coverings is part of the new normal,” Gov. Edwards said. “Wearing a mask is being a good neighbor and in Louisiana, we pride ourselves on being good neighbors. Your mask protects me and other people and my mask protects you.”

Hopefully, Louisiana will meet the White House criteria and move to Phase 1 on May 15, provided symptoms, new case counts and hospitalizations decrease and the state continues to surge testing and contact tracing capacity. Phase 1 lifts the Stay at Home order and eases restrictions on some public spaces like houses of worship and restaurants and opens other businesses that have been closed such as barber shops and salons, but with restrictions on occupancy and strict requirements for personal distancing and masks to keep everyone safe. Phase One occupancy for these businesses will be limited to 25 percent.

As Louisiana prepares for its next phase of reopening, business owners and faith leaders are encouraged to plan as well, including understanding their building’s maximum occupancy limits, which may require contacting local government or the State Fire Marshal’s office. They should also plan on ensuring their employees have masks.

Gov. Edwards intends to make his next announcement on moving to Phase 1 in Louisiana on or by May 11. Members of the public can continue to get information from the Governor’s office on coronavirus.la.gov and by texting LACOVID to 67283.

 

(4/24/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 26,140 cases, 64 of 64 parishes were affected and 1,601 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. According to an added feature on the www.ldh.la.gov website, close to 15,000 are “presumed recovered” in the state figures.Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he is making $500,000 from the Governor’s COVID-19 Response Fund available to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce to examine the causes and possible solutions to the high rate of deaths from the coronavirus within Louisiana’s African-American community and other impacted populations.

 

(4/9/2020)- Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 18,283 cases, 63 of 64 parishes were affected and 702 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. Governor Edwards urged residents in a post to Twitter to “continue to be good neighbors and work toward the goal of flattening the curve or we could run the risk of seeing our numbers spike.”

(4/6/2020)- Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 14,867 cases, 62 of 64 parishes were affected and 512 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. We have completed just shy of 70,000 test. Louisiana is second per capita in the United States for testing. Gov. Edwards says, ” We believe we might see the beginning of flattening of the curve. We have to keep doing everything we’ve been doing to have the best outcome.” Gov. Edwards went on to say ,”It’s too soon to know if we’ve peaked.” The CDC recommends people wear non medical masks to protect yourselves and others while performing essential duties.

 

(4/3/2020)– Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 10,297 cases, 61 of 64 parishes were affected and 370 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. Louisiana is second in the nation per capita in testing. “We need everyone paying attention to the ‘Stay at Home’ order and complying,” says Gov. Edwards. ” The death rate in Louisiana is higher than anyone else in the country.”

For small business guidance & loan resources visit SBA.gov .

To sign up for text alerts to provide timely COVID-19 updates visit: Coronavirus.LA.gov or for more information text LACOVID to 67283 for information on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

(4/2/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 9,150 cases, 61 of 64 parishes were affected and 310 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. According to Governor Edwards, 95 percent of the results are from commercial labs. “We’ve got more and more commercial labs on board.” The governor also extended the ‘Stay at Home’ order until April 30, 2020. An emergency alert will be sent out today via cell phones at 4:00pm to alert the public about the ‘Stay at Home’ order extension. Schools will remain closed until the end of April. For more information text LACOVID to 67283 for information on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

(4/1/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 6,424 cases, 60 of 64 parishes were affected and 273 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. Governor Edwards stressed the importance of following the ‘Stay at Home’ order. “We have to have better compliance from everyone.” Gov. Edwards says. “We can simply not let off the gas.” He announced region 3 in Louisiana now has the highest growth rate of Coronavirus.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a new Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To help Main Street and rural businesses sustain operations, the loans will require no payments for 180 days and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5 percent. For more information on the small business loan, visit the link below: 

https://kadn.com/gov-edwards-state-led-program-to-offer-covid-19-small-business-help/

 

(3/31/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 5,237 cases, 60 of 64 parishes were affected and 239 deaths resulting from Coronavirus. “This is the largest number of case increase within a 24 hour period. We have yet to see any evidence that we are flattening the curve,” says Gov. Edwards. It is expected that New Orleans will exceed their capacity on ventilators April 4th and hospital beds on April 7th. Gov. Edwards signed off to add 1,000 additional hospital beds to the Morial Convention Center bringing the total number of beds to 2,000. These beds are expected to be available in the coming week(s). “As you see from the numbers today, we have a long way to go,” the Governor added. President Donald Trump agreed to send 150 ventilates to Louisiana which should make it to the state within a day or two according to Gov. Edwards. 292 have been received so far.

 

(3/30/2020) Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 4,025 cases, 59 of 64 parishes were affected and 185 deaths resulting from Coronavirus.Governor John Bel Edwards expects the New Orleans area to exceed ventilator capacity by April 5th and says, ” We need people to obey the ‘Stay-at- Home’ order that was put in place. I am urging people to do better.” Edwards expects to extend the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order until at least April 30th at the end of this week to coincide with President Trumps extension of social distancing guidelines.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the passing of 33-year old April Dunn who succumbed to complications from COVID-19 this weekend. He described  April as a dedicated staff member who served in the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs and a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.

Gov. Edwards issued the following statement:

“On behalf of Donna and my entire administration, it is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our dear April,” said Gov. Edwards. “She brightened everyone’s day with her smile, was a tremendous asset to our team and an inspiration to everyone who met her. She lived her life to the fullest and improved the lives of countless Louisianans with disabilities. April worked hard as an advocate for herself and other members of the disability community. She served as the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, and when I created the State As A Model Employer Taskforce, April told me how much she wanted to be part of it because of her struggles to find meaningful employment. I was proud to have an advocate like April on the task force and on my staff. She set a great example for how other businesses could make their workforce more inclusive. I ask the entire state to join us in prayer for April’s mother Joanette and her grandmother Gloria.”

 

 

 

(3/27/2020)-Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to Coronavirus. Edwards announced there were 2,746 cases,  54 of 64 parishes were affected and 119 deaths ” This is the largest increase in deaths yet” says Governor John Bel Edwards.  “If we’re going to save lives we must have full cooperation from everyone.”

Delta Airlines has offered to fly medical volunteers out free of charge. To sign up visit Lava.DHH.Louisiana.gov.

LAVA is administered by the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health. LAVA works to recruit, credential, train, manage and deploy volunteers (medical and non-medical) to assist during emergencies and day to day activities by providing additional staff to meet health/medical surge needs.

Volunteer Registration in the Louisiana Volunteers in Action (LAVA) System
This course provides steps to registering in the LAVA System to assist during emergencies and daily activities in improving public health.

 

 

(3/26/2020)- On Thursday, Edwards announced there were 2,305 cases and 83 deaths as of Thursday with 53 of 64 parishes affected. “Regardless of who you are and where you live take this seriously. This is a state wide problem. We know there is light at the end of the tunnel but we’re not close enough to see it”, says Governor John Bel Edwards. New Orleans is gearing up for a possible overflow at area hospitals , with plans to treat as many as 3,000 patients at the city’s Convention Center. The Morial Convention Center will be used for patients who no longer need ventilators to breathe,  Mayor Latoya Cantrell said during a news conference. While hospitals are scrambling to relocate personnel and seek more health care workers, city officials said they are prepared to bring in workers from other areas to deal with those at the Morial Convention Center.

Louisiana COVID-19 Healthcare Volunteering

If you are a healthcare student, graduate, or an active member/retiree of the healthcare workforce, please sign up to volunteer your time and talent to help the State and our healthcare system meet the challenges of COVID-19. We are looking for volunteers with backgrounds in the fields of medicine, nursing, allied health professions, dentistry, counseling, mental/behavioral health, laboratory science, among others.
This is a partnership of all higher education institutions in Louisiana, led by the University of Louisiana System and Louisiana State University, to mobilize our students and graduates in healthcare professions. To sign up visit Covid-19LAVolunteers.org or click here.

 

(3/25/2020)- On Wednesday, Edwards announced there were 1,795 cases and 65 deaths as of Wednesday with 48 of 64 parishes affected.” If our growth continues we could run out of ventilators in New Orleans the first week of April.”

A little over two weeks ago, Louisiana had no known cases. As of Tuesday March 24, there were 1,388 cases of Coronavirus in the state with 46 deaths. Governor John Bel Edwards says, “This is real and our state and everyone in it needs to take it seriously. Everyone needs to do their part to fight this virus.”

Governor John Bel Edwards announced that his request for a state wide Major Disaster Declaration in response to the spread of Coronavirus in Louisiana was approved by President Trump last night.

To reads more about the Major Disaster Declaration click the link below:

https://kadn.com/icymi-gov-edwards-covid-19-major-disaster-declaration-request-approved-by-president-trump/