Former FEMA administrator gives his two cents on COVID-19

Gainesville, FL. (WCJB) -- A former FEMA administrator, and Alachua County native, spoke to tv20, about what you should expect from the COVID-19 situation in the next few months.

Here's why Craig Fugate says we’ll need to keep up with social distancing for the foreseeable future.

Fugate started off with good news, he says no matter how long this pandemic lasts FEMA should be adequately funded to help provide relief for the American people. “We saw in the CARES act FEMA got a substantial infusion of money into the relief fund of the initial cost of responding to this pandemic, so as long as Congress is willing to provide the funding we should not see FEMA run out of money.”

Fugate urges the importance of social distancing since it's our best tool to flatten the curve right now. But he warns that alone won’t spell the end of this crisis. “Flattening the curve does not mean it's going to be over, it just means it's moving slower. Until we have vaccines or adequate testing we’re going to probably still see a lot of these requirements of social distancing and stay in place.”

Just like with the familiar routines of hurricane season in Florida, Fugate says paying attention to local news is the best way to keep your family safe and informed. "Disaster information needs to be localized it needs to be what do I need to do at my home, my neighborhood and my county. The only organizations that can do that fast are broadcasters because situations change and can change in hours.”

Looking towards the future, Fugate believes there are two major milestones that will truly mark the beginning of the end of COVID-19. “To me how do we know we’re through the worst of this is when schools re-open and restaurants start running again, people can go to restaurants safely. There may be other things that can be brought back online sooner but it really comes down to adequate testing and the ability to make sure the workforce is safe.”