The United States federal system of government allows states a degree of autonomy when implementing new policy and responding to emerging challenges. This structure has impacted the way that communities across the US, and the US itself, has responded to the outbreak of COVID-19. As states across the country determine their own ’stay at home’ orders and plans to tackle and recover from the devastation of the coronavirus, federal agencies are faced with coordinating a unified nationwide response.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), dealing with an unconventional threat, is adapting to the new normal as it seeks to limit and contain the spread of the virus with a nationwide response led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, within the DHS. FEMA in turn has begun working with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Department of Health and Human Services and state-level government to coordinate a ‘Whole-of-America’ response to the pandemic.
Secretary Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss; US Secretary of Homeland Security, 2013 - 17
Chair: Amy Pope, Partner, Schillings; Associate Fellow, US and Americas Programme, Chatham House