Trump Declares National emergency to combat Coronavirus
U.S. President Donald Trump, on Friday, declared a national emergency over pandemic coronavirus, opening the doors to providing about $50 billion in federal aid to fight the disease.
Trump said that he was declaring the national emergency to "unleash the full power of the federal government." He urged every state to set up emergency centers to help fight the coronavirus.
Trump said he was also getting Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar emergency authorities to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals "flexibility" in treating patients.
Pressure has been mounting on Trump to declare an infectious disease emergency under the 1988 law that would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide disaster funds to state and local governments and to deploy support teams. The power is rarely used. Former President Bill Clinton in 2000 declared such an emergency for the West Nile virus.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government, in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words. The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion - a very important and a large amount for the states and the territories or localities in our shared fight against this disease," he said. Trump said the federal government was partnering with the private sector to accelerate the production of test kits to make them more widely available to Americans.
He said there would be about 5 million virus tests available but doubted that many would be needed. He urged people to only seek out the test if they feel they need it.
For most people, the COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness.
The vast majority of people recover. According to the WHO, people with mild illness recover in about 2 weeks, while those with more severe illness may take 3 to 6 weeks to be over it.