Trump declares a national emergency over the coronavirus
President Donald Trump on Friday announced a new series of measures to combat the coronavirus and treat those who are affected.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump declared a national emergency that could free up $50 billion to help fight the pandemic and said that he was empowering the secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain laws and regulations to ensure the virus can be contained and patients treated.
“To unleash the full power of the federal government … I am officially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said.
“Two very big words,” he added.
Trump said the action would “open up access” to up to $50 billion “for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease.”
He also said he was ordering every state to set up emergency operation centers to help stem the spread of the disease, and announced that he was empowering the secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain laws and regulations to ensure the virus can be contained and patients treated.
Among other things, the president said that could allow for easier admission to nursing homes and end limits on the length of hospital stays and the number of beds available. He also said there were plans to allow “drive-thru” virus tests.