President Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday afternoon from the Rose Garden.

From the Rose Garden, President Trump announces a national emergency in battling the coronavirus. (Source: CNN)

The President says he’s unleashing the power of the federal government in declaring a national emergency. This announcement unlocks new resources for state and local efforts and lso marks a new stage of this pandemic.

Friday afternoon, the President took executive action to set aside $50 billion to fight the deadly coronavirus. This means FEMA, the National Guard and other federal disaster workers will be partnering more closely on the ground with your community.

After facing criticism from Democrats, the Trump administration announces at least 1.4 million more testing kits will become available around the country in the coming days. Within a month, the President said five million testing kits would be on hand.

He’s also cutting red tape so telehealth is more readily available to suspected coronavirus patients, and hospitals and doctors will see regulatory relief so they can act more quickly to respond to a deluge of sick people.

Trump was also joined Friday by business leaders, so CVS, Walmart and Target plan to make drive-up testing available for safe testing of coronavirus. Executives said they were committed to doing their part to tackle grave public health concerns.

The President says officials are being vigilant, and that together, we will overcome this pandemic.

So far, the CDC has confirmed about 1,700 US cases of coronavirus and 40 deaths. Globally, there's about 125,000 cases and 4,600 deaths worldwide. Experts widely say those numbers are under-counting cases due to a lack of testing supplies.

At midnight, new travel restrictions are set to go into effect, blocking most European travelers from entering the US for 30 days.

The White House and Congressional leaders continue discussing a new aid package to support workers and families hit hard financially by the coronavirus. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are pushing for more resources for lost wages, additional unemployment benefits, and free testing for the uninsured.

Senators are expected to take up some of these measures as early as next week.

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