Trump declares emergency, frees up $50B to fight coronavirus

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In a televised White House address Friday, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The move was meant to make it easier for federal resources to help state and territorial efforts to fight the infectious disease, as the number of those infected in the United States continued to climb.  

“To unleash the full power of the federal government on this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency — two very big words,” Trump said. “The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion … a large amount for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease.”

In furtherance of the order, Trump asked every state to set up emergency operation centers immediately.

“I’m also asking every hospital in the country to activate its emergency-preparedness plan so that they can meet the needs of Americans everywhere,” Trump said. “The emergency orders I’m also issuing today will also confer broad new authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.”

This move was meant to give doctors, hospitals and other health care providers the “maximum flexibility” to respond to the emergency.

Telehealth, or remote visits, were also being touted by Trump as a positive, emerging technology that would be utilized to address the effort.

Thursday evening Trump announced the nation was suspending entry from foreign nationals who’ve been to Europe in the last 14 days who’ve been to the United States. 

“Through a very collective action and shared sacrifice and national determination,” Trump said Friday morning from the Rose Garden, “we will overcome the threat of the virus.”

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