President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency across the United States in connection with the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The President announced this during a press conference at the White House.
The state of emergency will allow the authorities to allocate Federal funding to fight the virus, which has already infected 138 thousand people around the world, of which more than 5 thousand have died.
Trump said he was declaring a state of emergency in the country to “exercise the full power of the Federal government.” He called on all states to set up emergency centers to fight the virus.
“In order to exercise the full power of the Federal government… I am officially declaring a state of emergency in the country. I am taking measures that will open access to $ 50 billion-a very important and large amount for states and territories or localities in our common fight against this disease,” the President said.
Trump said the Federal government is working with the private sector to speed up the production of virus tests to make them more accessible to Americans. The President added that in total, it is planned to produce about 5 million tests to determine the coronavirus. At the same time, he stressed that people with the appropriate symptoms should only do tests.
A state of emergency is imposed in accordance with the Stafford Act.
The Stafford Act, which allows the President to declare a national state of emergency and allocate funds from the Federal emergency management Agency to eliminate its consequences, was passed in 1988. The law was rarely applied. In 2000, President Bill Clinton declared a state of emergency due to an outbreak of West Nile fever.
Later on Friday, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum on expanding the state’s diagnostic testing system to detect timely cases of Americans infected with the COVID-19 virus. Testing will be conducted throughout the United States, using both Federal and local resources.
In turn, the speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi issued a message on Friday evening about the agreement reached with the administration of President Trump on joint actions to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
As Pelosi pointed out, very soon, the lower house of Congress will pass a bill that will allow a rapid response to coronavirus diseases in American families. This includes free testing, additional benefits and paid sick leave, free meals or additional discounts for children in school canteens, and Federal financial assistance to various local communities.