President Trump declared a national emergency over the novel coronavirus.
“To unleash the full power of the federal government … I am officially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said.
This announcement, according to NBC News, 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.
Trump 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. He also announced plans for a large-scale drive-thru protocol for testing for the virus.
According to The New York Times, as of Friday morning at least 1,663 people in 46 states and Washington, DC, had tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 41 people had died. To date, more than 136,000 people around the world have been infected, and there have been more than 5,000 deaths. The World Health Organization on Wednesday classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.