Trump declares national emergency in response to coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

President Donald Trump speaks in an address to the nation from the Oval Office at the White House about the coronavirus Wednesday, March, 11, 2020, in Washington. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is declaring the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, as Washington struggles with providing Americans with relief and officials race to slow the spread of the outbreak.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Trump said, “I am officially declaring a national emergency.” He said the emergency would open up nearly $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.

Trump said he was also giving Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar emergency authorities to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals “flexibility” in treating patients.

He also announced a new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities, as his administration has come under fire for being too slow in making the test available. The partnership will include drive-thru testing in some locations and an online portal to screen those seeking to get tested.

Still, Trump said that officials don’t want people taking the test unless they have certain symptoms. “It’s totally unnecessary,” Trump said. He added, “This will pass.”

Trump spoke as negotiations continue between the White House and Congress on an aid package, but there was no announcement of a breakthrough, as House Democrats prepare to vote on their own measure Friday.

LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Local event planner creates game encouraging residents to try, support new restaurants while stuck at home

Thumbnail for the video titled "Local event planner creates game encouraging residents to try, support new restaurants while stuck at home"

Early hurricane season forecasts predict a lightly above average season

Thumbnail for the video titled "Early hurricane season forecasts predict a lightly above average season"

Family of missing St. Petersburg woman is losing hope

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family of missing St. Petersburg woman is losing hope"

Motorcyclist and bicyclist killed after collision on Bayshore Blvd.

Thumbnail for the video titled "Motorcyclist and bicyclist killed after collision on Bayshore Blvd."

Police investigating Bayshore Blvd. traffic fatality

Thumbnail for the video titled "Police investigating Bayshore Blvd. traffic fatality"

Citrus County couple back home after weeks on cruise ships during coronavirus outbreak

Thumbnail for the video titled "Citrus County couple back home after weeks on cruise ships during coronavirus outbreak"

Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships"

businesses shutting down

Thumbnail for the video titled "businesses shutting down"

tobacco depot video

Thumbnail for the video titled "tobacco depot video"

Clearwater police surprise 6-year-old for his birthday

Thumbnail for the video titled "Clearwater police surprise 6-year-old for his birthday"

Migrant workers especially suffering during coronavirus crisis

Thumbnail for the video titled "Migrant workers especially suffering during coronavirus crisis"
More Local News

Coronavirus Need-to-Know Info

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss