President Trump declared a “national emergency” on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the action would “open up access to up to $50 billion,” which he described as “a large amount of money for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease.”
Trump also urged states to set up emergency operation centers immediately.
A source familiar with the President’s plans says Trump is declaring both a national emergency and invoking the Stafford Act.
What this means:
The Stafford Act is what frees up the extra federal funding and allows access to the funds.
The national emergency gives access to expanded authorities for the executive branch.
President Trump announced that private labs and vaccine developers will be able to provide five million coronavirus tests within a month.
He also claimed that drive-through testing sites will be set up to make coronavirus tests available to more people and more quickly, something that has been implemented in other countries.
Even as he announced a scaling up of testing capacity for coronavirus, President Trump said Friday he did not believe all Americans should rush to be tested.
“We don’t want people to take a test if we feel that they shouldn’t be doing it. And we don’t want everybody running out and taking — only if you have certain symptoms,” he said in the Rose Garden.
Trump, who began he remarks giving himself plaudits for his response to the outbreak, still appeared to believe the spread could be limited and that not every person in the country would require access to tests.
“We don’t want everybody taking this test. It’s totally unnecessary,” he said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised President Trump’s emergency action on coronavirus, saying the move “remove the constraints” health, state and local officials have in containing the virus.
“We still have a long way to go. There will be many more cases. But we’ll take care of that and ultimately, as the President said, this will end,” he said.
Fauci added: “But what’s going on here today is going to help it to end sooner than it would have.”