Trump Declares National Emergency to Fight Coronavirus. What Does That Mean?

March 13, 2020 Topic: economy Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Donald TrumpCoronavirusEconomyHealth2020 Election

Trump Declares National Emergency to Fight Coronavirus. What Does That Mean?

Calling his national emergency declaration “two very big words,” Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will now have $50 billion at its disposal to aid states and other localities in fighting the epidemic.

 

During a “beautiful day in the rose garden” this afternoon, President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic currently enveloping the developed world.

The President explained what this announcement would entail, and invited the medical professionals leading the coronavirus response team to speak. This was followed by a parade of corporate CEOs who have been asked to cooperate with the federal government in organizing the development of more test kits and medical equipment.

 

“We have made tremendous progress when you compare to other areas in the world. It is pretty incredible. A lot has to do with the early designation and closing of the borders,” the President said, congratulating himself on his administration’s efforts over the past month. The current number of active cases of the virus in the United States stands at over 1,700.

Calling his national emergency declaration “two very big words,” Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will now have $50 billion at its disposal to aid states and other localities in fighting the epidemic. He said he had been in contact with state governors to allow the medical professionals to bypass local laws and constraints to give themselves maximum flexibility.

President Trump recommended that all U.S. hospitals to activate their emergency preparedness plans and promised that testing kits would soon be available on mass. An inability to test for the coronavirus caused a more extended spread of the disease in America than in other countries.

“We don’t want everybody taking this test, it’s absolutely unnecessary,” the President said. “We don’t want people who don’t have symptoms to take the test.” Doctors have said that a significant percentage of people who are infected with the coronavirus are asymptomatic but are still contagious for a two-week incubation period. It is the president’s recommendation that these carriers not be diagnosed.

Donald Trump was asked multiple times about his coming into contact with individuals who have already tested positive. Trump denied remembering the interactions, and claimed they lasted only a few seconds. The president did have an extended meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, of whom there are contradictory reports of his health status.

President Trump has not been tested, claiming the recommendation of his White House doctors. He told a reporter he planned to be tested in the unforeseen future.

When asked about the aid bill sitting in congress, Trump said he was still unsatisfied with the current product. This lack of support almost guarantees that no aid will be allocated by congress for at least another week.

Throughout the press conference and the following Q&A, medical professionals and government officials repeated the same three-word mantra that Americans ought to follow: wash your hands.

Hunter DeRensis is the senior reporter for the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis.

Image: Reuters.