Trump declares national emergency to combat coronavirus pandemic

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13 March 2020

US President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to be a "national emergency" on Friday, opening up billions of dollars in aid for US states and giving the health and human services secretary broad new powers to fight the outbreak, APA .

"No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever," Trump said on Friday. His order made available $50 billion in funds for US states and territories to fight the pandemic.

Trump urged every state to set up emergency operation centers and asked every hospital to activate their emergency preparedness plans. He also said the declaration gave US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar broad new powers to combat the pandemic, including the ability to waive provisions and laws to give doctors, hospitals, and other health officials maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and to care for patients.

He further noted that Google was constructing a new website to help users quickly determine if they have symptoms of COVID-19. The president urged people not to get tested for the virus only if it's likely they have it.

Trump further hailed his administration's response to the outbreak as having helped arrest the spread of COVID-19, including travel restrictions to and from China and now Europe, which the World Health Organization noted on Friday has become the "epicenter" of the pandemic.

"This will pass," Trump said. "We're going to be even stronger for it."

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