President Donald Trump plans to declare a National Emergency over Coronavirus pandemic throughout the US during a news conference at 3 p.m. in Washington. Bloomberg is additionally reporting the same news, indicating multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The declaration will invoke the Stafford Act, unlocking the door to more federal aid for states and cities.
Actually, a National Emergency over Coronavirus pandemic is not unpredictable. Similar to most of the world, the speed of the outbreak of coronavirus has been fast in the US.
As the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases and deaths continues to rise in the United States, Americans are hunkering down and more and more schools, sports leagues and amusement parks are closing.
There are at least 1,701 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 40 coronavirus-related deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Startlingly, there are over 136,000 cases throughout the global.
The decision will be made during a 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET press conference. The President is expected to invoke the Stafford Act to make more federal aid available to states and municipalities and speed response to the virus.
The national emergency declaration came two days after a national address in which Trump stated the United States will restrict travel from 26 countries in Europe in response to the increasing coronavirus pandemic.
The declaration would be among a series of steps the administration is taking to try to boost the confidence of the American public and the financial markets in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, who is programmed to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. EDT, has been heavily criticized for the administration’s response against Coronavirus, including problems rolling out test kits for the virus and an Oval Office speech he released Wednesday that exacerbated huge losses on Wall Street. Investors were shaken by misstatements in the speech and what many saw as the lack of a broader strategy to address the crisis.
Bloomberg describes: Trump is under increasing pressure to act as governors and mayors nationwide step up actions to mitigate the spread, closing schools and canceling public events. Senate Democrats have urged Trump to invoke the Stafford Act and other disaster declaration requests they say would free up more than $42 billion in funding for states available in the Disaster Relief Fund.
He added an emergency declaration would allow a state to request a 75% federal cost-share for expenses that include emergency workers, medical tests, medical supplies, vaccinations, security for medical facilities, and more, according to a letter Democrats sent the president earlier this week.
At the 3 p.m. news conference, Trump is also anticipated to weigh in on a relief package negotiated between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi that would provide paid sick leave to workers, among other steps to blunt the impact on the economy of virus-related disruptions.
A White House spokesman declined to comment when asked about the plan.
The Senate’s top Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, cautiously voiced support for such a declaration, provided Trump doesn’t “overstep his authority or indulge his autocratic tendencies.”
The first is an emergency, which is what Trump is expected to declare.
The second is a major disaster, which gives emergency management even more access to resources. Both designations place FEMA in charge of what happens.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that he, Trump and the rest of leaders of the Group of 7 economic giant nations have “agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19.”
“We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response,” Macron said in a tweet.
The travel restrictions will begin Friday at midnight and will be in place for 30 days. The United Kingdom will be exempt from the restrictions, as will American citizens “who have undergone appropriate screenings,” the president said. The decision builds on the administration’s earlier move to restrict travel from China and Iran.
The coronavirus spread has affected all American industries, from local businesses to sports to entertainment. TheWrap has been monitoring the canceled events in tech, media, politics, and entertainment here. The Tribeca Film Festival, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Induction Ceremony and Coachella are among the events being postponed or canceled in reaction to the spread of the virus.