Donald Trump announces national emergency in US over coronavirus
Washington : The US President Donald Trump on Friday announced a national state of emergency, releasing $50 billion in federal funds for the battle against the coronavirus pandemic as he vowed to "vastly" ramp up testing capacity.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government, I'm officially declaring a national emergency," Trump told a news conference on the White House lawn.
"The next eight weeks are critical," he said. "We can learn and we will turn a corner on this virus."
He called up all the US States to setup emergency operation centres and said that he is also in talks to work with the private sector to increase the capacity of tests.
"I'm also asking every hospital in this country to activate emergency preparedness plan to meet the needs of Americans everywhere," Trump said.
"We'll remove or eliminate every obstacle necessary to deliver our people the care that they need and that they're entitled to. No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever," he added.
The US Food and Drug Administration has already given emergency approval to Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche for a new and much faster coronavirus test.
As a result of the Roche approval, Trump said half a million additional tests were expected to be available "early next week," with details on test locations to be announced Sunday night.