Enlarge /. US President Donald Trump declared the novel corona virus a national emergency on March 13, 2020.
The spread of the new corona virus in the U.S. is a national emergency, President Donald Trump said on Friday afternoon, March 13.
The statement provides states and territories with access to up to $ 50 billion in funds to tackle the rapidly escalating pandemic. In general, such means could be used for emergency medical care, food and medication.
As of Friday afternoon, there were over 1,600 cases in 46 states and in the District of Columbia. 41 deaths have been reported.
Trump, who spoke from the White House rose garden this afternoon, urged every state to set up emergency response centers to handle cases. He also spoke of increasing test capacity and involving the private sector in tests. He suggested that millions of test kits would be available soon. However, he added: "We don't want everyone to take this test. It's completely unnecessary."
It is unclear how many people in the United States have been tested for the virus since the country's first case was discovered in Washington State in late January. An investigation by The Atlantic found that only about 14,000 people were tested. In contrast, South Korea, which has seen a massive outbreak and has praised for its reactions, is reportedly testing nearly 20,000 people daily.
Emergency public health experts at the World Health Organization have stressed that in order to stop the epidemic, countries should rigorously search for and test cases, isolate the infected and track and quarantine their contacts.
"We still have a long way to go," said Dr. Anthony Fauci during the announcement in the rose garden. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Health Institutes, said that today's statement will help reduce the impact of the pandemic.
As NPR notes, today's emergency funding is provided in addition to $ 8.3 billion in a Trump emergency spending law signed on March 6.