President Donald Trump announced a national emergency on Friday, due to the rapidly spreading corona virus, to release $ 50 billion in federal aid, and said he would "most likely" be self-tested for the virus soon after possible exposure.
Trump made the announcement at a press conference in the rose garden as he struggled to show Americans that he was aggressively tackling the health crisis after criticizing that he was slow to respond and downplay the threat until the number of cases increased .
Trump warned that Americans must make sacrifices and change their daily practices, a significant difference from two weeks ago when he said people should use common sense, but otherwise do not change their routines. "It could get worse
The next eight weeks will be critical, "he said. The president appeared on stage with members of his coronavirus task force and business people after meeting them at the White House to speed up American testing for the virus to be able to better monitor the spread of the infection.
The 73-year-old Trump shook hands with the assembled directors and later admitted that he expected to be tested for the virus.
He had come in contact with a Brazilian official last Saturday who later tested positive for coronavirus. "Most likely, yes, most likely not for that reason, but because I think I'll do it anyway," Trump said.
We are working out a schedule. "" We have no symptoms at all, "he said when asked if he should get a test.
Trump said Doug McMillon, chief executive of Walmart Inc, had agreed to run drive-through checks in parking lots across the country and Google from Alphabet Inc was going to create a website to determine if people needed a coronavirus test.
Trump shook off the question of whether he was responsible for what many experts described as slow progress in expanding the virus tracking tests. "I take no responsibility at all," he said, blaming the rules and regulations he had inherited from the company for inability to mass-produce the test kits.
Trump, who ordered citizens of 26 European nations not to enter the United States for 30 days from midnight Friday on Wednesday, said his government may add travel restrictions for the United Kingdom and some other countries. As for the Americans, should take commercial flights, Trump was blunt: "If you stay at home, it's not bad
It's not bad. "The virus, which appeared in central China in December, has now spread to over 130 countries and areas, and infected more than 138,000 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization
It has so far resulted in 47 deaths in the United States after six others were reported in the badly hit state of Washington and one in Colorado on Friday.
Trump said his declaration of a national emergency would "unlock the full power of the federal government" to help states and territories fight. The announcement gave Wall Street a much-needed boost as the Dow and benchmark S&P 500 ended the day more than 9% higher.
"Call it talent or luck as you like it, but through very collective action and a common sacrifice, national determination, we will overcome the virus threat," Trump said. Trump said the battered cruise industry could expect help
"We will help them and we will help the aviation industry if we have to, provided we have to," he said.
Trump had focused heavily on the hardest hit industries to ensure that the US economy was not destroyed by a slowdown in consumer activity as a result of the virus.
On Friday, he used much of his appearance to focus on the potential number of human respiratory diseases that can lead to pneumonia in severe cases. He called on every state to set up emergency centers to combat the corona virus.
"We will remove or remove any obstacle that is necessary to give our employees the care they need and are entitled to. No resources are spared, nothing at all," he said.
& # 39; A LONG WAY TO GO & # 39;
There has been increasing pressure on Trump to report an infectious disease emergency under the 1988 law, which would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide disaster relief to governmental and local governments and deploy support teams.
President Bill Clinton used the rarely used measure in 2000 to explain such an emergency for the West Nile virus.
Trump said the federal government is working with the private sector to accelerate test kit production and make it more widely available to Americans.
He said that about 5 million coronavirus tests will be available soon, but doubted that so many would be needed.
He asked the Americans to look for the test only when they felt they needed it.
"We don't want people to do a test when we feel they shouldn't, and we don't want everyone to go out and take it unless you have certain symptoms," he said.
In addition to Trump, was Anthony Fauci, the expert at the National Institutes of Health, who is a member of Trump's coronavirus task force.
He gave a cautious outlook on what could develop in the short term: "We still have a long way to go.
There will be many more cases.
But we'll take care of it, "said Fauci, who has long been the nation's best infectious disease expert
"What is going on here today will help it end earlier than it would have been." Trump said the federal government would waive student loan interest rates and ordered the Department of Energy to use low oil prices to replenish the strategic oil reserve.