In the face of a rising and very real problem with the Coronavirus, American president Donald Trump has declared a national emergency within the United States. A National Emergency by way of the Stafford Act opens up billions of dollars in emergency aid to states and localities seriously hit by the virus.
“To unleash the full power of the federal government … I am officially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said in a nationally televised address from the White House Rose Garden.
Trump is also discussing moves to end limits on hospital stays and the number of available beds; funding to states and local governments (an increase), and expedited response to available testing demands. The declaration also means that states now have broad powers to set up emergency management centres at their discretion to help with containment of the virus.
“Two very big words,” he added.
We’ll update this page as we have more information.