STORY HIGHLIGHTS


US to mass national resources to combat COVID-19

CNC
Added On March 15, 2020

INTRO:
 
U.S. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to open up 50 billion U.S. dollars in federal aid to help combat the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
 
PKG:
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): DONALD TRUMP, U.S. President
"To unleash the full power of the federal government that this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words."
 
Trump made the declaration on Friday, noting that the 50 million U.S. dollar aid will help Americans affected by the outbreak and states in fighting the pandemic.
Trump said the emergency measures will allow "maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and to care for patients."
 
He has come under mounting pressure and criticism in recent weeks over himself and his government's response to the outbreak.
 
Trump also empowered the secretary of health and human services to waive certain laws and regulations to ensure the virus can be contained and patients treated.
Trump ordered all states in the country to set up emergency operation centers.
 
The U.S. president promised that 1.4 million new tests for COVID-19 would be available next week and 5 million available within the next month.
 
He also introduced plans to make available "drive-through" virus tests.
Trump declared the national emergency by invoking the Stafford Act, which can be called upon to provide disaster relief fund or federal assistance to states and local governments.