President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday afternoon in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS reported.
The president’s declaration would free up to $50 billion in federal funds to address the virus pandemic, The Washington Post reported. This announcement of emergency will also allow the administration to use the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to increase funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency initiatives for state and local governments, The Washington Post reported.
This announcement comes days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic Wednesday, The Temple News reported. There are currently 1,920 reported cases of COVID-19 in 48 U.S. states, CNN reported. In Pennsylvania, there are currently 33 presumptive COVID-19 cases, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
“Anyone can be a carrier for the virus and risk transmission to older Americans and those with underlying health conditions and those who are most at risk,” Trump said during the Rose Garden press conference where he made the announcement.
Trump waived interest on student loans temporarily in his announcement, CBS reported.
Trump also announced that the administration is working with private companies to expand testing, establish drive-thru testing sites and with Google to create a testing website to help doctors find testing locations for their patients, CBS reported.
This announcement of a national emergency comes after many universities across the country suspended in-person teaching and shifted to online instruction, including Temple which announced the move to online classes for the remainder of the semester on Wednesday, The Temple News reported.