WASHINGTON: Donald Trump, the president of the United States has declared the Coronavirus outbreak a national emergency. The Stafford Act was also invoked by him, in order to facilitate more aid from states and municipalities.
In a press conference organised at the Rose Garden, White House, Trump said, "I’m urging every state to open emergency operations centres."
The announcement made by the Government enables it to arrange supplementary resources to fight off the virus. The president had earlier claimed the COVID-19 outbreak is similar to the seasonal flu and the administration run by him had the situation 'under control'.
Trump was earlier urged by the Senate Democrats to invoke the aforementioned Act and different disaster declaration requests which would free up more than $42 billion as funds from the Disaster Relief Fund to be used by the state. Trump also mentioned that as much as $50 billion can be accessed.
A state within America will now be eligible to ask for 75% federal cost-share for the expenses on medical supplies, emergency workers, medical tests, vaccinations and security for medical facilities and so on after the declaration of emergency. A letter sent to the Democrats by the president mentioned the following. It was sent earlier during this week.
Since the year 1960, a very few emergency declarations have been made in the country of the United States for threats related to public health, out of which, 2 were for disease outbreaks. This happened during the year 2000 when Bill Clinton as the President stated an emergency for West Nile Virus in New York and New Jersey.
As of now, the total number of cases in the US is 1,629 out of which, 138 are travel-related, 129 occurred due to close contact and the other 1,362 are under investigation still. The death toll is at 41 people.