Trump Declares Coronavirus Emergency, Freeing Disaster Funds

Trump Declares Coronavirus Emergency, Freeing Disaster Funds


President Trump on Friday declared a national state of emergency in response to coronavirus, freeing up billions in federal funds to assist with state and local response to the pandemic.

“The action I am taking will open up access to $50 billion of very important — a large amount of money — for states and territories in our shared fight against this disease,” he said.

Trump said the administration is also working to expand testing capacity.

“No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever,” he said.

Senate Democrats had urged Trump on Wednesday to make the emergency declaration, which allows states and municipalities to access FEMA funding.

The Trump administration has been working with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a coronavirus response bill. However, it is not clear that a deal between the two sides is imminent.

Pelosi held a press conference on Friday to lay out the House bill, which she said would pass the chamber later on Friday. The bill includes mandates for free testing, paid sick leave and family medical leave for those with the virus.

Trump, meanwhile, continued to call for a payroll tax holiday, which Democrats have resisted.

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