President Donald Trump is expected to declare a national emergency Friday, invoking the Stafford Act to lend federal aid for states and municipalities struggling with the coronavirus.
According to several reports, the president is expected to announce the national state of emergency at 3 p.m. ET.
Trump spoke Friday with Emmanuel Macron, the French president tweeted, about the pandemic, and agreed to organize a video conference with world leaders on Monday to coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments and work on how to respond to the economic fallout.
The White House has been under tremendous pressure to ramp up efforts to combat the global pandemic after a lackluster start. Governors and mayors across the country have been asking for help to relieve stress caused by canceling public events and school closings.
According to Bloomberg, “Declaring a national emergency would allow the government to marshal additional resources to combat the virus, and also marks a symbolic turning point for the president, who has repeatedly compared the coronavirus to the seasonal flu and insisted that his administration had the outbreak under control.”
Senate Democrats basically begged Trump to invoke the Stafford Act “and other disaster declaration requests,” which releases some $42 billion in funding for states in distress.
“An emergency declaration would allow a state to request a 75% federal cost-share for expenses that include emergency workers, medical tests, medical supplies, vaccinations, security for medical facilities, and more,” Bloomberg reports.
The last emergency declaration for a public health threat was in 2000 when then-President Bill Clinton declared a state of emergency in New York and New Jersey in response to the West Nile Virus.
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