PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP declared a national emergency on Friday amid the widening coronavirus pandemic.
“Two very big words,” Trump said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, noting that the declaration would open access to up to $50 billion “for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease.”
Stocks immediately surged after his announcement, with the Dow up 1,900 points.
While Trump maintained that the U.S. has made “tremendous progress” combating the virus compared to other nations, he said the country has entered a “different phase.”
“This will pass,” he said. “This will pass through, and we’re going to be even stronger for it.”
Trump made several more announcements, including a public-private partnership to accelerate testing capabilities.
“But we don’t want people to take a test if we feel that they shouldn’t be doing it,” he said, adding that tests will be provided only to those who show certain symptoms.
His administration has taken criticism for a lack of testing availability, a situation that Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, called a “failing” during an appearance this week before Congress.