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White House Declares National Emergency Amidst COVID-19 Concerns

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Watch the Press Conference Here

The President announced a national emergency in a live press conference on Friday to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health emergency within the United States.

Here are some takeaways: 

  • President Trump also said that this declaration would get up to $50 billion to states to aid in this fight.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will have the authority to waive certain regulatory restrictions in health care settings in order to give health care providers and facilities maximum flexibility.
  • The President said that the federal government are working in collaboration with the private sector to make more test kits available. By his estimate, there will be about 5 million more test kits available in the next month.
  • Drive-Through testing will take place more commonly across the country, at locations including Walmart and Target parking lots.
  • The President encouraged people who do not have symptoms to refrain from getting tested, but assured that the government is working to ensure those who fit testing criteria will be able to do so. This comes after news that most major insurers will waive copays for testing related to COVID-19.
  • He asked that Americans follow updated public health guidelines including postponing large gatherings, limiting in-person meetings, and cancelling work-sponsored travel.
  • The administration is also restricting visitors to nursing homes except in some cases including end-of-life scenarios.
  • The administration will be temporarily waiving interest on student loans and purchasing bulk crude oil for U.S. reserves.
  • He ended by explaining that we will all have to make sacrifices but it would be worth it for the “long-term gain” as a nation.