Trump Declares National Emergency, But Says It’s ‘Totally Unnecessary’ For Some To Take Coronavirus Test
President Donald Trump, in a very fast-paced fashion, announced on Friday afternoon that he was declaring a “national emergency” in regards to the spread of coronavirus across the United States.
So far, close to 1,700 individuals in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the disease — although, due to limitations in testing, the number could be much higher. At least 40 individuals have perished due to coronavirus.
Health experts across the board have warned, things are likely to get worse before they get better.
Trump kept true to the optimistic tone he’s delivered so far. “We will overcome the threat of the virus,” he said.
But in spite of the way he’s handled the growing threat of COVID-19 so far, Trump, indirectly, admitted that the virus was of pressing concern — enough to make a statement about it.
“I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words,” he said.
President Trump declares a national emergency to combat the coronavirus: “I’m urging every state to set up emergency operation centers effectively immediately” https://t.co/vr41YHfR18 pic.twitter.com/qUNh9Hojoa
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 13, 2020
The declaration opens up $50 billion in “our shared fight against this disease,” Trump added.
The president also announced the expansion of testing sites across the nation, touting private companies like Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and CVS for providing “drive-through” screenings of people who believe they have symptoms of coronavirus.
But the president also cautioned against those getting tested who may not have symptoms. “We don’t want people to take a test if we don’t feel they should be doing it,” he said, adding that the test is “totally unnecessary” for many.
Trump was asked later on during the press conference whether he took any responsibility with regards to the slow rollout of testing for coronavirus so far, and responded: “not at all.” He then complained about the previous administration’s response to H1N1 (swine flu).
“If you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this,” Trump said. “They didn’t do testing like this. And actually they had lost approximately 14,000 people and they didn’t do the testing.”
Testing actually did occur — in fact, at this point in that pandemic, over 1 million tests had been performed for H1N1 in the U.S. The “14,000 people” figure was the total number of deaths counted, at the end of the pandemic, and it’s possible that more could perish due to coronavirus.
Featured image credit: The White House/Flickr