President Donald Trump said Friday he was declaring a national emergency — “two very big words” — to free up federal resources to combat coronavirus.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said the action would “unleash the full power of the federal government.”
Trump is declaring both national emergency and invoking the Stafford Act, which gives access to additional funding, according to a source familiar with his decision.
The national emergency gives access to authorities. Even as he announcing a scaling up of testing capacity for coronavirus, the President said Friday he did not believe all Americans should rush to be tested.
“We don’t want people to take a test if we feel that they shouldn’t be doing it. And we don’t want everybody running out and taking — only if you have certain symptoms,” he said in the Rose Garden.
Trump, who began he remarks giving himself plaudits for his response to the outbreak, still appeared to believe the spread could be limited and that not every person in the country would require access to tests.
“We don’t want everybody taking this test. it’s totally unnecessary,” he said.