President Donald Trump declared a US national emergency over the quickly spreading coronavirus on Friday, opening the door to more federal aid to combat a disease that has infected 138,000 people worldwide and left more than 5,000 dead.
The impact of the coronavirus on everyday life deepened around the world, and it was detected for the first time in several more countries.
More schools and businesses closed to try to slow its spread, governments took other drastic steps, the global sporting calendar was left in tatters and people faced greater restrictions on where they could go.
“To unleash the full power of the federal government to this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency - two very big words,” Trump said in remarks at the White House.
To unleash the full power of the Federal Government in this effort, today I am officially declaring a National Emergency. pic.twitter.com/yu2GBcxWD6— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020
He said the action will open up access to up to $50 billion in funds for states and localities in the fight against the coronavirus. Trump also urged states to establish emergency operations centers.