US President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency over the COVID-19 global pandemic, and also announced a set of specific measures aimed at curbing the effects of the outbreak, as reported by CNBC.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government…I am officially declaring a national emergency…two very big words," Trump said, adding "the next eight weeks are critical."
The declaration frees up as much as $50 billion in financial resources to assist Americans affected by the outbreak.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that he, Trump and the rest of the G7 leaders will meet by videoconference on March 16 to "coordinate research efforts on a [COVID-19] vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response."
Trump said he expected the US to have 1.4 million COVID-19 test kits available within a week, and a total of 5 million kits within the next month, although he doubted the country would "need anywhere near" 5 million kits.
The president also said there will be a "drive-thru" option for the tests, so that people can stay in their cars when they are screened for the virus.
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