President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump declares national emergency

Money freed for coronavirus response

President Donald Trump has announced he’s declaring a national emergency to deal with the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking from the Rose Garden today (March 13), Trump said, “To unleash the full power of the federal government, I am officially declaring a national emergency.”

That will allow quick delivery of $50 billion to states, territories and localities for the fight against COVID-19, he said.

The declaration is through the Stafford Act, a 1988 federal law that allows for assistance to states and localities during a disaster or emergency.

The Centers for Disease Control says that as of today, 1,629 cases and 41 deaths have been reported in the United States. The Washington state Department of Health reports 457 cases with 31 deaths. It reported 4,250 negative test results.

Trump said all Americans should not 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,” Trump said, according to national news outlets.

On March 12, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Seattle — ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee — joined Democratic Senators Tina Smith of Minnesota, Gary Peters of Missouri, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York in leading a number of their Democratic Senate colleagues in introducing the Free COVID-19 Testing Act, which would expand free tests to confirm infections.

It would waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services for individuals enrolled in private health plans, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA as well as for federal civilians, American Indians and Alaska Natives; bar private insurers from imposing limits like prior authorization for testing; and for uninsured individuals, this legislation would cover the cost of lab fees.

CNN reported that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, spoke to Vice President Mike Pence on March 12 and requested the Trump administration declare an emergency to provide vital assistance to states.

More in News

WHAT WE KNOW: Coronavirus outbreak at a glance

The latest news on the pandemic, plus symptom information and prevention tips

Holiday traced to new cases of COVID-19

A total of 11 new COVID-19 cases were tallied on the North… Continue reading

Peninsula College reels from new rule aimed at international students

About 60 international students enrolled at Peninsula College for the fall quarter… Continue reading

Three new COVID-19 cases in Clallam County

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Clallam County, bringing… Continue reading

Health officers work with schools for safe reopening

North Olympic Peninsula health officials have been working with school administrators this… Continue reading

Peninsula College hosts online series, ‘Conversations Toward a Culture of Justice’

Creating a safe space for conversation and dialog during an unprecedented moment… Continue reading

Jamestown S’Klallam hotel in last stages

Workers were putting finishing touches on the new five-story 7 Cedars Hotel… Continue reading

Confirmed COVID-19 cases remain at 87 on Peninsula

Clallam and Jefferson County health officials were working to trace contacts of… Continue reading

Most Read