Daily US Times, Washington: President Donald Trump declared national emergency as the coronavirus is spreading quickly in the US. He also opens door to more government aid to combat the virus.
The virus has infected more than 138,000 people worldwide and leftover 5,000 dead.
The impact of the virus is deepening everyday life across the world as more schools and businesses closed, the global sporting calendar was left in tatters, and people faced greater restrictions on where they could go. The World Health Organization (WHO) calling Europe the pandemic’s current epicenter.
President Trump addressed at the White House Rose Garden on Friday. He said, “To unleash the full power of the federal government to this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency – two very big words.”
Mr Trump also indicated the U.S. situation could worsen and “the next eight weeks are critical.”
Trump administration arranged to make available $50 billion in federal aid to states and localities. He has been criticized by some experts for being slow and ineffective in his response to the crisis and playing down the threat.
The latest move comes two days after Trump announced travel restrictions blocking U.S. entry for most people from continental Europe.
Trump was photographed last Sunday at his private Florida club with a Brazilian official who has tested positive for the coronavirus. This sparks speculation that he could be tested positive for the virus. though Trump said he himself likely would be tested “fairly soon,” a reversal of his previous stance.
House passes coronavirus relief bill backed by Trump
The House just passed the coronavirus relief measures negotiated between the Trump administration and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act or H.R. 6201 passed with bipartisan support and a final tally of 363-40, while 40 Republicans voting against it.
The Senate is expected to take up the measures when it returns to session next week.
The package includes provisions for paid emergency leave and free coronavirus testing. President Trump supported the bill earlier.
Pentagon announced travel restrictions
The Pentagon announced several travel restrictions for the US service members and Department of Defense civilians, halting all domestic travel. The new restrictions go into effect on Monday and will continue through May 11.
A Department of Defense statement said the restrictions will also pause civilian hiring at department installations, and service members will only be authorized local leave.
Exceptions may be granted for like trips for humanitarian reasons or under extreme hardship.
Turkey is suspending flights Europe
Turkey has announced that it will halt air travel to and from nine European countries, which will effective from today.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said passengers coming from Spain, Germany, Sweden, France, Austria, Belgium Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands will not be allowed into the country.
Turkish Airlines said on its website that passengers who already have tickets from those countries to Turkey between today and April 17 can change their reservations free of charge, as long as the new reservation is a flight before May 31.
Turkey has confirmed 5 coronavirus cases so far with no death reported.
So far, 18 US states have closed schools over coronavirus concerns. They are-
- Rhode Island
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
According to state and local health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has confirmed 2,204 cases of the coronavirus with 49 deaths.
Among them, 70 cases are repatriated citizens, like those evacuated from mainland China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
US territories have also reported cases.Puerto Rico confirmed its first three cases today.
Donald Trump declares national emergency over COVID-19
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