UPDATE: President Trump will reportedly declare a national emergency over the Wuhan coronavirus during remarks to reporters at the White House Friday afternoon. He will do so by citing the Stafford Act, which will help streamline federal disaster response, specifically help from FEMA, to local areas and authorities.
During a meeting in the Oval Office with Iran Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Thursday, President Trump hinted the move was coming.
"We have very strong emergency powers under the Stafford Act," he told reporters. "I have it memorized, practically, as to the powers in that act. And if I need to do something, I'll do it. I have the right to do a lot of things that people don't even know about."
"I have a lot of emergency actions that I can take," he continued.
In addition to declaring an emergency under the Stafford Act, @realDonaldTrump is expected to declare an emergency under the National Emergencies Act, which allows HHS to waive certain guidelines related to Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP to address the coronavirus.— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) March 13, 2020
President Trump will hold a press conference at the White House Friday afternoon and give an update about the administration's ongoing response to the Wuhan coronavirus.
I will be having a news conference today at 3:00 P.M., The White House. Topic: CoronaVirus!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020
Earlier this week Present Trump gave a primetime address from the Oval Office and announced new restrictions on foreign nationals traveling to the United States from a number of European countries. Cargo and trade with the European Union is still open and not affected. Foreigners traveling to the U.S. from the United Kingdom are exempted.
Meanwhile the CDC is still working to get virus testing kits available to the public, but are still at least a week away.
During testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Athony Fauci said the testing system is failing because it isn't set up properly.
"The system is not really geared to what we need right now," Dr. Fauci said. "That is a failing. Let's admit it."
Dr. Fauci on testing: "It is a failing. I mean let's admit it." pic.twitter.com/QUPTdHpIXR— Dori Toribio (@DoriToribio) March 12, 2020
President Trump ripped the CDC earlier today for longtime bureaucratic delays.
.... Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now. The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020