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Trump plans to declare national emergency over coronavirus pandemic


U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists while hosting Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office at the White House March 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)

President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, according to adminstration officials who spoke to NBC News.

The president has scheduled a 3 p.m. ET press conference Friday at the White House.

The conference is set to occur shortly after Trump is scheduled to meet at the White House with major laboratory company executives about the response to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

A White House spokesman declined to comment when asked about the plan.

Trump’s emergency designation is expected to fall under the Stafford Act, a law which allows for two different types of presidential declarations.

The first is an emergency, which is what Trump is expected to declare. The second designation is a major disaster, which gives emergency management even more access to resources. Either way, both of the designations place FEMA in charge of what happens.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that he, Trump and the rest of leaders of the Group of 7 economic giant nations have “agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19,” as coronavirus is more formally known.

“We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response,” Macron announced in a tweet.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in the Big Apple on Friday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the same day banned gatherings of 500 or more in the state “for the forseeable future.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC earlier Friday the White House and Congress are nearing a deal that would provide stimulus to the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“I think we’re very close to getting this done,” Mnuchin said in a “Squawk on the Street” interview.

“The president is absolutely committed that this will be an entire government effort, that we will be working with the House and Senate.”

As of Friday, there were more than 135,000 known cases of coronavirus globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

There also were nearly 5,000 known deaths from the virus world wide.

In the United States, there are at least 1,700 known cases, with at least 40 deaths tied to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.


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