President Trump is declaring a national emergency to address the coronavirus pandemic, he announced during a Rose Garden press conference Friday afternoon. Stocks surged after Mr. Trump's announcement, with the Dow rising nearly 2,000 points at its close.
Mr. Trump said he does not agree withto provide financial relief to Americans hardest hit by the virus, complicating the situation on Capitol Hill as lawmakers try to strike a deal.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency," the president announced as he stood alongside top administration officials and company CEOs he met with earlier.
The president is likely to invoke the Stafford Act, enabling him to increase funding for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) efforts, although the president did not explicitly mention the Stafford Act. On another note, the president announced he's waived all interest on federal student loans for the time being. The president said he will soon be releasing a paper on other steps the administration is likely to take to help the economy, but it's unclear what he means by that.
"No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever," the president told reporters.
Mr. Trump said the administration is not on the same page as Democrats as they try to reach an agreement on a bill to address those hardest hit by the virus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been in regular touch in the last two days. The president said it appeared like they had a deal, but claimed Democrats weren't giving enough. The House.
"We could have something but we don't think they're giving enough," Mr. Trump told reporters.
Mr. Trump said he does not think he bears any responsibility in the lag of available coronavirus testing, one of the greatest criticisms of the administration in the face of this pandemic.
The administration has established a new partnership with private industry to expand testing capabilities, even as the administration faces criticism over a lack of tests for health facilities that need them, the president said. Mr. Trump also announced the administration is also trying to work with pharmacies and private entities to establish drive-thru testing sites, something his own Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Robert Redfield said only days earlier wasn't necessary.
The administration is also working with Google to establish a coronavirus testing website to help doctors and patients assess their risk and where they can receive a test. Dr. Deborah Birx, a lead point person on the coronavirus task force, said they want to bring that guidance to the entire country.
The president handed the microphone over to CEOs on stage, including the heads of Target, Walmart, CEO and Quest Diagnostics, to say what they're doing to address the need for testing and relevant coronavirus health care.
Despite the severity, Mr. Trump said "some of the doctors say it will wash through, it will flow through — very interesting terms."
As the virus spreads, American life is being altered by cancellations, postponements and closures.
The president's last televised appearance was on Wednesday, when he gave an Oval Office address to the nation that resulted in confusion. He announced European travel restrictions and mistakenly announced trade restrictions.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since 1987 and trading was halted briefly as markets plunged. On Friday,.
There were more than 1,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The Trump administration still can't say exactly how many people have been tested for the virus.
Amid the outbreak, Disney World is closing. Broadway is shutting its doors. Schools are closing and large gatherings are being banned. Theand the are now postponed, according to announcements made Friday.
— CBS News' Fin Gomez and Weijia Jiang contributed to this report.
for more features.