Updated March 13, 2020, 3:40 p.m.:
President Donald Trump did indeed announce a national emergency, in order to open up $50 billion to respond to the coronavirus.
He announced many emergency measures, including “the ability to waive laws to enable tele-health,” which the president described as “incredible.” This would streamline the opportunity to see a doctor remotely, from the comfort of a patient’s own home.
Trump also announced that he would “waive requirements” about hospital beds and hospital stays, and enable hospitals to “bring additional physicians on board or obtain additional office space.”
“We’ll remove or eliminate every obstacle necessary to help our people,” he promised.
This muscular and aggressive response to the virus may help fight its spread, but it is unnerving to hear a president promise to “waive laws.”
Trump also said Google is working on a website, which will face fewer delays than previous websites, likely a dig against the Obamacare website.
Google’s website will be “very quickly done unlike websites of the past”
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) March 13, 2020
Updated March 13, 2020, 3 p.m.:
Watch the live stream here:
President Donald Trump will hold a press conference on the coronavirus at 3 p.m. Eastern. He is expected to declare a national emergency.
“I will be having a news conference today at 3:00 P.M., The White House. Topic: CoronaVirus!” the president tweeted.
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
“Four administration sources tell [ABC News], President Trump is expected to declare a national emergency at his 3pm press conference today,” ABC News producer John Santucci tweeted. “The details are limited and one senior level source actively involved in the response tells ABC News ‘things remain extremely fluid.'”
French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he spoke with Trump and the other G7 leaders over the phone, agreeing to organize a Leaders Summit focused on the coronavirus to be held by videoconference on Monday.
“Following my call with [Donald Trump] and all G7 leaders, we agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19. We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response,” Macron tweeted.
Following my call with @realDonaldTrump and all G7 leaders, we agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19. We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 13, 2020
President Trump plans to invoke the Stafford Act to release federal aid to combat the coronavirus. The act allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency the authority to coordinate the government’s disaster relief.
This article will be updated to include a livestream of the address.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.