President Donald Trump held a news conference Friday afternoon on the coronavirus pandemic which is spreading across the United States. The president declared a national emergency, freeing up $50 billion in emergency funding, and said that drive-thru testing locations would be up and running soon.
Walmart CEO McMillon said drive-thru testing will occur at the retailer's 4,769 parking lots around the country, among other places.
Trump said the emergency declaration also loosens regulations on hospitals, allowing them to activate their own custom emergency plans; the declaration gives HHS Secretary Alex Azar new powers to respond to the virus -- including the immediate waiving of telehealth regulations.
He also announced an order to freeze all interest on federal student loans "until further notice."
President Trump: "To unleash the full power of the federal government for this effort today I am officially designating a national emergency. Two very big words."— CSPAN (@cspan) March 13, 2020
Full video here: https://t.co/bTZ8eza3pA pic.twitter.com/DwaL5GHUoK
President Trump: "Our overriding goal is to stop the spread of the virus and to help all Americans who have been impacted by this. Again, we don't want everybody taking this test. It’s totally unnecessary. This will pass.”— CSPAN (@cspan) March 13, 2020
Full video here: https://t.co/bTZ8eza3pA pic.twitter.com/8ayZUzWP8V