Trump declares coronavirus emergency
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/13/20, 04:41 pm
Early next week, Americans who think they might have COVID-19 can access a screening website and drive-through testing centers in parking lots of major retailers and pharmacies, President Donald Trump announced on Friday. He declared the outbreak of the disease caused by the new coronavirus a national emergency and laid out changes to the nation’s healthcare system as a result. The federal government will relax numerous regulations on hospitals and doctors so they can make quick decisions without limits on how, when, or where they provide care for patients.
What else is the government doing? The president urged every state to set up emergency operations centers and said $50 billion in funding is available for responding to the epidemic. He clarified that any foreign nationals who have traveled to Europe in the last 14 days cannot enter the United States at this time, and U.S. residents and citizens returning from Europe would undergo isolation precautions. The government also is waiving interest on federal student loans indefinitely and buying up crude oil—both moves to try to shore up the economy.
Dig deeper: Read Jamie Dean’s report on how churches are preparing for closures and other interruptions during the outbreak.
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