President Trump declares the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, freeing billions of dollars of aid

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WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 12: 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. Taoiseach Varadkar is in Washington for the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and to participate in the traditional Shamrock Bowl presentation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a White House lawn press conference on Friday, President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, freeing up billions of dollars to address the crisis.

The number of confirmed cases in America has surpassed 1,700. The President has also invoked the Stafford Act, which allows the federal government to coordinate and assist disaster relief with state and local governments.

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