As the week has gone on, and the private entities within the United States that host large crowds have one by one suspended operations – and entertainment for the masses – the inevitable was pretty much on the horizon. On Friday, President Donald Trump pulled the trigger and declared a national emergency due to the emergence of Wuhan Coronavirus cases within the nation.
President Donald Trump officially declared a national emergency over the Wuhan virus Friday, invoking the Stafford Act to release additional resources to combat the nationwide outbreak for state and local governments.
“Through very collective action and shared sacrifice, national determination, we will overcome the virus. … This will pass,” Trump announced from the Rose Garden. Trump also ordered the opening of “emergency operation centers” and requested that every hospital “activate its emergency preparedness plan” in the wake of the outbreak.
According to the latest numbers as of Friday afternoon, nearly 1,300 Americans have tested positive for the virus and 31 people have died, which is less than 0.000003 percent of Americans. The number of actual cases is expected to be far higher, however, due to lack of testing. Nearly all who have died are elderly in long-term care facilities, and the U.S. surgeon general reports the average age of those who have died of the disease is 80.
The average flu season yields far more victims across a variety of age groups, but right now, the Wuhan virus is driving the national narrative.
In declaring a national emergency over what the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared a “global pandemic,” the president is opening access to $50 billion in funds set aside by Congress in the Disaster Relief Fund.
The Stafford Act allows the administration to empower the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide direct relief and assistance to state and local governments and coordinate a national response. States will now be able to request that the federal government share at least 75 percent of the costs of combatting the Wuhan virus, including outlays for emergency workers, medical tests, medical supplies, vaccinations, security for medical facilities, and other items that might be necessary, according to a letter reviewed by Bloomberg that Democrats sent to the president urging Trump to invoke the measure this week.
And just like that, the Centers for Disease Control are irrelevant in this fight.
Maybe that was the goal all along.