Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to combat the coronavirus. The news comes just two weeks after the commander-in-chief called the then-impending pandemic a “hoax” exacerbated by Democrats.

Trump held a press conference to make the announcement on Friday afternoon in the Rose Garden at the White House and took the time to address growing concerns coming from residents throughout the country. Among important developments are the implementation of drive-up testing facilities and a central web portal, being worked on by engineers at Google.

“I wanna thank Google. Google is helping to develop a website. It will be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past,” Trump claimed. 

Trump, who refused to take responsibility for the lag in testing (or take a test to determine if he had the virus following an interaction with a Brazilian man who tested positive for the disease), said that the federal government is also waiving interest on student loans held by government agencies, and have purchased “large quantities of crude oil” for strategic reserves to ensure that gas prices do not skyrocket during the crisis.

Along with Trump, medical professionals, and a parade of CEOs also spoke to reporters about what they, and each of their businesses was doing to help with the current coronavirus crisis. Mike Pence, who was put in charge of the medical emergency, took to the mic to inaccurately praise Trump for his “early intervention” efforts. 

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 26: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a new conference with members of the coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump updated the American people about what his administration’s ‘whole of government’ response to the global coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

“This day should be an inspiration to every American,” Pence said, before robotically commending Trump for his leadership on bringing an “all of America approach” to the crisis. That included his travel ban on Europe, which forbids non-American residents from entering the United States and quarantining American nationals once they return from the area. It, however, does not include the United Kingdom, where positive cases of coronavirus are rapidly multiplying. Trump said during the press conference that he is considering adding the UK to the travel ban list.    

Before ending his remarks, Pence reminded reporters, and those tuning in, to wash their hands and use common sense. He, however, shook multiple hands during the time of the press conference. The administration is billing this crisis as an opportunity for “the true character of America to shine through.”


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