President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency on Friday over the coronavirus outbreak, invoking the Stafford Act to open the door to more federal aid for states and municipalities, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The president said he will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. in Washington. Trump spoke Friday with Emmanuel Macron, the French president tweeted, about the pandemic, and agreed to organize a video conference with world leaders on Monday to coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments and work on how to respond to the economic fallout.
Trump is under increasing pressure to act as governors and mayors nationwide step up actions to mitigate the spread, closing schools and canceling public events. Declaring a national emergency would allow the government to marshal additional resources to combat the virus, and also marks a symbolic turning point for the president, who has repeatedly compared the coronavirus to the seasonal flu and insisted that his administration had the outbreak under control.
U.S. stocks struggled to hold onto gains on Friday. The S&P 500 rose less than 1% in mid-day trading after climbing 6% at the open, following stocks’ worst day since 1987. Treasury yields increased as the Federal Reserve said it was buying $37 billion of bonds across maturities