"To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words. The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion - a very important and a large amount for states and territories or localities in our shared fight against this disease," Trump said.
Trump made the announcement at a Rose Garden news conference as he sought to show Americans that he is aggressively addressing the virus after appearing to play down the threat for weeks.
Trump said he was declaring the national emergency in order to "unleash the full power of the federal government." He urged every state to set up emergency centers to help fight the virus.