It feels like coronavirus is a major disaster. Here’s why Trump hasn’t declared it one.
(CNN)President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday afternoon over the coronavirus outbreak following a week of cancellations, suspensions and growing case numbers that unsettled Americans nationwide. The move frees up billions of dollars in federal funds, Trump said, and sets the Federal Emergency Management Agency in motion.The President invoked the Stafford Act, which is the statutory authority for “most federal disaster response activities.” The Stafford Act gives access to the funds and the national emergency gives access to authorities, according to a person familiar.Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said the action would “unleash the full power of the federal government.”Here’s what to know about Trump’s declaration:What does a declaration do?A declaration puts FEMA, which is supporting the Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for coronavirus response, in a position to be the coordinator. More federal funds will become available, as will supplies, personnel and any other support. FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor told lawmakers Wednesday that the agency’s warehouses are stocked with commodities across the country.Trump said Friday he was also urging every state to set up emergency operation centers “effective immediately” and asking “every hospital in the country to