The declaration comes ahead of the coronavirus outbreak in the US where the death toll has surpassed 40
President Trump announced national emergency while addressing the nation from the White House on March 14. A rarely used presidential power, the declaration came amid the coronavirus pandemic where several states of the country are under partial or complete lockdown. Trump said that this declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to respond to the nation’s crisis. This step would allow Trump to free up to $50 billion as disaster relief and recovery funds for local governments to deal with the outbreak. Trump also announced that he would be giving full flexibility and emergency authorities to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to waive federal laws for doctors treating patients in the hospitals across the country.