Defending the family

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President Trump, Vice President Pence Declare National Emergency on China's Coronavirus

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everyone. Thank you. Thank you.

A beautiful day in the Rose Garden. Appreciate everybody being here. Today, I'd like to provide an update to the American people on several decisive new actions we're taking in our very vigilant effort to combat and ultimately defeat the coronavirus.

We've been working very hard on this. We've made tremendous progress. When you compare what we've done to other areas of the world, it's pretty incredible. A lot of that had to do with the early designation and the closing of the borders.

And, as you know, Europe was just designated as the hotspot right now, and we closed that border a while ago. So that was lucky or through talent or through luck. Call it whatever you want. But through a very collective action and shared sacrifice and national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus.

I also announced Wednesday night, following the advice of our medical professionals who are doing a tremendous job - and we appreciate it very much - that we're suspending the entry of foreign nationals who have been to Europe in the last 14 days from entering the United States. Citizens, permanent residents, and our families - and even the families returning from Europe, will be subject to extra screening as well self-isolation for a period of 14 days.

As the World Health Organization confirmed today, many of the things that - what we said were 100 percent correct, including our designation, before them, of Europe. Like our earlier, very aggressive actions with China, this measure will save countless lives. I appreciate a number of the folks behind me. A number of the people behind me said that that saved a lot of lives, that early designation.

But it is only the beginning of what we're really doing, and now we're in a different phase. We had some very old and obsolete rules that we had to live with. It worked under certain circumstances but not under mass circumstances. They were there for a long time; they were in place for a long time. And we're breaking them down now. And they're very usable for certain instances, but not for this.

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 of very importantly - very important and a large amount of money for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease.

In furtherance of the order, I'm urging every state to set up emergency operation centers effective immediately. You're going to be hearing from some of the largest companies and greatest retailers and medical companies in the world. They're standing right behind me and to the side of me.