President Donald Trump declared a state of national emergency in the U.S. Friday, giving FEMA up to $50 billion in financial resources to assist American’s affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The administration also announced that it is suspending the entry of foreign nationals who have been to Europe in the last 14 days and that it is asking hospitals to enact their emergency plans.
Trump said his administration will waive rules governing where patients are allowed to be treated in a hospital and also rules governing how many hospital beds can be present in one place.
Stocks surged after the announcement, with the S&P 500 up more than 7% minutes before the close.
A couple of Wall Street companies were name dropped by the President during his speech.
Trump mentioned that Google is working on a website that will help determine whether someone should be tested. If they are deemed to be worthy of a test, they will then be directed to the nearest drive-through testing facility.
The administration expects 1.4 million tests to be available by next week and another 5 million available by next month, though the president said that he does not expect the country to need that many.
Trump also name dropped Thermo Fischer and Roche Holding when mentioning the testing. Roche jumped 8.3% Friday while Thermo Fischer rose 2.3%.
Trump was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump has charged with heading up the nation’s coronavirus task force.
The White House has been in contact with Congress concerning a stimulus package for the economy as panic about spreading the virus has resulted in grocery market runs that have left store shelves empty.
“We’ve been calling for President Trump to do this for days, said Sen. Chuck Schumer in a tweet Friday. “Americans will support an emergency declaration to extend assistance to Americans who need it. But he must not overstep his authority or indulge his autocratic tendencies for purposes not truly related to this crisis.”