WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Trump officially declared the spread of the coronavirus a national emergency Friday.
His announcement opens up about $50 billion in emergency funding for states and agencies like the Centers for Disease Control to help slow the virus.
It also helps states be more nimble with programs like medicaid and provides disaster relief fund for those who need it.
While the president and his task force spearhead the effort from the White House, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are finalizing a deal for an expansive relief effort for the coronavirus.
“We know the contours of what this deal is going to look like. I think it’s imperative we pass it as soon as possible,” Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif.
The specifics of the deal are still emerging but are expected to include paid leave for workers, free coronavirus testing, and tax relief and loans for small businesses.
“We know the virus is only going to continue to spread from here. We have to keep people safe,” Rep. Harder said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they’ll continue working to send a bill to the Senate, which cancelled its recess in response to what is now a national emergency.