'We will defeat this threat': Trump declares national emergency over Covid-19

US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over Covid-19.

'We will defeat this threat': Trump declares national emergency over Covid-19

President Donald Trump has declared the Covid-19 pandemic a US national emergency.

Washington has struggled to provide Americans with relief and officials race to slow the spread of the outbreak.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Mr Trump said: “I am officially declaring a national emergency.”

He said the emergency would open up USD$50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.

Mr Trump said he was also giving US secretary of health and human services secretary Alex Azar emergency authorities to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals “flexibility” in treating patients.

Mr Trump spoke as negotiations continue between the White House and Congress on an aid package, but there was no announcement of a breakthrough, as House Democrats prepare to vote on their own measure on Friday.

“We will defeat this threat,” Mr Trump said.

“When America is tested America rises to the occasion.”

The president added: “This will pass.”

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