Trump declares virus pandemic a national emergency

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ANDREW TAYLOR, ZEKE MILLER, JILL COLVIN and LISA MASCARO Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is declaring the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, as Washington struggles with providing Americans with relief and officials race to slow the spread of the outbreak. Speaking from the Rose Garden, Trump said, "I am officially declaring a national emergency." He said it would free up as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak. Trump also waived interest on federally held student loans and moved to prop up energy markets, by directing the Department of Energy to buy oil to fill the strategic petroleum reserve "'right up to the top." Trump said he was also giving Secretary of Health and Human Service
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