WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to free up billions of dollars to combat the coronavirus as he sought to persuade anxious Americans and battered financial markets that he was responding forcefully to the crisis.

“I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words,” Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden. As the outbreak has shuttered schools, sporting events and even Broadway. Medical experts say there’s an acute shortage of coronavirus testing kits, the number of infections has soared and Wall Street suffered its worst day Thursday since the financial crash of 1987.

”The action I’m taking will open access up to $50 billion for states in our shred fight against his disease,” Trump said, adding that he was ordering every state to open emergency operation centers.

“We will overcome the threat of the virus,” Trump said.

Watch the live stream here: If you’re unable to view the video below click on this link: President Trump holds a press conference on COVID-19.