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WASHINGTON — President Trump is declaring a national emergency to free up federal resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a White House news conference, Trump said the action will open the door to the distribution of up to $50 billion in aid to state and local governments.

“To unleash the full power of the federal government…I am officially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said. “The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion of very important money for states and territories…in our shared fight against this disease.”

There are about 1,700 cases of coronavirus in America and the death toll has risen above three dozen.

The number of confirmed cases is expected to climb much higher as more coronavirus test kits become available.

Trump said his administration expects half-a-million coronavirus tests to become available early next week.

He added that “this will pass” and stressed that the U.S. will emerge stronger.

The NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci joined Trump and said — “We still have a long way to go; there will ultimately be many more cases…but this will end.”