US President Donald Trump declares national emergency to help stop the spread of the outbreak of coronavirus
The given order allows the US government to tap up to $50bn (£40bn) in emergency relief funds to help state and local health departments.
The order helps speed up the creation of new hospitals and will allow officials to search for new treatments.
The national declaration comes as several European countries reported steep rises in infections and deaths. Italy has recorded its highest daily toll yet with 250 over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,266, with 17,660 infections overall.
Mr Trump’s administration has come under recent scrutiny over its failure to provide Americans with widespread coronavirus testing.
In the US, there are currently 1,701 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 40 deaths.
Several US states have taken measures to stem the inflation rate, including banning large gatherings, sporting events and closing schools.
The decision on the state of emergency was announced by Mr Trump in a live address from the White House.
Mr Trump has himself been urged to explain why he hasn’t taken a coronavirus test following reports that he has been in the company of people who have tested positive recently.