Trump puts USA on war footing to combat virus outbreak

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Describing himself as a “wartime president”, President Donald Trump has vowed the US will achieve “total victory” over the coronavirus.

He spoke as he revived a Korean War-era measure allowing the US to ramp up production of vital medical supplies.

Two lawmakers meanwhile became the first members of Congress to test positive for the infection.

Canada-US borders closure
A migrant arrives with her baby from the US to cross the Canadian border, escorted by the federal police (RCMP), at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, Canada, 18 March 2020. The Canadian government has closed the border to all foreign tourists including US citizens, but accepts foreigners who illegally cross the Canadian border. Earlier in the day US President Donald J. Trump and Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau announced that the border would be closed to non-essential traffic to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. EPA-EFE/Andre Pichette

The US has more than 9,300 cases of Covid-19 and has seen 150 deaths so far, according to estimates.

Globally there are some 220,000 confirmed cases and over 8,800 deaths.

At a White House press conference, the president was asked by a reporter whether he considered the country to be on a war footing in terms of fighting the virus.

“It’s a war,” he said. “I view it as a, in a sense, a wartime president.”

Mr Trump has been holding daily briefings on the emergency this week after being accused of playing down the outbreak in its early stages.

He said: “We must sacrifice together, because we are all in this together, and we will come through together. It’s the invisible enemy. That’s always the toughest enemy.

“But we are going to defeat the invisible enemy. I think we are going to do it even faster than we thought, and it’ll be a complete victory. It’ll be a total victory.”

Read more via BBC/Washington Post

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