President Donald Trump officially announced a national emergency on Friday due to the ongoing battle with COVID-19.
Trump said the declaration will free up $50 billion in federal funding that can be used to help state and local governments.
Additionally, Trump said that he recommends states enact emergency operation centers immediately and for hospitals to activate their emergency preparedness plans.
He added that the U.S. has made “tremendous progress” as it combats the coronavirus. Trump imposed a 30-day travel ban on foreign nationals from Europe entering the U.S. on Wednesday.
“We will overcome,” Trump said during his address in Rose Garden, adding that the nation’s fight against COVID-19 is entering a different phase. Trump said that a new partnership has been forged with the private sector to develop testing for COVID-19. The President, however, stressed that only those who show symptoms use the tests.
He said 500,000 new tests will be available next week with locations being announced on Sunday. Trump also said that up to 5 million tests could be available within a month.
“This will pass … we’ll be strong through it,” he said.
The stock market surged Friday in response to increased activity by the federal government, according to Politico. Just a day after the Dow Jones had its worst day since the 1987 financial crash, the Dow grew by nearly 2,000 points or more than 9%—the largest percentage gain since 2008.
In addition, leaders within the mortgage industry are doing their part to address the impact of COVID-19. Under the direction of the National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA), leaders from across the mortgage industry are joining forces to create the COVID-19 Mortgage Industry Task Force (ITF) to coordinate on processes, procedures, and policies related to the crisis.
“The economic struggles brought on by COVID-19 are purely a health crisis, and any industry response must be formulated as such,” said Ed Delgado, President and CEO of Five Star Global. “The U.S. continues to demonstrate record-low unemployment, strong GDP growth, and sufficient liquidity to withstand the impacts from this disease. Now is the time to focus on practical solutions for both the near-term and long-term impacts of COVID-19, in order to assist homeowners and to ensure the stability of the American housing market.”
Wes Iseley, Senior Managing Director, Carrington Mortgage Holdings, Chairman, NMSA, said, “It’s important during crises like this that our industry work together to help our customers in unison. It is our goal to work with the relevant government agencies in order to develop best practices that will enable all parties to get through this difficult period.”
More than 25 mortgage banks and nonbank servicers, legal professionals, and service providers will take part in the coalition.
Additionally, Goldman Sachs economists are predicting the Federal Reserve may cut rates to zero at its next meeting. Goldman's Chief Economist, Jan Hatzius, thinks the full 1% cut should be made in one go, The Street reports.
“In light of the continued growth in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and globally, the sharp further tightening in financial conditions, and rising risks to the economic outlook, we now expect the [Federal Open Market Committee] to cut the funds rate 100 basis points on March 18," Hatzius wrote.
Follow this link for our coverage on the coronavirus.
This story will be updated.