U.S. President Donald Trump sought to reassure Americans that he was taking tough action and stepping up resources to tackle the coronavirus on Sunday (March 22).
Trump called himself a wartime president again, and declared the US was: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "We're at war, in a true sense, we're at war and we're fighting an invisible enemy, think of that." After a number of US state governors called for more help in the fight against the virus, Trump announced he was mobilizing the National Guard in New York, California and Washington and that the governors will retain command, but the costs will go under FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
He also again referred to the coronavirus as the "Chinese virus" despite health experts saying the term was wrong and inappropriate.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "As we continue to marshal every resource at America's disposal in the fight against the Chinese virus, we are profoundly grateful to our nation's state and local leaders, doctors, nurses, law enforcement and first responders who are waging this battle on the ground." Trump's speech comes after a $1 trillion relief bill failed to pass through the Senate after Democrats decried the proposal as prioritizing the needs of wall street over the average American.
The president then rambled through a wide range of topics including the challenges of being rich and running for office: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "I think it's very hard for rich people to run for office, it's far more costly, it's just a..
It's a very tough thing.
Now, with all of that being said, I'm so glad I've done it." Cases of infection nationwide have now topped 32,000, with more than 400 dead, according to a Reuters tally.
Trump also reacted to one case of self-quarantine - Senator Mitt Romney, who went into isolation after fellow lawmaker Rand Paul tested positive for COVID-19.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Romney's in isolation?
Gee, that's too bad." (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER SAYING: "Do I detect sarcasm?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "None whatsoever."