Transcript for President Trump officially declares a national emergency
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here. We have just about made it through another week together but on this Friday night major new developments involving coronavirus. Tonight, president trump declared a national emergency. This is proclamation sent out by the white house. He said he did this to quote, unleash the full power of the federal government, unlocking $50 billion to help test and treat Americans. Tonight, there are more than 1,600 case and more than 47 the death toll rising to at least 47 and for the first case identified on January 21 -- look at how sharply the number of cases in the U.S. Outside New York City tonight, a drive-through testing site has been set up and the community on lockdown. The National Guard in new Rochelle. About testing and drive-throughs elsewhere in the country? News tonight that CVS and target and Walmart will be offering drive-through tests. The president was asked late today, does he take responsibility for the lack of testing so far? Tracking where the virus is spreading most in this country. We begin with Tom llamas. Reporter: Tonight, after weeks of warnings and repeatedly downplaying the crisis, the president taking sweeping action, unveiling his plan to combat and defeat the coronavirus. To unleash the full power of the federal government, in this effort today I'm officially declaring a national emergency. Reporter: The president says he will send states $50 billion in aid funding. Waiving provisions to allow doctors to treat patients remotely and working with the private sector, including Google, to set up drive-through testing facilities in the parking lots of places like Walmart and target. This will start very quickly, and we'll have the ability to do in the millions over a very, very quick period of time. Reporter: The surging demand for tests, overwhelming healthcare professionals and leaving sick Americans with no answers. Just yesterday the nation's top infections specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying this of the testing breakdown. It is a failure. Let's admit it. Reporter: The lag in testing means the government can't predict how severe crisis will get or how long it will last. It's unpredictable, but if you look at historically how these things work, it will likely be anywhere from a few weeks to up to eight weeks. Reporter: Hospitals across the country are staffing labs around the clock to ramp up testing to meet the need. The president's new plan aimed at helping doctors facing test shortages on the front lines of this pandemic. I have done zero tests in my office for covid-19. This isn't due for lack of suspicion. It is completely due to lack of testing. We're in a race now. We're trying to race ahead and getting the testing capacity ahead, and what this testing allows us to do is to isolate the exposure from person to person of this virus spreading so we can slow it down. Reporter: Health officials in hard hit Washington state reporting they have the test kits but doctors are running out of protective gear to collect samples. The state desperately needs n-95 masks gowns and gloves brought into the community. I think there is some indication that we'll get some, and I just don't think it will be enough fast enough. Reporter: In Seattle, fahimeh jamali says she's been home sick for a week, visiting a doctor even the E.R. But she hasn't been tested. I'm worried if I have the coronavirus. I'm just getting worse and worse and worse. Reporter: In that containment zone north of New York City today, the first drive through testing site on the east coast. The empire state now with the most known cases in the country. My guess is there are thousands and thousands of cases walking around the state of new York. There could be tens of thousands of people. Reporter: Tonight, eight states closed schools statewide, along with some of the biggest city in the country. 22,000 schools shutters forcing 15 million kid to stay home. Tom, it was really something to see that mother in Seattle so frustrated, trying to get help as her condition deteriorates. Back to the drive-throughs the president talked about. How will this work and who will be able the get tested? Reporter: That's right, there are a lot of questions tonight. The way the president explained it there's going to be a website created where people can check their symptoms, if needed they'll be directed to the nearest drive-through location. They won't have to get out of their cars. A health care official will take a swab, and get the results in a few days it will goal is to rouse the spread but also meet the rising demand because of this virus and because it's spreading so fast. The big question tonight, when is this all going to be up and
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.