Trump closes border with Canada to nonessential traffic

The Pentagon said it would send two hospital ships to the West and East Coasts as youth were warned about the virus.
5:42 | 03/19/20

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Transcript for Trump closes border with Canada to nonessential traffic
Good evening. Great to have you with us this Wednesday night. New warnings today from the white house, what they're seeing in younger patients. And the coronavirus now in all 50 states. President trump calling himself a wartime president in this country. The virus has now sickened at least 7,700 Americans, and the number is believed to be much higher given the slow start in testing. The death toll, at least 135. And you can see how steep that curve is. A sixfold increase in week. The white house urging Americans to keep a safe distance from one another, to give hospitals a fighting chance. The president saying he may invoke the defense production act, calling on industry to produce ventilators, masks, and other supplies. And the U.S. And Canada closing the border to all non-essential travel. The white house now wants to send two checks out to American families. For how much, and when would they come? We have it all covered for you. In New York City, cases doubling in 24 hours. What they're seeing here. And the New York governor confirming a Navy hospital ship will be sent to New York harbor. Critical shortages of medical supplies across the country. We'll hear from E.R. Doctors, the reality inside hospitals. And these images from so many places. Dr. Jen Ashton, on how long coronavirus lasts in the air and on surfaces. Let's begin tonight with whit Johnson. Reporter: Tonight, sweeping action to fight the virus. The president saying he's prepared to invoke a Korean war-era law allowing the president to direct American industries to produce critically needed medical equipment and protective gear. We must sacrifice together, because we are all in this together, and we will come through together. It's the invisible enemy. Reporter: President trump closing the northern border with Canada to all non-essential traffic, and potentially limiting the flow on the border with Mexico. The Pentagon, announcing those two hospital ships will soon be on the move. The mercy deploying to the west coast. The comfort will head for new York harbor. And today, a new warning for young people. There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill and very seriously ill in the icus. Reporter: Doctors raising the alarm that too many millennials are defying orders to avoid crowds, after countless images like these. Young people descending on Florida beaches. You have the potential then to spread it to someone who does have a condition that none of us knew about and cause them to have a disastrous outcome. Reporter: The federal government, asked why some people are getting tested. How are athletes getting tests? You have to ask them that question. I've read -- no, I wouldn't say so. But perhaps that's been the story of life. That does happen on occasion. Reporter: The federal government, also working to expedite so-called "Self swab" testing kits, to protect health care workers. The kits could be sent home. A patient would do a simple nose swab. A process the president himself experienced. I can tell you, because I did it, but we have a current process that is a little bit difficult. Reporter: Across the country, people waiting for hours to be tested, and then days for results. I'm just getting worse and worse. Reporter: Fahimeh jamali has been home sick for nearly two weeks with her husband and daughter, desperate for a test. I am because last night my breathing just stopped and I just used this. Reporter: She finally found a hospital to test her but she now has to wait for results. My feeling is not good. I just need my results back and see what they want to do for me. Reporter: In New York state, the number of cases soaring above 2,400, at least 16 deaths. The governor pushing back against a possible shelter in place, instead issuing an executive order requiring all non-essential businesses to leave 50% of their workers at home. I understand the anxiety. I understand the fear. But you also have to remember the facts of the situation, right? And the facts are still very clear. We know what this virus does. Reporter: In New York, more than 1,000 new cases in just the last 24 hours. But governor Cuomo pointing out that 100 new yorkers have been released from the hospital. And tonight, we're learning that lawyer at the center of the outbreak in westchester county, who was in critical condition, now seems to be on the road to full recovery. His wife adding on Facebook, that he's "Awake and alert." His first words to her, "I love you so much." That's good news. Whit, the law the president is considering that would give him broad powers to ask industry for help making supplies. Late today, the president did clarify that he has so far not taken that action? Reporter: David, president trump says he's already signed it, but will only invoke the law in a worst case scenario. Adding he's hopeful there will be no need. David? Whit, thank you. Meantime this evening, the long lines across the country

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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