President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to free up billions in funds to agencies battling the coronavirus outbreak in America.
Trump made the announcement during a White House presser with Vice President Mike Pence, who heads up the president's Coronavirus task force.
"I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words," said Trump during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Friday.
Trump made the announcement as chaos ensued and Americans emptied store shelves of food, water, toilet paper, alcohol, bleach and other essentials.
Trump has come under extreme pressure from lawmakers to increase testing sites where people who believe they have the virus can go to get tested.
Medical experts say there is a shortage of testing kits to determine the extent of the epidemic.
Wall Street panicked as the stock market suffered its worst 2 days since the financial crash in 1987.
The president said he would direct billions in aid to the CDC and other health agencies to speed up testing.
Trump urged calm as schools were shut down in multiple states and major sports leagues canceled their seasons in an unprecedented overreaction to a virus that causes mild flu-like symptoms in most healthy adults.
"This will pass," Trump said of the coronavirus. "We'll be stronger for it. We've learned a lot."