Why has Donald Trump declared a state of emergency?

PRESIDENT Donald Trump issued an an emergency declaration for the nation’s capital on January 11.

The mayor if Washington, DC, had sought such an order after last week's storming of the Capitol.

Why did Trump declare a state of emergency?

The president ordered federal agencies to provide assistance to local law enforcement as fears of violence continue to mount in the days following the Capitol siege.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had written to Trump asking for the emergency declaration.

Trump's declaration states that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can provide needed assistance through January 24.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency," the declaration states.

"Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 100 percent Federal funding."

It is believed that Trump has accepted "some responsibility for the deadly Capitol riot."

What is a state of emergency?

An emergency declaration allows the government to increase powers in a certain area.

It can be declared for a number of reasons, from natural disasters to the current Covid outbreak.

It can also be declared due to civil unrest, making Trump's declaration of emergency concerning.

What does it mean when it is declared?

A state of emergency gives the government a wide range of special powers to deal with the situation at hand.

In the US, the President can declare an emergency at a national level which brings 500 federal laws into effect. State governors or mayors can also declare a state of emergency covering their jurisdiction.

It varies from country to country but things that could be invoked by the government following the declaration are:

  • In some cases, conscript citizens to help with efforts to manage the emergency
  • In others, to authorise qualified citizens to assist in emergency management efforts
  • Confiscate equipment and property that will assist in emergency management
  • Make goods and resources available for distribution to those areas impacted
  • Fix prices of goods and services, to avoid incidences of "price gouging"
  • Impose a curfew on residents of the affected areas
  • Prohibit, or at least limit, travel to, from or within the areas impacted by the emergency
  • Establish emergency shelters
  • Enter any building without a warrant
  • Order residents to evacuate the affected areas

When is Joe Biden's inauguration?

Joe Biden will succeed Trump as president on January 20.

In the wake of the January 6 attack, which erupted after Trump spoke to his supporters in DC as Congress was certifying the 2020 election, authorities have started beefing up plans to keep Biden's swearing-in secure.

The Secret Service is planning to implement security measures a week before the inauguration, and the DC National Guard plans to have a minimum of 10,000 troops on the ground by the weekend, according to The Hill.

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