The United States declared a state of emergency on Friday, 13 March, as many European countries went on a war footing amid mounting deaths as the world mobilized to fight the widening coronavirus pandemic.At the White House, where President Donald Trump made the emergency decree, drug company executives vowed to work together and with the government to quickly expand the country's coronavirus testing capabilities, which are far behind those in many countries.“We will defeat this threat,” Trump told a press conference.“When America is tested, America rises to the occasion.”US President Donald TrumpWhile the aggressive spread of the virus in Europe, North America and the Middle East has dashed any hopes for quick containment, dozens of countries have imposed increasingly severe measures over the past couple days — shutting borders, expanding testing, closing school for tens of millions of children and ordering tens of thousands of businesses to close their doors — to try to face down the disease.The US emergency decree will open up $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak, said Trump, who also gave the secretary of health and human services emergency powers to waive federal regulations to give doctors and hospitals “flexibility” in treating patients.US Prez Donald Trump Declares National Emergency Over CoronavirusAs the US struggles to slow the spread of the virus, the governors of six states — Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Rhode Island and Washington – sought National Guard troops.Trump's announcement came as tens of millions of students around the world faced weeks without classes, security forces went on standby to guard against large gatherings, and bars, restaurants and offices closed.While the new coronavirus can be deadly, particularly for the elderly and people with other health problems, for most people it causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Some feel no symptoms at all and the vast majority of people recover.Coronavirus Explained: The Virus Felt Around the WorldBut the spreading pandemic showed that power and influence offer no protection. Among those testing positive were the Canadian prime minister's wife, a top aide to Iran's supreme leader, Miami's mayor, a Brazilian official who met with Trump, and an Australian Cabinet minister who met with the US attorney general and Trump's daughter, Ivanka.Pressed by reporters, Trump, who also met with the Brazilian official, said he will “most likely” be tested for the virus “fairly soon,” reversing an earlier White House statement.Channeling wartime rhetoric and tactics in the face of a microscopic enemy, leaders appealed for solidarity to battle a threat that appeared to expand exponentially. They vowed to protect not just the sick, but those sacrificing their livelihoods and education for the greater good. But new border checks were also on the rise, showing that solidarity had its limits in the face of a fast-moving threat.In Europe, stocks clawed back some of their losses with promises of financial support from the European Commission, France and Germany, while in the US, stocks surged after Trump's announcement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 2,000 points — its biggest point gain ever.Cases topped 1,700 across the US, where thousands of schools have been closed, concerts and sporting events canceled and even Broadway theaters shut down. Trump has halted his trademark political rallies, following the lead of Democratic rivals Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.In the US, hospitals were setting up circus-like triage tents, calling doctors out of retirement, guarding their supplies of face masks and making plans to cancel elective and non-emergency surgeries as they brace for an expected onslaught of coronavirus patients in the coming weeks.Trump, who on Thursday ordered a 30-day travel ban for most foreign visitors coming to the US from continental Europe, dismissed criticism that his administration has faced for the slow rollout of testing in the US, saying “I don't take responsibility at all" for the problem.The public-private partnership that Trump announced at the White House will include drive-thru testing in some areas — something already being done in South Korea and Germany — and an online portal to screen those seeking to get tested.Late Friday, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a deal with the Trump administration for an aid package that would provide free tests, sick pay for workers and bolster food programs. The US House was poised to vote on the deal.Across America, where millions of children depend on school lunches as their main meals, schools were cobbling together ways to keep kids fed, from distributing grand-and-go meal sacks to cafeterias that remained open even as classrooms closed.(Edited for length.)(Published in arrangement with The Associated Press) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.