The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday it will test a new emergency notification system next week that allows President Donald Trump to send emergency messages directly to U.S. cellphones.
Predictably, leftists and those opposed to the president reacted negatively to the news.
What is FEMA doing?
FEMA will test the Wireless Emergency Alerts system to "assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed," the agency said in a statement. The systems allows the president the "communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency."
Compatible cellphones, which include those from every major carrier, will receive a message that reads "Presidential Alert" and "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
The test will begin at 2:18 p.m. EST. It is the system's first nationwide test in which users cannot opt out.
"During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message," FEMA said.
The system is already used to warn the public about "dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations." The test will "use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages," FEMA explained.
What was the reaction?
Even though experts explained to The Hill the national emergency notification system has for decades remained "professional and impartial," those opposed to the president did not welcome FEMA's announcement.
"Prepare to die, folks," John Marshall, publisher of the left-leaning Talking Points Memo, said. "In other words, it's basically like an amber alert from the president when we're all about to die. Or alternatively when he's going so apes**t that tweeting just want give him enough satisfaction."
I don’t want this. How do we opt out, @fema? I know trump isn’t big on consent but I don’t consent to this. https://t.co/A04twRU39p— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano)1537023451.0
"I will throw my godsd***ed (sic) phone into the sea," author Meg Elison said.
"I already get enough calls from scammers don’t really need another," another person said.