It has been announced that President Trump will deploy National Guard troops in three states being California, New York, and Washington. The main tactic behind the move is to set up medical stations and to deliver medical supplies to those in need after infections of coronavirus continue to increase every day. President Trump mentioned he had spoken with all three governors of the states on Sunday and said the federal government will cover 100% of the costs for the deploying National Guard units. As of March 23, 2020, the current amount of infections in the United States totals 35,244 people and the number of deaths is 471 people. Federal emergency funds have been approved for Major Disaster Declarations by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in the states of California and Washington. For all areas that have been impacted by COVID-19, the declarations make federal funding available for emergency protective measures including crisis counseling for affected individuals. The state of New York was the first to receive Major Disaster Declaration approval on Friday.
On Friday, the National Guard also arrived in Baltimore, Maryland to provide “humanitarian assistance” to its residents in relation to the ongoing pandemic. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said that his administration requested the National Guard to deploy with the intent to help with meal distribution to students and families who are at a loss of food due to school closures and that members will also aid with efforts in planning and logistical support for the city’s hospitals and medical teams.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said that the National Guard could begin monitoring drive-in testing sites statewide in a press conference on Sunday. Abbott also told the Texas National Guard that they can help local officials set up medical tents and reboot previously closed hospitals and medical facilities in order to become testing sites.
In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb has stated the National Guard will help deliver medical supplies to hospitals to help fight the virus. The Indiana National Guard will also help in sorting supplies and packaging them to increase short supply in hospitals in need of assistance.
On Saturday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order ensuring that the Minnesota National Guard delivers personal protective equipment from Camp Riley to the Minnesota Department of Health warehouse in St. Paul. The delivery includes more than 81,000 N95 masks, 17,296 pandemic flu kits, 1,153 Tyvek disposable coveralls, 2,265 boots, and 2,263 gloves.
In Arizona, the National Guard has been activated by Governor Doug Ducey and 700 Citizen-Soldiers have been sent to support grocery stores and food banks. The Arizona National Guard members are helping with logistics and the moving of supplies with Governor Ducey explaining, “Arizona has plenty of supplies but needs help getting them to the right places.”
Lastly, the Wisconsin National Guard has sent six medics to a senior living facility in Grafton, Wisconsin to help with coronavirus infections and deaths. The team of four Citizen-Soldiers and two Airmen is led by Capt. Heather Schaller, a nurse assigned to the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. In addition, more than 300 Wisconsin National Guard troops have been mobilized to prepare for potential missions related to the coronavirus pandemic including specimen collection and transportation, logistics support, and more medical support.
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