President Trump on Sunday announced that he has activated the National Guard to deploy and assist in New York, California and Washington — three of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re dealing also with other states. These states have been hit the hardest,” Trump said at a news briefing at the White House Sunday evening. “This is a war — a different kind of war than we’ve ever had.”
The National Guard will be funded “100 percent” by the federal government to carry out the missions of these three states. The order will provide additional manpower and resources.
“The federal government will be funding 100% of the cost to deploy National Guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus while those governors remain in command,” Trump said. “We’ll be following them and we hope they can do the job and I think they will. I spoke with all three of the governors today, just a little while ago and they’re very happy with what we’re going to be doing.”
Additionally, large quantities of masks, respirators, gowns, face shields and other medical supplies will be delivered to California and New York in the next 48 hours and that troops would help construct additional medical facilities at specified sites in each state.
“The federal government has deployed hundreds of tons of supplies from our national stocks pile to locations with the greatest need in order to assist in those areas,” Trump said.
New York will receive four federal medical stations with 1,000 hospital beds. California will receive eight medical stations with 2,000 beds and Washington will receive seven medical stations and 1,000 beds.
“I directed FEMA to supply the following: Four large medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York, eight large federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California. and three large federal medical stations and four small federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for the state of Washington.”
The two Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort is in the process of being deployed to New York, while the USNS Mercy, based in San Diego will move to Los Angeles because of an expected shortage of hospital beds, Trump told reporters. The Big Apple state announced nearly 5,000 new cases on Sunday morning in just one day, bringing their total to 15,000 confirmed cases.
“They are wartime ships. They’re meant for war,” Trump said. “These rooms are as good as anywhere in the nation.”
The deployment of additional resources to those three states comes after governors called on Trump to put the force of the National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers behind the coronavirus response.
“This is a challenging time for all Americans,” Trump said. “We’re enduring a great national trial and we will prove that we can meet the moment. I want to assure the American people that we’re doing everything we can each day to confront and ultimately defeat this horrible invisible enemy. We’re at war.”