Trump orders National Guard, building of medical facilities in NY, Calif., Wash.
President Trump on Sunday said the National Guard had been activated in New York, California and Washington and that the federal government would provide additional resources to help those states combat the coronavirus.
“We’re dealing also with other states. These states have been hit the hardest,” Trump said at a news briefing at the White House.
Trump said the federal government would fund “100 percent” of the National Guard units carrying out approved missions in those states. The order will provide additional manpower and resources to the three states grappling with some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S.
Trump said he had spoken with the Democratic governors of all three states on Sunday. He previously called Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) a “snake” but has largely offered praise for Govs. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) for their handling of the virus.
The president said various additional medical supplies would be shipped out to those states in the coming days and that troops would help construct additional medical facilities at specified sites in each state.
New York will receive four federal medical stations with 1,000 hospital beds, while California will receive eight medical stations with 2,000 beds and Washington will receive several stations and 1,000 beds.
Trump also touted the shipment of tens of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment from the national stockpile to those states, including gloves, masks and gowns.
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. The president has also faced days of criticism for opting not to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to manufacture specific equipment hospitals are clamoring for.
Trump has repeatedly urged governors to try to acquire supplies independently and said the federal government would assist them as needed. But governors have expressed frustration that the federal government has in some cases outbid them and called on Trump to lead the supply chain efforts.
There are more than 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 400 Americans with the virus have died. New York state announced nearly 5,000 new cases on Sunday morning alone.