Trump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE signed an executive order on Friday that allows the Pentagon to mobilize former U.S. troops and members of the National Guard to help supplement troops already being used to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Trump's order allows the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Homeland Security to recall up to 1 million reserve members to active duty for up to 24 months.

"The Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as applicable, will ensure appropriate consultation is undertaken with relevant state officials with respect to the utilization of National Guard Reserve Component units activated under this authority," Trump's order states.

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"Generally, these members will be persons in Headquarters units and persons with high demand medical capabilities whose call-up would not adversely affect their civilian communities," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.

"As this is a dynamic situation, we do not currently have a projected number of expected activations, but the Department is now fully authorized to make activations as needed. We will provide updates as they become available," the spokesman added.

During his press conference Friday night, Trump said the decision allows the federal government "to mobilize medical disaster emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus."

"We have a lot of people, retirees, great military people — they're coming back in," Trump said.

The Defense Department has dispatched two Navy hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles to help with the coronavirus response. The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday also identified 114 sites it plans to convert to hospitals during the pandemic.