Troops defending Capitol sickened by undercooked meat: report

Michigan National Guard troops that have been tasked with defending the U.S. Capitol since the riot on Jan. 6 are being served undercooked food that is landing some members in the hospital, according to a report by 7 Action News.

A Michigan National Guard staff sergeant told the news station about the meals the troops were receiving and shared pictures of the undercooked meat. 

“Yesterday, for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them,” the sergeant, who was not named by 7 Action News, said. "Just yesterday ... soldiers had found metal shavings in their food.”

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Food is now spot-checked after the issue left some soldiers sick and in the hospital, according to 7 Action News.

However, the National Guard told The Hill that no National Guard members have been hospitalized due to the food that was served to them.

“Out of the 26,000 who were deployed and the 5,200 who remain, approximately 50 have been treated for gastrointestinal complaints,” the National Guard spokesperson said. “Six of them were treated as outpatients at military treatment facilities; others were handled at aid station set up as part of the Task Force.”

The undercooked food has continued to appear in guardsmen's meals this week. The sergeant said on Monday that the meat for dinner on Sunday was raw.

Now, after the raw meat yesterday for dinner, they have told us not to eat the meals for the next two days and are giving us MRE’s instead. Soldiers are now paying for all their meals for the next two days in order to get real food,” the sergeant said on Monday.

National Guard troops have been at the Capitol since January to protect the city during the presidential inauguration. They remained in place due to Qanon conspiracy theories that say former President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE will be inaugurated on March 4. 

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“Senior leaders of the Michigan National Guard will remain personally engaged with this issue and will continue to push for accountability and a solution to the ill-prepared meals being served,” the National Guard said in a statement to 7 Action News. 

The statement adds that many Michigan leaders have expressed their concern over the situation, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersHere's evidence the Senate confirmation process is broken Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers MORE (D) and Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceBlack caucus chair arrested at Capitol during voting rights protest Supreme Court deals blow to Black Caucus voting rights efforts Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes MORE (D).

This is not the first time questions about the treatment of National Guard members at the Capitol have been raised; many were outraged in January when some National Guard members were forced to sleep in parking garages after they were called to protect the presidential inauguration. 

The National Guard said Michigan troops will return home on March 12. 

The Hill has reached out to Whitmer’s office.

--Updated at 3:04 p.m.