Whitmer requests 3-month extension for Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 work

Members will help distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 1:45 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking another three-month extension of the Michigan National Guard’s mission to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitmer sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Tuesday asking to continue using the National Guard through March 31. The Michigan National Guard’s coronavirus work currently is scheduled to end on Dec. 31.

“The Michigan National Guard remains a crucial part of the state’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Guard is vital to our ongoing recovery as well,” Whitmer said. “Michigan, as in many other states, is experiencing a marked incline in our COVID-19 positive cases across the state."

Since March, the Michigan National Guard has staffed free COVID-19 testing locations around the state, distributed personal protective equipment and helped several food banks, including the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint.

Whitmer said National Guard members eventually will be tasked with providing logistical and transportation support with distributing a COVID-19 vaccine when it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Whitmer clashed with Trump in September, when he refused to provide full federal funding of the Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 work. Michigan and other states have to pay 25% of the National Guard’s cost as of Aug. 26.

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