National Guard Activated to Help Coronavirus Fight
“About 2,050 National Guard soldiers and airmen in 27 states have been activated to support COVID-19 response efforts”, according to the Department of Defense.
Thus far, National Guard troops have transported “500,000 swabs to be [used in] COVID-19 test kits in Memphis”, are “assisting with collecting samples from drive-through testing” in Florida, and are “supporting medical assessments and testing site operations” in other states.
Air Force General Joseph Lengyel reported today “the total number of guardsmen activated will increase rapidly”, expecting this number “doubling by this weekend”. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, however, remarked how activating the National Guard should “be the last resort,” adding that “it takes time to activate people”; “it’s not hours or days, it’s probably days or weeks, and more like weeks”.
“There are about 450,000 Guard troops in all 50 states”.