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Trump approves request for the National Guard to perform humanitarian missions in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made the formal request on March 18.

LANSING, Mich. — On Monday, March 30, President Donald Trump approved Michigan's request for the National Guard to perform humanitarian missions across the state as a part of the response to combat COVID-19.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made the formal request on March 18 for up to 3,000 members of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard to perform missions for up to 90 days. 

Under Whitmer's command and control, the National Guard members will help run mobile screening facilities, distribute food and medical supplies, ensure the resiliency of supple lines, disinfect public spaces and support public safety when necessary. 

The governor said this is good news for Michigan.

“Now, our dedicated National Guardsmen and women can help ensure access to meals for families who need them, or medical supplies for our health care professionals. They’ll help us get Michiganders tested and keep our public places clean. I’m happy that the federal government granted this request, and will continue to work closely with them as we slow the spread of COVID-19 together," Whitmer said. 

Major General Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said the Michigan National guard is "ready and eager to assist" the state government as it works to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

The request was granted after Whitmer sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper outlining how Michigan meets the criteria to deploy the National Guard for these purposes. 

Over weekend, Trump approved Whitmer's major disaster declaration request. 

The governor's office said Monday morning that the National Guard will also be running food banks in four cities: Ann Arbor, Comstock Park, Flint, and Pontiac.

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