President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that he has activated the National Guard in New York, California and Washington state to fight the spread of the coronavirus, saying “we’re fighting an invisible enemy.”
“The federal government has deployed hundreds of tons of supplies from our national stockpile to locations with the greatest need in order to assist in those areas,” the president said during a White House COVID-19 press briefing.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will fund the deployment,” according to Trump, but the state governors will retain command of the armed forces. The supplies, which includes medical beds, N95 face masks and gloves, will be delivered within 48 hours, the president said.
“We’re dealing also with other states. These states have been hit the hardest,” he added.
More than 73,000 members of the Nation Guard were deployed on Sunday morning to combat COVID-19. The troops will assist all states with personnel and resources, including building medical facilities to fight the spread.
The pandemic outbreak has escalated dramatically in recent days and all American states have been affected. The U.S. this weekend became the country with the fourth-most number of positive coronavirus cases following China, Spain and Italy–after individuals who tested positive exceeded 26,000, with more than 340 deaths caused by the disease and 176 recoveries.
Newsweek reached out to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and California Governor Gavin Newsom for comment.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.