Gov. Whitmer asks President Trump to extend Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 assistance

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 2:29 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Donald Trump Friday requesting he authorize the use of the Michigan National Guard through Dec. 31, according to a release from the governor’s office.

The governor’s office said Title 32, which allows National Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits, was originally set to expire Aug. 21 under a deadline put in place by the Trump Administration.

“The Michigan National Guard is a crucial part of the State’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Guard will be vital to our ongoing recovery as well,” said Governor Whitmer. “Beyond August 21, 2020, we will continue to require the Michigan National Guard to perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as helping run mobile screening facilities, testing, distributing food and medical supplies, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, disinfecting public spaces, and supporting public safety when required.”

The governor’s office said the extension of the Title 32 authority means National Guard members will be able to qualify for retirement and education benefits available under the GI Bill, while also allowing the state to utilize Guard member services.

“Since March, the men and women of the Michigan National Guard have stepped up to support the state’s response to COVID-19; this extension would allow us flexibility to continue our work with Governor Whitmer to protect our fellow Michiganders,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The uncertain nature of this global pandemic makes the National Guard a critically important asset as we keep up the fight against COVID-19 together in the coming months.” 

A copy of the letter sent to President Trump can be viewed here.

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