President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he would activate the National Guard across the country as the United States wages an unprecedented war against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Trump said that the federal government is deploying the National Guard nationwide in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that the country is struggling to contain. As of Sunday morning, at least 7,300 National Guard members have been mobilized across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands and Washington DC to combat the deadly virus.
"The federal government has deployed hundreds of tons of supplies from our national stocks pile to locations with the greatest need in order to assist in those areas," Trump said in a Sunday press briefing, as quoted by CNBC.
These supplies include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, N95 masks, face shields, and gowns, in addition to medical equipment such as hospital beds and respirators. In addition, the government will set up large federal medical stations in the hard-hit areas.
US in panic as it becomes third most affected country after Italy, China
It appears as if a state of panic has set in, prompting the President to enforce these emergency measures across the nation after being criticised for not acting more forcefully to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The United States now ranks third on the list of countries with the most number of positive coronavirus cases after China and Italy. According to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard of global COVID-19 cases, the US saw a significant spike in the number of infected patients with the tally going up to 33,276, as of Sunday evening. The death toll in the US has reached 417.
California, New York and Washington hit hard
California, New York and Washington state have been the most affected states amid the pandemic, reporting an explosion of cases over the past week.
New York tops the list with more than 15,000 confirmed cases, with an escalation of over 5,400 cases in 24 hours alone, followed by Washington state at about 1,700 and California comes in third with roughly 1,500 positive cases.
In addition to the deployment of the National Guard in these three states, Trump has issued Major Disaster Declarations for New York, California and Washington and said he was rushing emergency supplies to these locations.
He added that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also been directed to set up four large federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York, eight large federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California and three large federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for the State of Washington. Moreover, two naval hospital ships were also deployed in New York and Los Angeles.