Governor Gretchen Whitmer requested an extension from President Trump to utilize the Michigan National Guard through March 31, 2021, to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Title 32, which authorizes the use of Michigan National Guard forces, and provides for federal pay and benefits, is currently authorized by the president through Dec. 31, 2020.
“The Michigan National Guard remains a crucial part of the state’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Guard is vital to our ongoing recovery as well,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Michigan, as in many other states, is experiencing a marked incline in our COVID-19 positive cases across the state. To provide a thorough response, Michigan has been heavily relying on the Michigan National Guard’s efforts to perform widespread testing and screening, distributing personal protective equipment, and assisting at numerous food banks across the state. That’s why we need extended use of the Michigan National Guard through March 31, 2020.”
Whitmer says Michigan will look to the Michigan National Guard to provide logistical support and transportation support to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michigan National Guard members have helped distribute more than 14 million pounds of food at food banks, delivered tests and protective equipment across the state, and assisted with testing more than 200 thousand Michiganders for COVID-19.
The Guard is partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments to offer COVID-19 testing, provide antigen training for health care practitioners, and to provide informational assistance in call centers.