President Trump on Friday signed an executive order authorizing the Pentagon to bring back former troops, including members of the National Guard and Ready Reserve eserve members, to active duty as part of the ongoing response to the coronavirus crisis.
“Today the President signed an Executive Order authorizing Secretary Esper to order units and individual members in the National Guard and Reserves and certain Individual Ready Reserve members, to active duty to augment forces for the effective response to the coronavirus outbreak,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
The department said that, in general, the members called up will be those in headquarters units and those with high demand medical capabilities, who would not adversely affect their local communities by being called up. The order allows them to be called up for up to two years and up to a million can be called up.
“This will allow us to mobilize medical disaster emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus,” Trump said at a press conference Friday previewing the decision. “We have a lot of people, retirees, great military people, they’re coming back in,”
This week Trump activated the National Guard in New York, Washington and California — states that have been hardest hit by the virus that has caused havoc across the country and shuttered much of daily life.
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.
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