Health and Wellness Statewide News

President Trump approves Gov. Whitmer’s request to extend use of Michigan National Guard to combat COVID-19 until August 21

Photo: Engineering specialists from the Michigan National Guard assisted the city of Grand Rapids on June 1 by ensuring peace and repairing property damage.

The Michigan National Guard will continue its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic after President Donald Trump extended federal deployment known as Title 32 authority until Aug. 21. The extension comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the president on May 27 urging him to extend Title 32 authority.

Title 32 authority, which allows Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits, was set to expire on June 24 due to a deadline set by the Trump Administration.

The Michigan National Guard has played a critical role in flattening the COVID-19 curve in Michigan by distributing personal protective equipment, food and medical supplies, providing warehousing support, disinfecting public spaces and assisting the Department of Health and Human Services with testing.

“The Michigan National Guard has been instrumental in our efforts to flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to play a vital role as we slowly and safely reopen our economy,” Whitmer said. “We need to keep working to expand testing and this extension will ensure we can continue to ramp up testing throughout the state. Moving too fast without the tests we need could put Michigan at risk of a second wave of infections.”

In addition to allowing Michigan to fully utilize the National Guard for recovery and reopening efforts, the extension of Title 32 authority means that many Guard members will qualify for federal retirement and education benefits made available under the GI Bill. Without an extension, some Guard members would not have been eligible to receive these benefits.

“The Michigan National Guard looks forward to continuing its work with Governor Whitmer in our state’s response to COVID-19,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

“This approval allows Michigan National Guard members to continue to serve our communities and protect Michigan families,” Rogers added.

 

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