UPDATED 9:45 AM PT — Saturday, March 28, 2020
President Trump has signed an executive order that will allow special reserve troops and National Guard members to be deployed as medical response personnel. During Friday’s press conference, the president noted he’s willing to use the full authority of the federal government to combat the coronavirus crisis.
LIVE: Press Briefing with Coronavirus Task Force https://t.co/jd1mZa6Izv
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 27, 2020
His directive will allow leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Homeland Security to call up to 1 million retirees, or part-time service members, and place them in active duty for up to two years.
“We have a lot of people – retirees, great, great military people – they’re coming back in, who have offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need. They don’t say, ‘What are we getting paid?’ They just want to come back in. It’s really an incredible thing to see, it’s beautiful.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
These individuals will generally have “high demand medical capabilities” and will not “adversely affect their civilian communities” by resuming active duty.
Meanwhile, President Trump is expected to bid bon voyage to a Navy hospital ship departing from Virginia this weekend. The event is set to take place in Norfolk on Saturday, in celebration of the USNS Comfort before it sets sail to New York City.
“I think I’m going to go out, and I’ll kiss it goodbye,” said the president. “It’s a great ship.”
The ship was activated to bring much needed medical relief to New York, specifically for non-coronavirus patients. According to the White House, “these doctors, nurses, x-ray techs and other medical staff will support the local medical community” by easing the burden of area hospitals responding to the pandemic.
Over 1,200 medical personnel will be on board.
As of Saturday, there were more than 100,000 active cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 1,700 reported deaths. The number of active cases around the world has risen above 436,000, with the global death toll surpassing 27,000.
U.S. health officials warned the nation’s coronavirus cases are expected to continue rising before leveling off.
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