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Gov. Whitmer requests President Trump allow extension of Michigan National Guard for COVID-19 response through March 31, 2021

Title 32 status, which provides for federal pay and benefits, is currently authorized by the President through December 31, 2020.
An Airmen from Task Force 182 performs a free COVID-19 test on a resident of Bay County on...
An Airmen from Task Force 182 performs a free COVID-19 test on a resident of Bay County on October 3, 2020. Residents could get the test for free from the safety of their cars at Delta College in Bay City. Task Force 182 is a special task force that is part of the Michigan National Guard that has been conducting thousands of tests across the state for months(Photo by Michigan National Guard Staff Sgt. Tegan Kucera)
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 4:13 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Trump requesting an extension of Title 32 authority in order to use Michigan National Guard forces to combat the spread of COVID-19 through March 31, 2021 for COVID-19 response and vaccine related activities.

Title 32 status, which provides for federal pay and benefits, is currently authorized by the President through December 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,” said Governor Whitmer. “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.”

Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they are accelerating the large-scale testing of vaccines that should provide Americans an added layer of immunity from the virus. In anticipation of rapid approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Michigan will look to the Michigan National Guard to provide logistical support and transportation support to help distribute the 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.

To view the governor’s letter to the president, click here.

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