Troops of the United States National Guard are to be deployed in the three states hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak and the order was signed by the US President Donald Trump.
Medical aid and setting up of medical stations will be the main mandate for the troops who will be deployed in New York, California and Washington. The total number of people suffering from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the US increased to 35,244 with 417 people succumbing to the virus.
There are fears of a shortage of key medical supplies in New York City. The Senate has however blocked a bill to fund national relief efforts.
Currently, the US has the third largest number of coronavirus infection cases in the world after Italy and China.
There “are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously”, cautioned the top US public health official, Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams on Monday. “I want America to understand this week it’s going to get bad,” Dr Adams said in a television program. The young Americans were especially ignoring the government health guidance of practicing social distancing, he noted.
“Everyone needs to be taking the right steps, right now: stay home.”
The latest US state to issue a stay-at-home order for its residents on Monday was Michigan. The authorities will allow pharmacies and grocery stores and other critical services shall remain open.
Currently, National Guard troops are also aiding in the distribution of food and medical supplies all across the US.
The situation in the US was like having “54 different hurricanes hitting every state”, according to the head of the US National Guard, General Joseph Lengyel. “All 50 states, three territories & DC are engaged in combating Covid-19,” Gen Lengyel said. “This morning 7,300 National Guardsman & women are providing critical skills support.”
Top US lawmakers also caught up with Covid-19.
On Sunday, Republican Senator Rand Paul, 57, said that he had tested positive for Covid-19. That resulted in two of his party members Senators Mitt Romney, 73, and Mike Lee, 48, also going into self-quarantine because they had been in direct physical contact with Paul. According to the media, neither Romney nor Lee have exhibited any symptoms so far.
While describing the virus pandemic as a “war”, Trump said: “I want to assure the American people that we’re doing everything we can each day to confront and ultimately defeat this horrible invisible enemy.”
The medical stations that will be set up by the National Guard will have a capacity of 4,000 beds, 2,000 of which will go to California, 1,000 to New York and 1,000 to Washington state.
(Adapted from BBC.com)