Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan gets more coronavirus National Guard help — but must pick up some of the tab

By: - August 5, 2020 9:23 am

The TCF Center in Detroit is transformed into a field hospital to house COVID-19 patients | TCF Center photo

President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s July 10 request to authorize the use of Michigan National Guard forces for COVID-19 response through Dec. 31.

Prior to this, the federal government was only set to fund national guard activities in the state until Aug. 21. 

“Since COVID-19 was first discovered in our state, the Michigan National Guard has been a crucial part of our emergency response, from conducting testing and screening, distributing personal protective equipment, and assisting at food banks across the state” Whitmer said in a statement Tuesday. “Our dedicated guardsmen and women will continue to be a crucial part of our recovery efforts moving forward.”

The national guard’s activity in Michigan will be 100% federally funded until Aug. 21, but Trump imposed a 25% state cost share after that date until Dec. 31. Politico reports that Texas and Florida were the only states Trump approved for full funding.

“While I am grateful for the extension, the president’s decision to federally fund Guard activities at only 75% leaves states across the country with an additional cost when we’re already facing severe holes in our state budgets,” Whitmer said. “We need the president and Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to support states like Michigan.”

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.