Gov. Parson mobilizes Missouri National Guard to help fight COVID-19
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order Thursday to mobilize the Missouri National Guard to assist in the state’s response to COVID-19.
“Mobilizing the National Guard will help us provide more immediate resources to our citizens and enhance Missouri’s ability to overcome this global pandemic," Gov. Parson said in a statement.
According to the Governor's executive order, the pandemic has “caused conditions of distress and hazards to public health and safety beyond the capacities of local and State agencies.”
The Governor said more state resources are needed to respond to the virus. But he made it clear he has no intention of putting Missouri under martial law.
"This is a planning stage operation to provide more assistance to Missourians and increase our capacity to deploy resources, quickly," the governor stated. "The guard will play a major role in supporting state and local communities."
National Guard leaders said soldiers will likely get orders to complete a variety of tasks such as setting up community testing sites or transporting equipment to health care workers across the state.
Activated soldiers will receive special health and safety training.
“The National Guard is ready and poised to assist local and state civilian authorities in response to COVID-19,” Adjutant General Levon Cumpton said. “The Guard has flexibility in utilizing resources and deploying them around the state where they are most appropriate.”
The mobilization is scheduled to last until May 15, but Parson can extend it.
You can read Governor Parson's full executive order here.