The Washington National Guard clarified Sunday it had not been “activated” as President Trump stated in an earlier news conference, but instead approved for use, something Gov. Jay Inslee had already done.
“Activate implies that you’ve put them on orders and assigned to a mission,” said Washington State Military Department spokesperson Karina Shagren. “Approving the use just makes them available.”
Shagren said, as of Sunday afternoon, there were still no missions assigned to the Washington National Guard and President Trump’s Sunday announcement simply meant the federal government will pick up the tab.
“What [President Trump] did was approve the use of National Guard soldiers/airmen in Title 32 status, which means the federal government will pay for (and frontload the costs--no need to ask for reimbursement) the use of the Washington National Guard, if needed,” said Shagren.
President Trump announced the federal government would also pay for the use of the National Guard in New York and California, if activated. The governors of all three states would retain command.
“We signed what we had to sign and it’s been activated,” said President Trump. “These states have been hit the hardest. Through FEMA, we’ll be funding 100 percent of the cost of National Guard units."
President Trump said Sunday the Navy’s 1,000-bed hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, would not go to Seattle as requested by Gov. Inslee. It will deploy to Los Angeles to help with the pandemic there.
Instead, the Trump Administration said the feds would set up roughly 1,000 hospital beds in Washington to help support our hospitals.
“HHS has already pre-positioned approximately 1,000 hospital beds via Federal Medical Stations (FMS) for Washington’s use,” said Shagren. “They’re dedicated to our state–and ready to be deployed when requested.”