Trump grants Whitmer request to extend Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 help through end of year

National Guard can continue with Michigan COVID-19 relief through Dec. 31

Michigan National Guard members help at a food bank in Pontiac, Mich. on March 30, 2020. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – President Donald Trump has granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to extend the Michigan National Guard’s coronavirus (COVID-19) relief assistance through the end of the year.

The state’s use of the National Guard was set to expire Aug. 21 due to a previous deadline, but members of the Guard can now receive federal pay and benefits for helping with the Michigan COVID-19 response through Dec. 31.

“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. “Our dedicated guardsmen and women will continue to be a crucial part of our recovery efforts moving forward.

“I thank the president for granting my request, and implore him to work with Congress on a bipartisan recovery package that protects American families, frontline workers and small business owners. The only way we will get through this is if leaders in the federal government put partisan games aside and work together to save lives.” 

Whitmer sent a letter to Trump on July 10 requesting the extension. Trump has imposed a 25% state cost share from Aug. 21 to Dec. 31.  

“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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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.