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Gov. Whitmer asks for federal funding for National Guard COVID-19 operations

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has sent a letter to President Donald Trump hoping to secure federal funding for Michigan’s fight against COVID-19.

The governor’s letter asks the president to approve the Title 32 authorization that would allow the Michigan National Guard to operate with federal funding for pay, benefits, and equipment.

Earlier this week, the governor activated Army National Guardto assist the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with getting out much needed supplies amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the Governor’s command and control, the Michigan National Guard would also be used to aid in the distribution of resources like food and supplies to families who have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19.  

“Despite the many challenges that theCOVID-19 pandemic has presented, Michiganders have risen to meet the challenge by helping their friends, families, and neighbors in taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread,” Whitmer wrote in her letter to the president. 

A spokeswoman says the governor’s office is still assessing what is needed to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Whitmer and Trump have an uneasy relationship. The request comes after the governor and the president had a prickly public exchange earlier this week.

In a television interview, Whitmer complained the federal government did not take the outbreak “seriously early enough.”

In response, President Trump tweeted that Whitmer was “failing” Michigan.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.