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Trump extends National Guard COVID-19 deployments until August

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson communicates with members of the Missouri National Guard last Saturday at a food giveaway in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson communicates with members of the Missouri National Guard last Saturday at a food giveaway in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

May 28 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said Thursday he will extend National Guard deployments through mid-August to help states with the coronavirus response.

The Title 32 status allows for federal funding and allows troops to remain under the control of state governors. There are roughly 46,000 National Guard members supporting state coronavirus response efforts.

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"The men and women of the National Guard have been doing a great job fighting the coronavirus," Trump tweeted Thursday. "I will extend their Title 32 orders through mid-August, so they can continue to help States succeed in their response and recovery efforts."

National Guard Chief General Joseph Lengyel said this week the mission should be extended and the idea was supported by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

"The mission is not done yet," Lengyel said. "The one thing we know for sure is that this mission is going to continue beyond the 24th of June."

Before Trump's announcement, National Guard officials had been preparing to end their aid missions.

"We were told to start planning to pull our troops off of their missions effective June 24," Major Gen. said Matt Quinn, adjutant general of Montana and the president of the Adjutants General Association of the United States. "And if the soldiers and airmen were in close contact with someone who had Covid-19, we need to pull them off 14 days early for the quarantine period."

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Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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