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National Guard To Assist Foodbanks And Hospitals

Mar 19, 2020

 

The Ohio National Guard helped out with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in October 2017.
Credit @OHNATIONALGUARD/TWITTER

The Ohio National Guard is being deployed on Monday to help with the state’s coronavirus response. But the Guard’s leader wants to make it clear what they will not be doing.  Statehouse correspondent Karen Kalser explains.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he’s gotten calls about rumors that the Guard is being called out. And it is.

“We’ve received a request from food banks just to give assistance by the National Guard. They will be doing that," DeWine said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Adjutant General Major John Harris Jr. said around 370 personnel will be split among a dozen food banks, which have lost older volunteers who are staying home because they’re at higher risk. And he wants to tamp down rumors too.

“We are not going out to enforce martial law. We are citizens helping citizens in that Minuteman tradition that we’ve always been about," Harris said.

DeWine has said the Guard, which often helps with weather disasters both in Ohio and in other parts of the country and even outside the United States, will eventually be putting up tents at hospitals as triage and isolation areas.