Telling him that the Michigan National Guard “has been instrumental in flattening the COVID-19 curve in Michigan,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer has dispatched a letter to President Trump asking for an extension of their service through the end of July.
Governor Whitmer has sent her letter to Trump by way of email requesting an extension of Title 32 authority in order to use Michigan National Guard forces to combat the spread of COVID-19 through July 31, 2020. Title 32 status, which provides for federal pay and benefits, is currently authorized by the President through June 24th.
Whitmer writes, “The Michigan National Guard has been instrumental in flattening the COVID-19 curve in Michigan by performing testing throughout the state, distributing Personal Protective Equipment, food, and medical supplies, providing warehousing support, disinfecting public spaces, and assisting the Department of Health and Human Services with testing.” She adds, “I’m requesting an extension to continue utilizing the Michigan National Guard so we can safely reopen our economy while putting the health and well-being of all Michiganders first.”
In addition to requiring Title 32 authority to fully utilize the Michigan National Guard, Gov. Whitmer is making her request in order to ensure Guard members receive federal retirement and education benefits made available under the GI Bill. If Title 32 authority expires on June 24th, some Guard members will not be eligible to receive these benefits.
The governor contends, “The Michigan National Guard is a crucial part of our emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will remain vital to our ongoing recovery,” and concludes, “I want to ensure the brave men and women serving in the National Guard receive the benefits they’re entitled to and have earned.”
To view the governor’s letter, click the link below: