LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to deny her request to fully fund the Michigan National Guard during the coronavirus pandemic.
She also wanted to provide National Guard members federal pay and benefits.
The federal government will instead only provide 75% of the requested funding, according to a news release Thursday.
Like Michigan, most states are required to provide a 25% cost share for the funding. However, Trump maintained full federal funding for Florida, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut and California.
The Michigan National Guard has been helping with COVID-19 testing, providing personal protective equipment, helped at food banks and supported public safety.
Whitmer released the following statement in response to Trump’s decision:
“Just yesterday, on the day the United States surpassed 190,000 COVID deaths, we learned that the President admitted on tape in February that he knew the dangers of this virus and purposely downplayed it. Now, he is continuing to play political games while American lives and livelihoods are on the line. The president’s blatantly partisan cuts to funding for National Guard units in all but five states is dangerous and could cost American lives. Our Guard members have been vital to our COVID-19 response by testing thousands of people in communities across the state during the height of the pandemic, and will be crucial to our recovery efforts moving forward. It's irresponsible and irrational to fully fund National Guard activities in some states but not others. We need the president to step up and do the right thing for Michigan families, our frontline workers, and our economy. I once again implore President Trump to reconsider his decision and fully fund the Michigan National Guard under Title 32, just like he has in five other states, so our Guardsmen and women can continue to protect us from this deadly virus.”