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Nearly 20,000 National Guard Troops Helping US States Combat COVID-19 Pandemic - Pentagon

© REUTERS / Jeenah MoonAn empty street is seen near Wall street during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 27, 2020. Picture taken March 27, 2020
An empty street is seen near Wall street during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 27, 2020. Picture taken March 27, 2020 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US National Guard has deployed approximately 20,000 troops to help US states fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Defense Department said in a statement on Friday.

"[Approximately] 19,700 guardsmen are actively supporting COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors with state priorities continuing to focus on supporting community based testing sites, creating additional medical capacity, and providing logistical support to include transportation and distribution of medical supplies and food," the statement said.

The Defense Department pointed out the case of the state of West Virginia, which deployed 420 troops to conduct training missions for retail and other stores employees. The troops have helped deliver medical equipment and food to local communities, the Defense Department said.

In the state of Maryland, the National Guard have distributed more than 1 million masks, gloves and other protective equipment to hospital and other health professionals, while in the state of Tennessee troops have help local authorities to operate special testing sites, the Defense Department added.

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