by Scott McClallen
The Michigan National Guard is helping Detroit prepare additional space to care for COVID-19 patients.
About 20 members of the Michigan National Guard will help the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) form a Federal Medical Station (FMS) at TCF Center in Detroit from Tuesday through today.
Those members will manage inventory to prepare for the care of those with COVID-19.
National Guard members will help FEMA manage equipment inventory and prepare the FMS to receive COVID-19 cases if needed.
The FMS supports the TCF Center’s 1,000-bed care site with help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The State of Michigan is thankful for the sustaining presence of the men and women of the Michigan National Guard as we continue our work to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
“The National Guard is a team of dedicated Michigan citizens invested as partners in navigating challenges that face our communities like COVID-19,” the governor continued.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he supports Whitmer’s plan.
“The decision to use the TCF Center for the Federal Medical Station is absolutely necessary to … protect the health of the residents of Michigan,” Duggan said in a statement. “I fully support the Governor’s leadership on this initiative.”
President Donald Trump on Monday approved Whitmer’s request to order up to 3,000 members of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard to complete humanitarian missions across the state for up to 90 days.
Those missions include distributing food and medical supplies, running mobile screening facilities, securing supply lines and disinfecting public spaces, according to a press release.
“Today’s Michigan National Guard, with its two readiness centers and more than 300 members that reside in the city limits, is a proud member of the community,” Major General Paul Rogers said in a statement.
“The Michigan National Guard stands ready to support Detroit in its fight against COVID-19.”
The state reported 7,615 positive COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday and 259 related deaths. Michigan currently ranks third in the nation for states hardest hit by COVID-19.
COVID-19 significantly impacted the city of Detroit, with 2,080 reported cases and 75 deaths.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square.