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Blunt Rochester calls on Trump administration to activate military resources

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Delaware, and Gus Bilirakis, R-Florida, on March 31 led a bipartisan group of more than 50 members of Congress urging President Donald Trump to utilize key military assets and organization to help resolve severe medical supply shortages and assist impacted communities with testing and other medical services.

“We believe that the United States Armed Forces can provide some of the resources, expertise, and organization-at-scale needed to provide the requested relief to states and municipalities across the country,” wrote the members. “We applaud your administration’s efforts to coordinate national efforts to combat the crisis, but we need the United States federal government to do more than advise from the background; we need the United States federal government to be the tip of the spear in the fight against COVID-19.”

The letter would call on the president to take three actions in response to the global pandemic and national public health emergency:

— Conduct a coronavirus airlift with U.S. military airlift capabilities leading to help resolve supply chain shortfalls.

— Deploy the Defense Logistics Agency to coordinate supply distribution here in the U.S. and across the globe.

— Mobilize military health care personnel to fill personnel gaps, especially for urgent services like testing.

“The U.S. military is renowned for its unparalleled global war-fighting and humanitarian capability,” the members continued. “But such a capacity is impossible without an incredible and sophisticated logistical organization that can transport and coordinate on a global scale and across private and public organizations. I urge you to exercise your authority as commander-in-chief to leverage the military’s unique capabilities to help our communities here at home.”