Trump outlines National Guard activations for New York, California, Washington

Coronavirus
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(CNN) — President Donald Trump said Sunday that the federal government has activated US National Guard units for three of the states hardest hit by the novel coronavirus — New York, California and Washington state.

“And through (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the federal government will be funding 100% of the cost of deploying national guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus while those governors remain in command,” the President said at a White House briefing.

Trump described the federal government as a “backup” to the state leaders, underscoring the importance of keeping governors “in command.”

“We’ll be following them and we hope they can do the job and I think they will. I spoke with all three of the governors today, just a little while ago and they’re very happy with what we’re going to be doing.” Trump said.

The comments come as millions of people in a growing number of states face orders by their governors aimed at keeping them home to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

There were at least 31,019 confirmed cases in the US by Sunday afternoon, and at least 395 people have died.

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