Parson mobilizes Missouri National Guard to combat coronavirus

Gov. Mike Parson
Posted at 10:10 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 19:31:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will now include the Missouri National Guard.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Friday morning he has signed an executive order that will allow the Missouri National Guard to start mobilizing to assist with the state’s response.

Parson said the mobilization will help coordination among state partners.

“Mobilizing the National Guard will help us provide more immediate resources to our citizens and enhance Missouri’s ability to overcome this global pandemic,” Parson said in a release.

According to release from Parson's office Friday afternoon, the Missouri National Guard will assist in setting up and operating community COVID-19 testing sites, provide transportation of medical personnel and equipment, provide logistical support for local and state response efforts as needed, and help build and staff temporary medical facilities or other facilities as needed.

“The Guard will play a major role in supporting state and community operations, including potential support for COVID-19 testing and transporting equipment and supplies,” Parson said in a statement. “I want to be clear — this is not about putting Missouri under martial law. This is a planning stage operation to provide more assistance to the people of Missouri and increase our capacity to deploy resources quickly.”

With the potential that hospitals and other health care facilities will be overwhelmed, should the COVID-19 crisis worsen, the Missouri National Guard pledged its support to bridge any gaps that arise.

“We are committed to assisting local and state health officials support the health and well-being of our citizens and service members,” Missouri National Guard Adjutant General, Brigadier General Levon Cumpton, said in a release. “Rest assured that your Missouri National Guard will do whatever we can to help.”

The Missouri National Guard will coordinate with Parson's office, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Department of Public Safety to support response efforts.