Delgado & Katko to President Trump: Extend Crucial Support for NYS Fight Against COVID-19, Ensure National Guard Service Members Receive Benefits They Deserve

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From the office of Representatives Antonio Delgado: 

RHINEBECK, NY— Today, U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and John Katko (NY-24) led efforts requesting that President Trump extend authorization for National Guard activities in New York State through the duration of the National Emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Extending these activities would allow New York State to maintain important public health measures to combat COVID-19 and ensure the heroic men and women of the National Guard receive the benefits they deserve for their service.

On March 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum authorizing the activation of the New York National Guard and directing the Federal Emergency Management Administration to support National Guard efforts in response to COVID-19. Since its mobilization in New York State, the National Guard has worked tirelessly to support first responders, increase testing capabilities, and expand the capacity of the state’s health care system. With the current authority for National Guard deployment in New York State set to expire on June 24, 2020, Reps. Delgado and Katko requested that the President extend these activities through the duration of the National Emergency. This extension would bolster the state’s ongoing public health response to COVID-19, while also ensuring servicemembers qualify for benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI bill.

In a letter to President Trump, Reps. Delgado and Katko stated, “Servicemembers in the National Guard have worked tirelessly to support first responders, increase our testing capabilities, and expand the capacity of our healthcare system. These efforts have undoubtedly saved the lives of many New Yorkers and our state owes these heroes a grave debt of gratitude. In order for New York State to maintain important public health measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that you extend DSCA activities through the duration of the National Emergency Declaration issued on March 13, 2020. In addition to bolstering our state’s ongoing response to this crisis, an extension would ensure that the heroic men and women of the National Guard receive the benefits that they deserve for their service.”

The full text of the lawmakers’ request can be found below:

May 21, 2020

Dear President Trump,

We write to express strong support for the extension of Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) activities authorized under the Presidential Memorandum issued on March 22, 2020. As our country continues responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal Government must maintain critical public health efforts and support the brave men and women on the frontlines of this dire public health crisis.

As the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State continues to face new and unprecedented challenges on the road to recovery. Strains on our hospitals and healthcare infrastructure have reached historic levels, and these conditions are likely to persist in the weeks ahead. For this reason, we are grateful for your decision to authorize the activation of the New York National Guard under DSCA 502(f) and direct the Federal Emergency Management Administration to support National Guard activities in response to COVID-19.

Since their mobilization, the brave men and women of the National Guard have steadfastly served our communities in the face of unprecedented challenges and tragedy. Servicemembers in the National Guard have worked tirelessly to support first responders, increase our testing capabilities, and expand the capacity of our healthcare system. These efforts have undoubtedly saved the lives of many New Yorkers and our state owes these heroes a grave debt of gratitude.

In order for New York State to maintain important public health measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that you extend DSCA activities through the duration of the National Emergency Declaration issued on March 13, 2020. In addition to bolstering our state’s ongoing response to this crisis, an extension would ensure that the heroic men and women of the National Guard receive the benefits that they deserve for their service.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. It is critical that we continue signaling strong federal support for the brave Americans on the frontlines of this pandemic.

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