Trump calls up reserves for coronavirus 'battle'

Ready Reserve members called for up to 2 years to combat coronavirus

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President Trump signed an order Friday returning some members of the armed forces reserve to active duty in order to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The order authorizes the secretaries of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Homeland Security to recall as many as 1 million members of the Ready Reserve to active duty for up to two years.

“This will allow us to mobilize medical disaster emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus,” Trump said. “We have a lot of people, retirees, great military people, they're coming back in.”

Members of The Ohio National Guard assist in repackaging emergency food boxes for food distribution at the Cleveland Food Bank in Cleveland on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

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There were an estimated 580,000 plus reservists in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force in 2018, according to Statista. Adding the Army National Guard brings those totals up to over 900,000. These figures do not include military retired from the reserves or active service.

The Navy has already deployed one hospital ship to Los Angeles and is sending another to New York City. The military is also providing temporary hospitals for hard-hit areas.

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The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chelsea Kennedy/Released)

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The Ready Reserve includes the reservists who are most often called to active duty, the Associated Press reported. They will likely be used to fill gaps as the military deploys field hospitals.

In recent days more than 10,000 members of the National Guard have been mobilized to help state officials with coronavirus response actions.

Trump declared the coronavirus a national emergency on March 13. As of Friday, the U.S. was leading the world with more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19. More than 1,500 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

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