LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Trump Tuesday requesting an extension to use Michigan National Guard forces  through March 31, 2021.

The request is to help combat the spread of COVID-19, for COVID-19 response and vaccine related activities.

“The Michigan National Guard remains a crucial part of the state’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Guard is vital to our ongoing recovery as well,” said Whitmer. “Michigan, as in many other states, is experiencing a marked incline in our COVID-19 positive cases across the state. To provide a thorough response, Michigan has been heavily relying on the Michigan National Guard’s efforts to perform widespread testing and screening, distributing personal protective equipment, and assisting at numerous food banks across the state. That’s why we need extended use of the Michigan National Guard through March 31, 2020.” 

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they are accelerating the large-scale testing of vaccines that should provide Americans an added layer of immunity from the virus. In anticipation of rapid approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Whitmer says Michigan will look to the Michigan National Guard to provide logistical support and transportation support to help distribute the vaccine. 

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