Trump signs order to allow military to call back inactive reserve service members to duty

US President Donald Trump issued an executive order authorizing the Pentagon to call up members of reserve forces of the military for active duty to take part in efforts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

“This will allow to us mobilize medical disaster and emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus by activating thousands of experienced service members including retirees,” Trump told reporters Friday.

“Decisions about which individuals may be activated are still being reviewed. Generally, these members will be persons in Headquarters units and persons with high demand medical capabilities whose call-up would not adversely affect their civilian communities,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said in a statement late Friday.

“This is a dynamic situation, we do not currently have a projected number of expected activations, but the Department is now fully authorized to make activations as needed,” Hoffman said.

“That ready reserve status requires no active participation, leading the vast majority of service members to consider being in that status the same as being out of the military,” CNN reports.

Former president Barack Obama had also authorized the secretaries of defense and homeland security to call up reserves during the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Army engineers are involved in creating field hospitals, while the national guard is also being utilized.


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