- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 22, 2020

President Trump said he is giving Washington state, California and New York “maximum flexibility” to use the National Guard as they see fit to combat the coronavirus.

He said the governors of those states will be “in command” and he hopes they’re up to the task in stemming the crisis.

The president also said he’s doled out hundreds of thousands of masks to hard-hit states from the national stockpile and that tens of thousands of face shields and gowns have been delivered to New York, as governors complain about a lack of action from the federal government.

Mr. Trump said he’s sending “federal medical stations” to hard-hit states with thousands of beds to handle patients, and he’s empowered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build medical facilities in New York.

Mr. Trump is striking an upbeat tone as the U.S. caseload reaches nearly 33,000, including 400 deaths.

The president also said Congress is working to protect unemployed workers until the epidemic is defeated.

“You will see our economy skyrocket once this is over,” Mr. Trump said. “We will win the war.”

“We want to have as few deaths as possible,” he added.

Mr. Trump gave a shout-out to GOP allies who contracted the disease — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida— though did not mention Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah, who’s also tested positive.

“He’s been a great friend of mine,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Paul. “He just tested positive.”

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