NJGOP Coronavirus Updates

Defense Secretary Mark Esper: In coronavirus fight, US military is on the front lines

By Mark Esper

Published March 23, 2020

Fox News

The United States is facing one of the greatest challenges of our time as we fight to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. As thousands of American service members continue to stand watch around the world in defense of our great nation, the U.S. military is also helping to combat the invisible enemy now within our borders.

As part of President Trump’s aggressive whole-of-government response, the Department of Defense (DoD) is surging people, capabilities, researchers and equipment to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the American people. Like other fights, against other enemies, in other times, we will win.

The DoD has been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus since the early days of our nation’s response effort. In January, we provided housing at March Air Reserve Base in California to assist the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in caring for hundreds of State Department employees, dependents and U.S. citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan, China. Our contributions and efforts to the interagency’s response has only grown since then, as we simultaneously took major steps to ensure the safety of our military personnel and their families.

Last week, I directed the release of critical supplies from DoD’s strategic medical reserves to assist the civilian doctors, nurses and technicians who are on the front lines of this fight. One million N-95 respirator masks and 2,000 deployable ventilators are being provided to HHS for distribution across the country to hospitals where they are needed most. An additional 4 million masks and other protective equipment from these reserves will be distributed to medical facilities in the coming days and weeks, as needed.

Additionally, we will soon deploy our Navy’s two hospital ships, the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, to key locations on the East and West Coasts of the United States. These ships, and their exceptional crews of medical professionals, are optimized for trauma support and will supplement non-COVID-19 medical care, thereby freeing up hospital beds for those most affected by the virus. Concurrently, we have alerted a number of military field hospitals and expeditionary medical units to be prepared to deploy around the country to increase the nation’s medical capacity.

The men and women of the Armed Forces are highly trained and well prepared to operate in times of crisis. As we continue to support the president’s bold response efforts, we will use all of the tools at our disposal to help protect the nation.
In the meantime, I continue to speak with governors to offer the DoD’s continued assistance with planning, logistics and medical support to their states. Over 7,000 National Guard members are currently mobilized in all 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia working in support of state and local authorities, with many more on track to be mobilized in the coming days.

Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers is on the ground in New York and elsewhere, beginning critical work to retrofit existing buildings to provide additional hospital beds and intensive care facilities in the most severely impacted regions of our country. The Corps remains in close coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as it expands this support to other areas.

The United States military has proven throughout our history that we are at our best when the stakes are high. I am proud of our service members and DoD civilians who are answering the call, all around our great country. I can assure the American people that we will do whatever it takes to defeat this virus, return to our normal way of life and to come back even stronger. Together, we will get through this.

Dr. Mark T. Esper is the 27th Secretary of Defense.

 


NJGOP Statement

During these challenging times we want everyone to be smart and safe. For guidance on how to protect yourself and your community from Coronavirus, see the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Like many offices around New Jersey we have moved temporarily to a remote work environment, however NJGOP remains fully operational and focused on protecting the progress we’ve made and the integrity of our democratic processes. Many state and county election offices are considering changes to deadlines, dates, and requirements, and we will provide periodic updates at www.NJGOP.org/corona and on Facebook and Twitter, as those decisions are made. You can also email us questions or concerns as they arise and we will work to provide answers as they come available.

We are continuing to work with our partners and grassroots team around the state on various projects, and will continue to do so during this period of disruption. We believe that protecting our fellow citizen’s health and preparing to win elections this fall are not mutually exclusive, and we will continue to advance both of those objectives during this challenging time.


—–IMPORTANT ELECTION UPDATE—–

The Governor just signed an Executive Order relating to New Jersey Elections:

At this time, the June 2nd Primary Election HAS NOT been moved.

Candidates filing petitions for the March 30th deadline will be able to submit their petitions either in person or online through a link provided by the New Jersey Division of Elections. Voters can also sign petitions relating to candidate ballot access online. The respective links for these services are not yet available so please be on the lookout for a notification from us when they do become available.

The March 21, 2020 special election in Fire District 1 for the Township of Old Bridge and the March 31, 2020 special elections in the Township of West Amwell and Atlantic City are postponed until May 12, 2020. School board elections scheduled for April 21, 2020 are also postponed until May 12, 2020. These Elections will be conducted entirely via vote-by-mail ballots.

We will continue to share up-to-date information regarding the changes to elections in New Jersey as it becomes available.