Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Governor Cuomo Calls Out the Guard: President Trump Should Alert Federal Forces

 

On Tuesday, March 10, Governor Cuomo called out the Guard to combat coronavirus. He did so to provide skilled manpower to disinfect public areas and to deliver meals to people who have been quarantined in their homes in the New Rochelle hot spot.

The deployment comes as experts debate how long the virus can live on solid surfaces, Cuomo said.

“So cleaning those surfaces is very important with the right material and the National Guard will be helpful on that,” Cuomo said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many troops had been deployed, though some were already on the ground Tuesday afternoon.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said the sight of National Guard troops on his city’s streets is not cause for alarm.

The Guard is being brought in to help with tasks the city can’t do on its own, like distribute food to hundreds of people under quarantine.

While I understand that President Trump might have wisely not included an alert order to the federal reserve and full-time forces in his address to the nation, I remain convinced that he needs to do so publicly and soonest. An alert order is not a mobilization order, rather it is a “start planning and be prepared” order.

Why alert federal military forces? Just in case the National Guard is overwhelmed, either by scope or by duration, where people start getting less effective after so many days in a row of duty. It costs nothing to provide that extra level of manpower assurance to the people of every state. Indeed, President Trump should push his Department of Defense and Public Health Service leaders hard to immediately prepare to move in and impose basic sanitation and public health in Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco. The homeless population is an enormous target of every infectious disease. Everyone knows this and keeps just walking past it. The buck stops at the president’s desk. He has a decades-long passion for making our major cities better, a deep dismay that we accept squaller next to opulence. 

President Trump should announce the alert along with congratulating the DNC on its no-live-audience call for the next debate, which will now be held in the CNN New York studio and not in Arizona, thus eliminating travel exposure.* He should praise the NBA, NCAA, and NHL, and MLB for looking out for the health of their players and fans, while noting the reasonable difference in circumstances for the Professional Golf Association. He should praise universities choosing to go for on-line instruction for at least the first two weeks following Spring Break. Naturally, that praise should be followed by the announcement that he will suspend large scale live rallies until May, consulting our nation’s medical experts before resuming the rallies. He should point forward to a celebration of our nation beating this disease.

As President Trump hinted in his 11 March Oval Office address, China is showing signs of turning the corner. Paul Mirengoff calls our attention to reporting from Asia Times marking movement by China back towards full business activity. Mirengoff concludes:

This may be an overly optimistic assessment, but there is little doubt that China is rebounding faster than one would have predicted a few weeks ago.

This is good news for the American economy and bad news for those Democrats hoping for a recession that will enable them to regain the White House.

The ball now is in America’s court, not China’s. It’s up to America — the administration, state and local officials, private associations, and citizens — to make decisions that will prevent our country from experiencing this epidemic on a massive scale.

The move to stop travel from Europe, along with the economic moves, make good sense, as to a whole series of loosened regulatory restrictions. Now President Trump needs to stretch past his advisers with a couple of eye-catching moves designed to reassure Americans while setting conditions for the very best possible response, limiting casualties and speeding national recovery. He can do so without fear of popular backlash, as John Hinderaker suggests in “Self-Quarantining? Sounds Familiar.”

I think many people are using coronavirus as an excuse for not doing things they didn’t want to do in the first place.

People who may have been exposed to the virus are being urged to self-quarantine, which means staying home and interacting with other people only virtually, or failing that to strive for “social distance,” which means not getting into close physical proximity with others. A great many people are self-quarantining, in part because they have been liberated by their employers to do so. But isn’t staying home and interacting with other people only virtually pretty much where we have been headed for the last 20 years?

Why go out? You can save a lot of money cooking at home, you’ve got a giant flat-screen TV (or several), there is beer in the fridge, you would rather spend time with your wife and kids than attend boring business or social events. So why not stay home? To the extent you want to keep in touch with other people, you can do it via email and text. You can post photos on Instagram to let them know what you are up to (i.e., staying home). You can Face Time, Tic Tok, or whatever. “Social distance” is much what most of us are increasingly used to. Why risk personal contact?

President Trump should praise the gig economy and our amazing ability to deliver anything and everything to people at home. He should ensure the Task Force gives specific guidance to delivery services for customers who are self-quarantining. Get the big delivery service players, including Amazon, on a teleconference to get violent agreement on the best practices.


* Of course, if the coronavirus doesn’t get you, a rabid coyote might! The same local source reporting the change in debate location featured this story on the sidebar:

Arizona Game and Fish is reporting a resident of Sun City in Oro Valley was bitten on the leg by a suspected rabid coyote on the afternoon of Thursday, March 12.

AZ Game and Fish says a man was working on his car at his home when the incident happened. He was later treated at a local hospital.

The suspected coyote (pictured above) can be described as mangy, in poor condition and is likely still in the area according to AZ Game and Fish.

Keep your head on a swivel, be aware of your environment.

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  1. The Reticulator Member

    What’s wrong with just letting governors do what Cuomo is doing? If the system is working, why does he need to stick his oar in?

    • #1
    • March 11, 2020, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    What’s wrong with just letting governors do what Cuomo is doing? If the system is working, why does he need to stick his oar in?

    In order to provide another level of manpower, just in case, a group that can serve as the relief to National Guard troops if they hit a wear-out point. An alert is not a mobilization, it is a “start planning and be prepared” order.

    • #2
    • March 11, 2020, at 9:55 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Good points. Good strategy.

    • #3
    • March 11, 2020, at 10:02 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. The Reticulator Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    What’s wrong with just letting governors do what Cuomo is doing? If the system is working, why does he need to stick his oar in?

    In order to provide another level of manpower, just in case, a group that can serve as the relief to National Guard troops if they hit a wear-out point. An alert is not a mobilization, it is a “start planning and be prepared” order.

    Ah, OK, that would be good.

    • #4
    • March 11, 2020, at 10:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    What’s wrong with just letting governors do what Cuomo is doing? If the system is working, why does he need to stick his oar in?

    In order to provide another level of manpower, just in case, a group that can serve as the relief to National Guard troops if they hit a wear-out point. An alert is not a mobilization, it is a “start planning and be prepared” order.

    Ah, OK, that would be good.

    I updated the OP to clarify the point. Thanks for asking the question.

    • #5
    • March 11, 2020, at 10:39 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    • #6
    • March 12, 2020, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. CACrabtree Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    • #7
    • March 12, 2020, at 7:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    Consider, as I suggest in the linked previous post, the chemical defense units, already tasked for homeland defense since September 2001.

    • #8
    • March 12, 2020, at 7:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. CACrabtree Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    Consider, as I suggest in the linked previous post, the chemical defense units, already tasked for homeland defense since September 2001.

    It is a possibility. However, a quick Google shows that there are a total of 22,000 members of the Chemical Corps spread among Active Duty, Reserves, and the National Guard. I suspect that there is a large number of the Active Duty troops deployed to Korea and to Europe (for use in Europe and as a ready react force to the Middle East). How many are left in the Reserves and Guard, I do not know but I’m not sure it would be adequate.

    Likewise, I suppose some of the Civil Engineering units could be tasked to construct temporary hospitals such as they are building in the Chicago area. Again, I’m not sure there are enough personnel to cover the entire U.S.

    And, there will be always be the question; Will we have enough in reserve to deploy for any other contingencies?

    • #9
    • March 12, 2020, at 8:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    Consider, as I suggest in the linked previous post, the chemical defense units, already tasked for homeland defense since September 2001.

    It is a possibility. However, a quick Google shows that there are a total of 22,000 members of the Chemical Corps spread among Active Duty, Reserves, and the National Guard. I suspect that there is a large number of the Active Duty troops deployed to Korea and to Europe (for use in Europe and as a ready react force to the Middle East). How many are left in the Reserves and Guard, I do not know but I’m not sure it would be adequate.

    Likewise, I suppose some of the Civil Engineering units could be tasked to construct temporary hospitals such as they are building in the Chicago area. Again, I’m not sure there are enough personnel to cover the entire U.S.

    And, there will be always be the question; Will we have enough in reserve to deploy for any other contingencies?

    Actually, most of the non-combat arms troops are in the Guard or Reserves by design, over 80 percent of the Chemical Corps, as of a few years ago.

    • #10
    • March 12, 2020, at 8:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. CACrabtree Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    Consider, as I suggest in the linked previous post, the chemical defense units, already tasked for homeland defense since September 2001.

    It is a possibility. However, a quick Google shows that there are a total of 22,000 members of the Chemical Corps spread among Active Duty, Reserves, and the National Guard. I suspect that there is a large number of the Active Duty troops deployed to Korea and to Europe (for use in Europe and as a ready react force to the Middle East). How many are left in the Reserves and Guard, I do not know but I’m not sure it would be adequate.

    Likewise, I suppose some of the Civil Engineering units could be tasked to construct temporary hospitals such as they are building in the Chicago area. Again, I’m not sure there are enough personnel to cover the entire U.S.

    And, there will be always be the question; Will we have enough in reserve to deploy for any other contingencies?

    Actually, most of the non-combat arms troops are in the Guard or Reserves by design, over 80 percent of the Chemical Corps, as of a few years ago.

    Which still does not answer the question; Will we have enough to deploy for other contingencies? Trump (or any other president) doesn’t have a crystal ball to see what else is going to happen. Yup, we could go all-in and commit all of the 80% percent of the Chemical Corps for this domestic contingency and then, when the ballon goes up in Korea, or the Middle East, or Venezuela or any one of the other conflict areas, then what happens? What happens if these units are at half-strength because they’re down with the coronavirus?

    I’m not trying to be argumentative but since that marvelous thing called sequestration, the military has become a hollow force even though they have a lot of gee-whiz equipment (F-35, etc.) Your idea of bringing in the military to help combat the present coronavirus situation is fine, but it could easily become a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

     

     

    • #11
    • March 12, 2020, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    Consider, as I suggest in the linked previous post, the chemical defense units, already tasked for homeland defense since September 2001.

    It is a possibility. However, a quick Google shows that there are a total of 22,000 members of the Chemical Corps spread among Active Duty, Reserves, and the National Guard. I suspect that there is a large number of the Active Duty troops deployed to Korea and to Europe (for use in Europe and as a ready react force to the Middle East). How many are left in the Reserves and Guard, I do not know but I’m not sure it would be adequate.

    Likewise, I suppose some of the Civil Engineering units could be tasked to construct temporary hospitals such as they are building in the Chicago area. Again, I’m not sure there are enough personnel to cover the entire U.S.

    And, there will be always be the question; Will we have enough in reserve to deploy for any other contingencies?

    Actually, most of the non-combat arms troops are in the Guard or Reserves by design, over 80 percent of the Chemical Corps, as of a few years ago.

    Which still does not answer the question; Will we have enough to deploy for other contingencies? Trump (or any other president) doesn’t have a crystal ball to see what else is going to happen. Yup, we could go all-in and commit all of the 80% percent of the Chemical Corps for this domestic contingency and then, when the ballon goes up in Korea, or the Middle East, or Venezuela or any one of the other conflict areas, then what happens? What happens if these units are at half-strength because they’re down with the coronavirus?

    I’m not trying to be argumentative but since that marvelous thing called sequestration, the military has become a hollow force even though they have a lot of gee-whiz equipment (F-35, etc.) Your idea of bringing in the military to help combat the present coronavirus situation is fine, but it could easily become a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

     

     

    Hollow force is an easy phrase, but not the reality I knew just before President Trump was elected and turned the taps back on. The Chemical Corps troops have been training with civilian counterparts for homeland defense missions for the past two decades. If we get to the point of needing the manpower and President Trump has not already ordered the forces to be prepared to mobilize and deploy in support of civilian authorities and the CDC, if he has not alerted them, it will be the end of Trump and the end of any chance to keep out of a socialist death spiral. 

    • #12
    • March 13, 2020, at 12:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The regulars of the Armed Forces are restricted in what they can do domestically by the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152). And you have the Insurrection Act, which was briefly amended in the early years after 9/11 and then totally repealed by the Congress.

    When your political opponents have spent the better part of four years calling you Hitler and a dictator on the cusp of imposing marshal law, there’s a huge downside to trying to do what you suggest.

    • #13
    • March 13, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Why alert federal military forces?

    Because nothing fights coronavirus better than a division of Abrams tanks . . .

    Actually, a very good point. There are really very few units equipped to do civic action duties such as this. Except for some engineering and medical units, the overall missions of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines are simply not structured to lend help to the civilian sector. And, while the Army does have a strong “G5”, it, along with the other services is being stretched thin from a multitude of other duties. Bottom line: better hope that the National Guards from each state will be up to the job.

    Consider, as I suggest in the linked previous post, the chemical defense units, already tasked for homeland defense since September 2001.

    Actually, many in our military are equipped to deal with NBC warfare (nuclear, biological, and chemical). However, that’s to fight an enemy under WMD conditions, not the NBC itself . . .

    • #14
    • March 13, 2020, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The regulars of the Armed Forces are restricted in what they can do domestically by the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152). And you have the Insurrection Act, which was briefly amended in the early years after 9/11 and then totally repealed by the Congress.

    When your political opponents have spent the better part of four years calling you Hitler and a dictator on the cusp of imposing marshal law, there’s a huge downside to trying to do what you suggest.

    They are not acting as police or armed military. Subsequent legislation provides ways to get military manpower in support of civil authorities. Infantry divisions have been deployed to fight large forest fires. It isn’t new and is regularly rehearsed. There are people in uniform and civil service who make their living planning and coordinating military support to civil authorities

    • #15
    • March 13, 2020, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Now Dr. Fauci is calling for, well he doesn’t quite say, and Governor Cuomo is calling for President Trump to mobilize select parts of the federal military in support of the states: 

    An increasing number of people have begun comparing the coronavirus outbreak to war, including Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, who urged the federal government to “realize this is the equivalent of a war already.”

    To that effect, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York called on the Trump administration to mobilize the military to deal with the outbreak.

    “States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough,” Cuomo wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers. Then we can designate existing hospital beds for the acutely ill.”

    Cuomo said the use of active-duty military personnel shouldn’t violate federal law because the coronavirus pandemic is a national disaster. “Doing so still won’t provide enough intensive care beds, but it is our best hope,” he said.

    • #16
    • March 15, 2020, at 5:53 PM PDT
    • Like