U.S. Military Is Sending Medical Staff To COVID-19 Hotspots

Jul 13, 2020

With coronavirus cases on the rise in southern and western states, U.S. military medical personnel are once again being called upon to help.

Army officials have announced that some 740 military health professionals are being sent to Texas and California.

The new deployments come several months after thousands of military medical personnel, including two hospital ships, one on each coast, were sent to help governors and mayors in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

With some states opening up early and residents not abiding by CDC guidelines, cases have skyrocketed in states such as California, Arizona, Florida and Texas.

The bulk of the new medical personnel — doctors and nurses and support staff — are heading to Texas.

The first group is heading to hospitals in San Antonio and Houston, with four other locations in Texas still to be determined. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to put out a statement soon on the new deployments.

Meanwhile, more than 150 Air Force medical personnel will be dispatched to California. There is currently no word on exactly where those personnel will be sent.

One U.S. official tells NPR it makes more sense to send military personnel directly to hospitals where they are needed most, instead of sending hospital ships or setting up field hospitals. Another official tells NPR it's possible even more military personnel will be sent, including to Florida. Neither official was authorized to speak publicly.

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