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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Ohio National Guard Helping With Food In Coronavirus Response

The Ohio National Guard helped out with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in October 2017.
The Ohio National Guard helped out with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in October 2017.

The Ohio National Guard is being deployed on Monday to help with the state’s coronavirus response. But the Guard’s leader wants to make it clear what they will not be doing.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he’s gotten calls about rumors that the Guard is being called out. And it is.

“We’ve received a request from food banks just to give assistance by the National Guard. They will be doing that," DeWine said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Adjutant General Major John Harris Jr. said around 370 personnel will be split among a dozen food banks, which have lost older volunteers who are staying home because they’re at higher risk. And he wants to tamp down rumors too.

“We are not going out to enforce martial law. We are citizens helping citizens in that Minuteman tradition that we’ve always been about," Harris said.

DeWine has said the Guard, which often helps with weather disasters both in Ohio and in other parts of the country and even outside the United States, will eventually be putting up tents at hospitals as triage and isolation areas.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.