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Coronavirus

Louisiana Seeks Funding for National Guard COVID-19 Response

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards is questioning why Louisiana must pay a portion of the costs to use the state’s National Guard in coronavirus response work if the federal government is picking up the full tab in some other states.

The Democratic governor sent a letter Friday to President Donald Trump asking the federal government to continue to cover all costs of activating the Louisiana National Guard as it did earlier this year.

Edwards says if Louisiana has to pay a 25% cost share, that would cost the state $2.5 million a month.

Louisiana is using 1,100 members of the National Guard to staff virus testing sites, support food bank operations and distribute protective equipment.

Edwards says at least two other states — Texas and Florida — are still receiving full federal funding to cover the costs of their National Guard activation.

More than 128,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Louisiana, which has 4.6 million residents. The state health department says 4,089 people have died from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus.

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