Forget the rumors you’ve heard about the National Guard’s role during the coronavirus outbreak. A Milwaukee radio host got the ball rolling rumor-wise last week, claiming the Guard would enforce Governor Evers’ orders. The claim was quickly walked back, but just as quickly circulated.
Wisconsin National Guard Adjutant General Paul Knapp, in charge of Emergency Management, says the Guard’s Citizen Soldiers are here to help support the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, and asks us to do the same.
“We need you to adhere to the recommended guidelines,” Knapp said in a brief video shared to Twitter on Wednesday. “This includes social distancing, proper hand washing, and most importantly, temporarily eliminating discretionary travel.”
Any rumor that the National Guard is blocking entrances to grocery stores is false. We just spoke with Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp who wanted us to let you know they are here to help! They are your neighbors, doctors, farmers and teachers. https://t.co/D6kDWdYhXr
— ReadyWisconsin (@ReadyWisconsin) March 25, 2020
“So when you see us out there, don’t be concerned or frightened. This is an all of Wisconsin effort, and we’re all working together,” Knapp said.
The Guard detailed the work being done in a press release last week:
The Wisconsin National Guard continues to work closely with partner state agencies to anticipate other needs and potential requests for assistance. The more than 300 Wisconsin National Guard troops mobilized to state active duty are currently preparing for potential missions that could include specimen collection at mobile testing sites, transporting supplies or equipment, logistics support, and additional medical support to communities.
Rumors that the Guard is enforcing Evers’ “Safer at Home” order or doing things like blocking entrances to grocery stores are just that — rumors.