Former Vice President Joe Biden targeted President Trump on Friday for cutting down the federal funding for National Guard coronavirus relief efforts in most states of the country. Trump also supported the troop deployments in only a few states. Speaking to POLITICO regarding the issue, Biden said - “Amid the coronavirus pandemic when the states are suffering high revenue losses due to poor handling of the crisis by the President, the government should not dump new fiscal burdens on the states by decreasing the funding for the National Guard.” This was Biden’s first public comments on the controversy.
The criticism comes after Trump directed the government to continue funding for National Guard relief efforts in Arizona, California, and Connecticut only till September 30th. However, for Texas and Florida, the funding would be covered fully until the end of the year. Apart from these states, all the other states and territories will have a 25 percent funding reduction from later this month. The new set of directives from the President doesn’t clarify why only the three states were selected. The new rules would profoundly impact the estimated 25,000 Guard troops deployed across the states in handling the virus response like running the testing sites, building new makeshift hospitals, and conducting contact tracing. The 75-25 fund sharing formula sparked a lot of criticism from leaders of both the parties and also from Guard advocates when most state governments are in bad financial situations. There is a lot of speculation on Trump’s decision to exempt Florida and Texas from the funding cut, as they are the must-win battleground states for him in the upcoming general elections in November.
The White House tried to clarify the accusations stating that only Texas and Florida’s governors appealed directly to the president for full funding. However, several claims differ from the clarification put out by the White House. After his decisions, many governors are requesting calls with Trump to exempt their corresponding states for full funding. The National Governors Association group demanded the Trump administration to provide 100 percent full federal support for all the states of the country until the end of the year. The group further added, “A full funding will ensure a fair and equitable response to all the states during the ongoing pandemic, which has no borders or boundaries.”Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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