Trump is so petty he’s making the National Guard end COVID-19 duty one day before they’d get expanded benefits!

  • 05/19/2020 10:45 am ET John See
Two soldiers having a conversation

U.S. Air Force photo / Staff Sgt. Timothy Moore

National Guard members have served as front-line workers in the effort to stop the coronavirus pandemic, but now the Trump administration is set to end their deployments on June 24. The stand-down orders, which would become effective 89 days after National Guard members were ordered to report for duty, will prevent members from hitting the 90-day threshold that provides early retirement and education benefits under the G.I. bill.

Politico obtained a copy of a May 12 audio call in which a senior FEMA official said the orders ending the deployment of 40,000 Guard members serving as front-line workers would be tricky:

“We would greatly benefit from unified messaging regarding the conclusion of their services prior to hitting the 90-day mark and the retirement benefit implications associated with it.”

But “unified messaging” won’t diminish the impact of sending the National Guard members home. The pull-out will mean 44 states will lose the people who have set up field hospitals, cleaned and sanitized health care facilities, and provided other vital services that have helped keep Americans safe.

The decision is a reminder that when faced with a choice, the Trump administration will prioritize economic values, in this case, reduced spending for the front-line workers they call heroes, over the lives of Americans.

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