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President Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump told a news conference Sunday that he's activated the National Guard to assist Washington, California and New York to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As Trump noted, all three states "have been hit the hardest" by the outbreak. Major disaster declarations have been approved for New York and Washington state and California's request will be granted soon, Trump said.

Zoom in: The federal government would fund 100% of the deployment cost via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "to carry out approved missions to stop the virus while those governors remain in command," Trump said.

  • The president said he spoke with the governors of the three states, as he stressed that the deployment is not martial law. 

The big picture: COVID-19 has infected more than 35,000 people in the U.S. New York has become America's epicenter of COVID-19 with about 50% of the country's total cases.

By the numbers: Trump said at the briefing that he directed FEMA to supply "four large medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York, eight large federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California and three large federal medical stations and four small federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for the state of Washington."

What they're saying: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted that he's grateful "for the quick response and partnership" of Trump in granting his request to deploy Navy hospital ships to the state.

  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) tweeted that he's "very disappointed the USNS Mercy" was not being deployed to his state, but he appreciated "that federal field hospitals are on the way to help with increased medical needs."
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) had yet to comment on the new measures, but he called on the Trump administration before the announcement to nationalize the purchase of needed medical supplies and "implement the Defense Production Act and order factories to manufacture masks, gowns, and ventilators."
  • "If we don’t get the equipment, we could lose lives that we could otherwise save," he said Sunday.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
10 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.