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Trump outlines national guard activations for New York, California and Washington

March 22, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump said Sunday that the federal government has activated US National Guard units for three of the states hardest hit by the novel coronavirus -- New York, California and Washington state.

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump said Sunday that the federal government has activated US National Guard units for three of the states hardest hit by the novel coronavirus -- New York, California and Washington state.

"And through (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the federal government will be funding 100% of the cost of deploying national guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus while those governors remain in command," the President said at a White House briefing.

Trump described the federal government as a "backup" to the state leaders, underscoring the importance of keeping governors "in command. "

Following Trump on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence said that 254,000 Americans have been tested for the virus.

The White House news conference comes hours after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pleaded with Trump to nationalize the effort to acquire medical supplies at a time when state leaders say they've been forced to compete with one another for essential equipment.

"I think the federal government should order factories to manufacture masks, gowns, ventilators, the essential medical equipment that is going to make the difference between life and death," Cuomo said earlier during a news conference Sunday.

Trump approved a disaster declaration for California later Sunday night following previous declarations for New York and Washington state.

The supplies should be in New York and California within the next 48 hours, Trump said.

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