On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott activated the Texas National Guard in order to help respond to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Abbott made the announcement at the State Operations Center in Austin before beginning a videoconference with hospitals across the state.
“To make sure that we in the state of Texas are taking every step possible to make sure that we’re going to be capable of responding to what is going on, I am, at this moment, activating the Texas National Guard to assist in our response to COVID-19,” said Abbott, adding that the National Guard has been “involved in this process from the beginning.”
Abbott, however, stopped short of deploying them at this time.
“We just want to make sure that we activated them. They know that they’re going to be activated; the general of the National Guard, Gen. Norris, can be in charge of getting them ready,” he added.
He was short on details regarding how exactly they would be involved, only saying they would “assist in various forms throughout the state when needed.”
Should National Guard members be deployed, Abbott noted that exemptions will be made for first responders and healthcare professionals.
The move is just the latest for Abbott, who declared a state of disaster over the coronavirus pandemic on Friday and has since waived various state regulations in order to more easily combat the virus.