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National Guard chief knocks down rumors of martial law response to virus

National Guard troops have mobilized to provide support during the coronavirus outbreak, but there are no plans for a nationwide quarantine enforced by them.

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NationaGuardFlorida
National Guard soldiers helped with virus testing in Florida.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Updated: March 22, 2020 - 9:28am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The National Guard has deployed a few thousand troops to help states hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, but it wants Americans to know that rumors of impending martial law are blatantly false. 

One of the Guard’s top generals tweeted out that assurance Friday as officials blamed misinformation and propaganda campaigns for the false rumor.

"I hear unfounded rumors about #NationalGuard troops supporting a nationwide quarantine," wrote Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau. "Let me be clear: There has been no such discussion."

From New York to Wisconsin, National Guard troops have been deployed to several states to provide assistance that ranges from sterilizing public areas to delivering needed supplies. Those missions are likely to continue for some time, officials said.

In Florida, Guard troops helped with mobile coronavirus testing.