Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sending the Army National Guard and additional police officers to airports in an effort to enforce coronavirus restrictions on travel.
In addition, Cuomo warned travelers that they should not plan to land in his state unless they could show “proof of a negative test upon landing.”
Cuomo sent members of the New York National Guard to airports several weeks ago, per NBC New York, but announced Friday that he planned to increase that number. He also reportedly said that he had spoken with Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in order to coordinate utilizing members of the New York Police Department for the same initiative.
As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations increased nationwide, Cuomo scrapped his initial plan to ban travel from certain hotspots in favor of calling for proof of a negative test upon arrival, reported NBC New York.
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US President Donald Trump has doubled down on his decision to send the National Guard forces to Kenosha to quell violent riots which have been taking place there over the past few days.
On Sunday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers expressed concern about Trump’s planned Tuesday visit to Kenosha amid an ongoing wave of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests. Evers called on the president to “reconsider” his plans.
“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together,” Evers wrote in a letter to the White House.
The Trump administration has deployed nearly 1,000 National Guard soldiers and more than 200 federal agents to support local law enforcement in Kenosha, beset by days of rioting and unrest after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“President Trump condemns violence in all forms and believes we must protect all Americans from chaos and lawlessness,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Wednesday night. “This is why he is encouraging Democrat governors to request the National Guard and federal law enforcement to augment their local law enforcement efforts.”
“We have assisted Wisconsin in the deployment of almost 1,000 National Guard and over 200 federal law enforcement personnel, which will include FBI and US Marshals.”
The Pentagon is defending its use of military aircraft to conduct surveillance on the large crowds of demonstrators and in some cases riots which enveloped multiple cities connected with George Floyd’s death.
A new investigation has exonerated the National Guard after allegations it illegally gathered intelligence on Americans.
It was previously revealed that the National Guard used reconnaissance planes to fly over at least four US cities in order to gather data on growing protests in late May and early June, crucially at a moment President Trump was urging greater action in ensuring law and order in the protest and vandalism-hit cities.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he never personally approved of the program to fly the reconnaissance aircraft over the protests, but National Guard officials say they didn’t need higher approval given it was just for observing crowd sizes and to probe if any emergencies such as large fires were unfolding, according to their account.
US President Donald Trump said he would send National Guard troops to quell chaotic protests in Portland, condemning activists there as a “beehive of terrorists,” as federal units deployed to the city prepare to withdraw.
Trump warned of a National Guard deployment during a Thursday press conference, one day after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) struck a deal with Oregon Governor Kate Brown to phase out federal police stationed in Portland, where they’ve worked with local authorities to defend a federal courthouse and other government property.
Though the withdrawal was set to begin on Thursday, the president said National Guard troops would effectively replace the federal agents should the unrest continue.
“Our people are staying there to see whether they can do it today and tomorrow, and if they don’t do it we will send in the National Guard, and we’ll take care of it,” Trump said, labeling the protesters “professional anarchists” and “people who hate our country.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has ordered National Guard troops to deploy in Atlanta, after rioters ransacked the state police headquarters.
Shootings in the city have doubled in the wake of protests against police brutality.
Some 1,000 soldiers will be deployed to protect the state Capitol, the governor’s mansion, and the Department of Public Safety building that was vandalized over the weekend, Kemp announced Monday.
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”
Some 400 National Guard troops have been activated in the nation’s capital to protect historical monuments from vandalism, following a failed attempt by protesters to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson near the White House.
The guardsmen, who would be unarmed if deployed, were placed on standby Wednesday afternoon as heated demonstrations against police brutality and racism rage on around the country, driving calls for the removal of statues and monuments protesters see as celebrating slavery and other historical abuses.
“The District of Columbia National Guard has sent unarmed troops to guard monuments and other infrastructure in support of local law enforcement agencies,” said Craig Clapper, spokesperson for the DC National Guard.
Police in Los Angeles arrested a man who was reportedly “armed to the teeth” and attempting to impersonate National Guard soldiers, local media reports.
The man, arrested Tuesday morning in downtown Los Angeles, was identified as 31-year-old Gregory Wong.
“@FOXLA has learned that LAPD arrested 31 y/o Gregory Wong in DTLA this AM while dressed as/impersonating National Guard,” Fox LA reporter Bill Melugin wrote on social media. “He was armed to the teeth and was booked on assault weapons charges. LAPD says federal charges may come next. Sources confirm this photo.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden accused President Trump of calling for violence against Americans on Friday after he threatened to deploy the military and denounced “thugs” in Minneapolis amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd, with the president tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
“I will not lift the President’s tweet. I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I’m furious, and you should be too,” Biden tweeted on Friday.
Protests rocked Minneapolis for the third night in a row on Thursday over the death of Floyd, an African American man who died earlier this week after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. Floyd could be heard in the video recording of the incident saying “I can’t breathe.”
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Welcome to the New America™.
The third precinct goes up in flames on the third night of riots.
Trump said he’s going to send in the National Guard because “these THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen.”
I wonder if Kushner fed him that line.
On the flip side, I’m sure that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” was all Trump!
It appears the Nation Guard is on the scene.
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