Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Response With Chief of National Guard

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today discussed the COVID-19 pandemic response with General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau.  Durbin received an update about National Guard operations in Illinois, where hundreds of troops are assisting state and local authorities in response to the crisis.  Durbin also pressed on the need to provide full benefits to all members of the Guard who are activated.  If a member of the National Guard receives orders through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 30 days or less, they are not fully eligible for a range of benefits, including health insurance for themselves and their family.

“The men and women of our National Guard are being called into action to help states like Illinois respond to this crisis.  They are providing critical roles in logistics by moving medical supplies and equipment and setting up test sites. I urged General Lengyel to keep me updated about operations in Illinois and I promised to assist with anything they need to ensure missions are carried out in an effective and timely manner,” Durbin said.