FACT CHECK: No, The DHS Isn’t Mobilizing The National Guard To Enforce A National Quarantine
An image shared on Facebook claims the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to mobilize the National Guard to enforce a nationwide 14-day quarantine.
There are no plans for a national quarantine. The DHS cannot mobilize the National Guard in this manner.
The viral post urges Americans to stockpile necessities before the National Guard, purportedly mobilized by the DHS, begins to enforce a nationwide 14-day quarantine in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Similar claims have also circulated in the form of text messages in recent weeks.
— NSC (@WHNSC) March 16, 2020
“Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE,” reads the tweet. “There is no national lockdown. @CDCgov has and will continue to post the latest guidance on #COVID-19. #coronavirus.”
The Ascension and Iberia Parish Offices of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Louisiana also debunked the image, noting that DHS cannot mobilize the National Guard in this manner. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Train Car With COVID-19 Marking)
“The Department of Homeland Security does not have authority to mobilize the National Guard as described in the graphic,” Maj. Rob Perino, spokesman for the National Guard Bureau, confirmed to the Daily Caller in an email. “Additionally, there is no discussion of a nation-wide quarantine.”
National Guard members across the country have been activated to support states’ responses to the new coronavirus – but that doesn’t include a national quarantine of any kind. They are “supporting community based testing sites, creating additional medical capacity, and providing logistical support to include transportation and distribution of medical supplies and food,” according to Perino.
The post also misinterprets the Stafford Act, which President Donald Trump invoked when he declared a national emergency on March 13. That federal disaster relief law actually empowers the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist state and local governments in dealing with the outbreak and to coordinate the country’s response.
On April 16, Trump announced guidelines laying out a “phased and deliberate approach” to restoring normal activity in areas that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in coronavirus cases, according to The Associated Press.