How the US military is being utilized in responding to coronavirus

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Tuesday that the Defense Department was providing five million N95 respirator masks and other protective equipment to the government for distribution.
2:30 | 03/18/20

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Transcript for How the US military is being utilized in responding to coronavirus
I want to provide an update on DOD's corona virus up efforts as we continue to focus. On our three party sets first of all protecting our personnel and their families. Second safeguarding our national security mission capabilities and third of course supporting the administration's hold government approach first of all though I do want to assure. The American people that the united states military remains ready and capable. But defending the country. And our interest abroad. Now with that the department's leaning forward in our response to coated nineteen we've issued international and domestic travel restrictions to all DOD personnel and families. That should dramatically reduce potential exposure to the virus those been in place for some time now. As I announced yesterday the department offense to make available up to 5000000 and 95 respirator masks and other personal protective equipment. From our own strategic reserves to be part of health and human services for distribution. The first one million masks will be available immediately. We're also prepared to distribute to HHS up to 2000. Operational deplorable battle layers for use as needed. I yesterday I was at Fort Detrick Maryland which is probably the military's supreme air research institute. Right get updated on the incredible work our people are doing as part of the inner agency team to work on vaccines and therapeutics they're making great progress there. We also have announced that we've as certified or sixteenth lap. Will soon certify our sixteenth lab to help with processing tests from across the country. Additionally I've directed as the president mentioned that the hospital ships mercy and copper be prepared to deploy to increase the nation's medical capacity. And we've also alerted a variety of field and expeditionary hospitals to be prepared to deploy as well as needed based on direction from the commander in chief. Today a leadership from the Army Corps of Engineers is in New York meeting with Governor Cuomo and his team. I spoke with Governor Cuomo yesterday and other governors I'll be speaking to more in the coming days to make sure that they know what beauty can provide. Through our system to institute would address their needs. In my conversations with the governor's. And members of congress about viewed these resources. I've made it clear that we will continue to support the administration's. Comprehensive efforts and the country every step of the way. While ensuring our nation's security remains the I want to conclude by thanking Ginn all of our service members and their families. Who have been affected by this outbreak they are all great heroes we are continue to support them throughout this we are all in this together. Thank you Auburn much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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