Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday that his state would not deploy any National Guard members to the nation’s capital ahead of Tuesday’s planned State of the Union Address.
DeSantis said that President Joe Biden had issued a request for governors to deploy members of the National Guard from their respective states, and he made it abundantly clear that he had no intention of doing so.
“Last week, the Biden Administration requested the assistance of State National Guards to deploy to Washington D.C. I have rejected this request — there will be no @FLGuard sent to D.C. for Biden’s State of the Union,” DeSantis tweeted.
Last week, the Biden Administration requested the assistance of State National Guards to deploy to Washington D.C. I have rejected this request — there will be no @FLGuard sent to D.C. for Biden’s State of the Union.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 28, 2022
“King,” Nan Hayworth, M.D., tweeted — and a number of others also voiced their support for DeSantis and his decision.
“I love my Governor,” came from @readmoreBible.
But others questioned whether or not DeSantis had thought through his response, noting that Florida could eventually find itself in need of federal help, especially in the event of a rough hurricane season.
“This won’t age well, say come….hurricane season,” digital media producer Jacob Langston tweeted in response.
This won't age well, say come….hurricane season. https://t.co/wPJ12IKfU9
— Jacob Langston (@jacoblangston) February 28, 2022
“Uhhh….smh,” digital journalist Tim Kephart added.
According to a report from NBC Washington, some 700 National Guard troops have been activated ahead of Biden’s address and a possible trucker convoy — an American answer to Canada’s recently disbanded Freedom Convoy — that is expected to arrive in Washington, D.C., in time for the event.
From the report:
The other 300 Guard personnel are from outside D.C. and have also been approved upon requests from U.S. Capitol Police. Such personnel include approximately 100 Vermont Army National Guard Soldiers, 100 New Jersey National Guard troops and about 80 West Virginia National Guard members who will support security operations within Washington starting later this week.
The request was activated as of 1 p.m. and is approved to continue throughout 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 7.
Neither approval allows troops’ use of helicopters or other aircraft by the National Guard or the sharing of equipment with law enforcement agencies. They will also not carry firearms or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities.
In addition to the National Guard presence, the temporary fencing that surrounded the Capitol after the January 6th riot is set to be put back into place ahead of Biden’s address.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Capitol Police issue a statement Friday saying that they had been coordinating a security plan for the president’s address with the United States Secret Service, adding, “Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union. As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity.”
At the time, the statement included a comment on the possibility of the fencing being reinstalled but said that no decision had yet been made: “The temporary inner-perimeter fence is part of those ongoing discussions and remains an option, however at this time no decision has been made.” Fox News has reportedly since confirmed that the fence will be reinstalled.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also initially planned to cap attendance due to continued COVID-19 precautions, but later reports stated that all members of Congress would be permitted to attend. No guest tickets were issued for the address, and initial guidelines stated that all attendees would be required to show proof of a negative PCR test and wear either an N95 or KN95 medical mask throughout — but on Monday, just one day prior to the scheduled event, the Capitol physician announced a move to a mask-optional policy.