Almost 200 members of the National Guard members that were deployed to Washington DC for the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Over 25,000 Guard members from across the country were deployed to prevent against further violence and protect the inauguration following the riot at the Capitol on January 6.
From the moment the Guardsmen arrived on station in DC, pictures began circulating of troops sleeping on the floors of the halls of federal buildings before cots were eventually brough in.
On Thursday, and article by Politico revealed that troops had been kicked out of the Capitol and were sent to sleep in congressional parking garages. In addition to from the fumes, cold, lack of electricity, internet and bathrooms, many expressed concern over the spread of the coronavirus.
The pictures of the Guardsmen sleeping on the concrete floors in freezing temperatures went viral followed by a massive outcry from, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Eventually, the Guardsmen were allowed to return to the Capitol. Not a single member of the White House press core asked Biden Press Secretery Jen Psaki about the Guardsmen sleeping in the garages during Friday's briefing.
Republican Governors Gregg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, ordered the Guard units from their states home following the outcry.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden delivered cookies to the Guardsmen in DC Friday morning and Thursday night former President Donald Trump offered to shelter the troops in he DC hotel.
According to the Journal, every troop deployed to DC was screened for the coronavirus before arrival, but a defense official said that not all were tested.
Approximately 7,000 Guardsmen will remain on station in the nation’s capital until the end of the month.