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Rep. Tim Ryan asks President Trump for military assistance to airlift U.S. citizens who are abroad

"With additional travel restrictions and hotel closures happening worldwide, we cannot wait any longer to get our people home."

WASHINGTON — While Americans at home continue to deal with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, one local member of Congress is also concerned about the estimated 13,500 citizens abroad.

On Wednesday, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and his Co-Chair of the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss), sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking to immediately mobilize America's military airlift, including Reserve and National Guard assets.

"With significant commercial travel restrictions in place around the globe, we feel the time has come to take military action to repatriate these citizens," the letter stated. "With additional travel restrictions and hotel closures happening worldwide, we cannot wait any longer to get our people home."

Around 400 members of the Ohio National Guard were activated by Gov. DeWine and began coronavirus-related humanitarian work on Monday supporting the state's food banks and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  The guard is assisting in transporting, packaging and distributing food to homes in vulnerable areas, community-based locations and partner agencies in rural counties.

RELATED: Ohio National Guard begins work assisting Greater Cleveland Food Bank during coronavirus pandemic

You can read the full text of the letter to President Trump below. 

Mr. President, 

As you are well aware, thousands of Americans across the globe are attempting to get home to the United States in the wake of the most significant pandemic of our generation.  Due to local restrictions and travel difficulties associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, an estimated 13,500 American citizens are struggling to return to their families and homes in the United States.

With significant commercial travel restrictions in place around the globe, we feel the time has come to take military action to repatriate these citizens.  As co-chairs of the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus, we are calling on you, as Commander-in-Chief, to immediately mobilize our nation’s military airlift, including Reserve and National Guard assets as needed, to ensure the safe return of these citizens. With additional travel restrictions and hotel closures happening worldwide, we cannot wait any longer to get our people home. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Tim Ryan

Member of Congress

 

Steven M. Palazzo                  

Member of Congress

Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20515 March 24, 2020 President Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500 Mr. President, As you are well aware, thousands of Americans across the globe are attempting to get home to the United States in the wake of the most significant pandemic of our generation.

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