Illinois National Guard Issues Statement To Put Rumors To Rest

Bernie Tafoya
March 20, 2020 - 10:03 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Illinois National Guard has issued a statement designed to put-to-rest rumors that have been rampant on the Internet about guard activities.

One of those rumors, according to the National Guard, is that troops are being mobilized to help quarantine people in Chicago or to shut down highways.

There is even a video circulating of military equipment being moved on a train. The Illinois National Guard said guard equipment has not been moved by train through the Chicago area in more than a month, but it said, the military moves equipment all the time and that any movement is not part of a COVID-19 response.

"There are a lot of rumors going around about the Illinois National Guard being activated to enforce a quarantine in Chicago or other areas of the state. Some even have video of a train moving military equipment near the city. We confirmed with our logistics officer that we haven't had trains moving Illinois National Guard equipment through Chicago in more than a month. These are not our vehicles. The military moves equipment all the time. This has nothing to do with COVID-19 response," The Illinois National Guard said in a statement.

About 60 Illinois National Guard troops have been activated for a medical mission dealing with the coronavirus.

"The majority of these (about 45) are medical with the mission of setting up a drive-through screening site. The rest are planners, including medical planners, and liaison officers. We have liaison officers embedded with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health. There has been NO discussion of using the Illinois National Guard to enforce a quarantine," the statement continues.

"There has been discussion of transportation, food distribution, construction (renovating mothballed hospitals to make them functional again or building temporary hospital space) and a few other missions - but nothing about quarantining the city of Chicago or shutting down highways or any of the other wild rumors that have been circulating! People are understandably anxious about coronavirus. We will let people know as troops are activated for additional missions. Please remember, the National Guard is a community-based organization. We are your neighbors, your friends, your relatives, your co-workers - we are you. We're all in this together and we'll get through it together. Stay safe!"