The military is again deploying medical units to hard-hit areas of the country as COVID-19 rates continue to surge.
At the onset of the pandemic, the military deployed medical units to Washington State and New York -- areas particularly impacted by COVID-19. Now, some of those same troops are being deployed again, this time to Texas and California.
In response to a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 740 service members from the Army, Navy and Air Force were sent to Texas and California in the early weeks of July, U.S. Army North -- which is heading up the renewed operations -- said in a release on Monday.
"We are committed to assisting those in need as part of the ongoing whole-of-America response," Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said in the statement.
Texas reported close to 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. California reported 7,346 new cases on Monday.
"Texas is grateful to the U.S. Department of Defense for providing these additional resources to Houston and San Antonio as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19 and care for our fellow Texans," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.
In the early stages of the pandemic, the Army called for volunteers to come out of retirement to assist with medical teams on the frontlines. Those calls garnered hundreds of thousands of responses. Thus far, the surge in COVID-19 cases has not necessitated a repeated call for additional resources.
As of Wednesday, the United States had confirmed close to 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 across the country. The current death toll stands at 138,000.
The Department of Defense has reported a total of 27,088 cases of COVID-19 across the force -- the vast majority of those is within the active-duty component.