Governor Northam orders VSP and National Guard to remain in Washington

Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 2:21 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - During the darkest moments on Wednesday in Washington, Virginia stepped up to the plate. Hundreds of Virginia State Troopers and Virginia National Guardsmen helped take back the U.S. Capitol from an armed insurrection.

“It was regrettable that we had to make the decisions that we made yesterday afternoon. I don’t take these decisions lightly,” Governor Ralph Northam, (D) Virginia.

Now, Northam is walking NBC12 through the events of yesterday and how he sprung into action. The governor was in the middle of a COVID-19 vaccination briefing when the attack began.

“I was shocked, Henry, and as you remember we were giving our press conference on COVID-19, the vaccination roll out and I was notified during that that the nation’s Capitol was under attack,” the governor said.

Immediately after, Northam began communicating with Washington, DC’s mayor who told him her request to the White House to deploy the DC National Guard had been denied.

“I let her know right away that Virginia stands ready and willing to protect democracy, to protect our nation’s capitol. So we took the steps to deploy our National Guard,” Northam said.

Northam quickly deployed 200 Virginia State Police officers and the Virginia National Guard to Washington. They were on the ground, securing the area and restoring order within a few hours.

Now, Northam says state troopers and guardsmen will remain in Washington through January 20 to ensure the peaceful transfer of power.

“An armed insurrection of the capitol is just something that none of us should accept whether we are Democrats or Republicans, independents. We are all Americans and that’s one of the most sacred features of our democracy, our Capitol. So what happened yesterday I really think is a disgrace for this country and actions need to be taken,” said Northam.

As for what that action is, Governor Northam says it’s up to the leaders in Washington at this point.

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