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Raw chicken and metal shavings: Poor food has hospitalized Michigan National Guard troops in DC

Members of the Michigan National Guard have been forced to eat raw chicken, moldy bread and meals containing metal shavings while they remain on guard in Washington DC protecting the US Capitol from attack.

More than a dozen soldiers on deployment have become ill – with some serious enough to be hospitalized – after reportedly being given undercooked and contaminated food being supplied by a contractor to all troops stationed in DC.

Soldiers have blown the whistle on the sub-par food by sharing photos of pink chicken, uncooked beef and moldy food with lawmakers and online while one staff sergeant revealed dozens of meals had to be thrown out when metal shavings were found inside dishes. 

The shocking conditions have sparked a group of bipartisan lawmakers to demand a new food vendor be brought in or for troops to be given a daily allowance to buy their own food, while some are calling for guard members to be sent home altogether.

Almost 5,000 troops continue to guard the Capitol amid fears of a fresh siege as sources say there is intel of a militia plot to breach the Capitol on March 4 – the same day supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe Donald Trump will become president again.

For some soldiers, this means it is almost two months since they were first drafted in to the city following the MAGA mob riot on January 6 where Trump supporters broke into the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead.  

During their time protecting the seat of American democracy, National Guard members have endured substandard conditions, including being forced to sleep outside, as well as COVID-19 safety risks. 

Thousands of Guardsmen were forced to sleep on the floor of a packed parking garage back in January when they were told to stop taking their rest breaks inside the Capitol by a Capitol officer.

Meanwhile, hundreds of guard members tested positive for COVID-19 with insiders describing a failure by the National Guard to implement coronavirus testing and social distancing protocols evenly across the board.     

Uncooked meat. Members of the Michigan National Guard have been forced to eat raw chicken, moldy bread and meals containing metal shavings while they remain on guard in Washington DC protecting the US Capitol from attack

Uncooked meat. Members of the Michigan National Guard have been forced to eat raw chicken, moldy bread and meals containing metal shavings while they remain on guard in Washington DC protecting the US Capitol from attack

Uncooked meat. Members of the Michigan National Guard have been forced to eat raw chicken, moldy bread and meals containing metal shavings while they remain on guard in Washington DC protecting the US Capitol from attack

Raw chicken. More than a dozen soldiers on deployment have become ill - with some serious enough to be hospitalized - after reportedly being given undercooked and contaminated food being supplied by a contractor to all troops stationed in DC

Raw chicken. More than a dozen soldiers on deployment have become ill - with some serious enough to be hospitalized - after reportedly being given undercooked and contaminated food being supplied by a contractor to all troops stationed in DC

Raw chicken. More than a dozen soldiers on deployment have become ill – with some serious enough to be hospitalized – after reportedly being given undercooked and contaminated food being supplied by a contractor to all troops stationed in DC

Moldy bread. Soldiers have blown the whistle on the sub-par food by sharing photos of pink chicken, uncooked beef and moldy food with lawmakers and online

Moldy bread. Soldiers have blown the whistle on the sub-par food by sharing photos of pink chicken, uncooked beef and moldy food with lawmakers and online

Moldy bread. Soldiers have blown the whistle on the sub-par food by sharing photos of pink chicken, uncooked beef and moldy food with lawmakers and online

In the latest saga around the treatment of the men and women deployed to the Capitol, National Guard members are complaining the food they are being given is inedible and unsafe, reported TV6.   

Undercooked food left more than a dozen soldiers unwell including an unknown number who were taken to hospital as a result, one staff sergeant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told 7 Action News

The guard member said the issue is not isolated, citing multiple occasions where dozens of meals were tossed due to the discovery of raw meat or other contamination. 

Almost 75 meals were thrown out Sunday after metal shavings were found inside them while another 74 meals had raw beef in them, they said. 

Aside from the poor – and sometimes dangerous – quality, the sergeant said troops are not being given enough food, with breakfast some days consisting of just a dinner roll and Sunny D ahead of a 12-hour shift.

Many guard members are said to be resorting to buying their own food because they don’t trust the food being provided to them. 

Reports of the poor food has caused an uproar among lawmakers from both parties, with all 14 members of the Michigan Delegation in the House of Representatives sending a letter to Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Daniel R. Hokanson Tuesday.

Members of the National Guard are seen on the East Front of the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill Tuesday

Members of the National Guard are seen on the East Front of the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill Tuesday

Members of the National Guard are seen on the East Front of the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill Tuesday

Around 5,000 troops continue to guard the Capitol amid fears of a fresh siege as sources say there is intel of a militia plot to breach the Capitol on March 4

Around 5,000 troops continue to guard the Capitol amid fears of a fresh siege as sources say there is intel of a militia plot to breach the Capitol on March 4

Around 5,000 troops continue to guard the Capitol amid fears of a fresh siege as sources say there is intel of a militia plot to breach the Capitol on March 4

For some soldiers, it is almost two months since they were first drafted in to the city following the MAGA mob riot on January 6 where Trump supporters broke into the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead

For some soldiers, it is almost two months since they were first drafted in to the city following the MAGA mob riot on January 6 where Trump supporters broke into the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead

For some soldiers, it is almost two months since they were first drafted in to the city following the MAGA mob riot on January 6 where Trump supporters broke into the Capitol in a violent riot that left five dead

The letter, led by Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District, demanded the National Guard void its contract with the current food supplier and either find another or for a per diem to be provided to troops. 

It was signed by Debbie Dingell, Tim Walberg, Brenda Lawrence, Jack Bergman, Haley Stevens, Fred Upton, Elissa Slotkin, John Moolenaar, Dan Kildee, Peter Meijer, Andy Levin, Lisa McClain and Rashida Tlaib.

The bipartisan group hit out at the ‘unacceptable and inadequate quality of food’ that had ‘hospitalized’ some troops. 

‘We understand that the decision was made to provide contracted meals to support the entire federal response stationed at the Capitol,’ the letter read.

‘However, it is clear that these contracted meals are poorly prepared, oftentimes inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers. It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington D.C. are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided. 

‘As Representatives of these service members, we request that either the current contract be voided and a new food provider be brought in or that the service members be provided with a per diem throughout their remaining time in Washington, D.C.’  

Metal shavings

Metal shavings

Metal shavings

Metal shavings

Metal shavings. One staff sergeant revealed dozens of meals had to be thrown out when metal shavings were found inside dishes

The shocking conditions have sparked a group of bipartisan lawmakers to demand a new food vendor be brought in or for troops to be given a daily allowance to buy their own food

The shocking conditions have sparked a group of bipartisan lawmakers to demand a new food vendor be brought in or for troops to be given a daily allowance to buy their own food

The shocking conditions have sparked a group of bipartisan lawmakers to demand a new food vendor be brought in or for troops to be given a daily allowance to buy their own food

Raw beef

Raw beef

A bad orange

A bad orange

Raw beef (left) and a bad orange (right). Just some of the food the troops are fed while protecting the Capitol 

Rep. Bergman said troops don’t expect a ‘5-star resort’ but what they have been served with is ‘an embarrassment’. 

‘After visiting with our Michigan Guard troops in DC, I have heard from many over the past 48 hours regarding additional issues of contaminated and undercooked food being served,’ he said, per TV6.

‘This is unacceptable. Our troops don’t demand a 5-star resort or expensive food, but at a minimum, they deserve meals that are safe to consume. 

‘This is an embarrassment for all those responsible for the care of our troops, and must be met with full accountability.’

Bergman called for the guard members to leave DC altogether saying  t is ‘time to get our troops home to their families.’ 

The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was ‘very concerning’ and ‘unacceptable.’

‘The Michigan National Guard finds the reports of undercooked and poorly prepared food provided to our service members in Washington, D.C. very concerning. The firsthand accounts and pictures of undercooked food being served clearly shows that what is being given to Michigan’s service members is unacceptable,’ it read.

The guard said the issue was escalated to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who called Acting Secretary of the Army John E. Whitley ‘to communicate Michigan’s concerns’. 

‘Other Michigan senior leaders also engaged at the highest levels of the federal government to inform those in charge and to ensure that they knew of our displeasure with the conditions. Every assurance was given that the issue would be addressed and corrected,’ the statement said.  

The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was 'very concerning' and 'unacceptable'

The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was 'very concerning' and 'unacceptable'

The Michigan National Guard released a statement saying reports of undercooked and inadequate food was ‘very concerning’ and ‘unacceptable’

Whitmer raised concerns about the issue almost two weeks ago on February 17 and was told it was being resolved, her office said.

But further complaints have surfaced since. 

DailyMail.com has contacted the DC National Guard for comment about how the issue is being resolved. 

Guard officials said Tuesday they were working on the matter but insisted there had only been a small number of incidents where food was uncooked, no substantiated complaints about foreign objects in food and no cases of foodborne illness reported, reported Detroit News.  

Lt. Col. Robert Carver said less than 0.01 percent of the 1.2 million meals provided between January 6 and February 18 were undercooked. 

Carver said meals were being spot checked and kitchens examined but there was no ‘substantial issues’ found so far. 

Nearly 26,000 National Guard troops were sent from all 50 states in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot to support the Capitol Police as part of the Post Inaugural Security Mission.

The guard members from other states work under the command and control of the Washington DC National Guard, which made the decision that all troops would receive contracted meals. 

The contract was awarded and is monitored by the National Guard Bureau, according to the Michigan National Guard.  

Rep. Debbie Dingell said it is not just a problem affecting the Michigan guard members. 

Issues with the quality of food comes after a backlash in January when shocking photos showed thousands of Guardsmen forced to sleep on the floor of the packed Thurgood Marshall Building parking garage and in a park outside (above)

Issues with the quality of food comes after a backlash in January when shocking photos showed thousands of Guardsmen forced to sleep on the floor of the packed Thurgood Marshall Building parking garage and in a park outside (above)

Issues with the quality of food comes after a backlash in January when shocking photos showed thousands of Guardsmen forced to sleep on the floor of the packed Thurgood Marshall Building parking garage and in a park outside (above)

Insiders described a failure by the National Guard to implement coronavirus testing and social distancing protocols evenly across the board. Pictured up to 5,000 troops in the garage

Insiders described a failure by the National Guard to implement coronavirus testing and social distancing protocols evenly across the board. Pictured up to 5,000 troops in the garage

Insiders described a failure by the National Guard to implement coronavirus testing and social distancing protocols evenly across the board. Pictured up to 5,000 troops in the garage

National Guard troops sleep on the grass on the eastern front of the US Capitol in January

National Guard troops sleep on the grass on the eastern front of the US Capitol in January

National Guard troops sleep on the grass on the eastern front of the US Capitol in January 

‘It’s not only a Michigan guard problem. I stop and talk to all the guard out there, and they said it’s improved, but still far from perfect,’ she said.

Thousands of troops have returned home already but around 4,900 remain in DC until at least March 12 at the request of the Capitol Police.

This includes 1,000 members from the Michigan National Guard. The agreed upon end date for their deployment is March 12.   

Issues with the quality of food comes after a backlash in January when shocking photos showed thousands of Guardsmen forced to sleep on the floor of the packed Thurgood Marshall Building parking garage and in a park outside.

Images showed troops packed inside parking garages during their rest breaks with one unit of around 5,000 forced to sleep in one garage with just one bathroom between all of them. 

Before being located to the parking lot, the troops had been allowed to take rest breaks inside the Capitol building. 

The soldiers do have hotel rooms but their 12 hour shift pattern means they cannot easily return to their rooms during rest breaks. 

They had been asked to leave the Capitol building and take their rest breaks in a nearby designated parking lot by a Capitol officer who did not have the authority to do so.  

Capitol Police apologized later and said troops could return to the Capitol after some Guardsmen said they felt ‘incredibly betrayed’.

Later that month it emerged up to 200 National Guard members had tested positive for COVID-19, while several hundred more were in quarantine in hotels after showing symptoms or being exposed to the virus. 

Insiders described a failure by the National Guard to implement coronavirus testing and social distancing protocols evenly across the board, with some troops not being tested on arrival, some receiving only temperature checks and some told to cut short quarantine or skip it entirely in order to report for duty.      

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Security in DC is beefed up further after Capitol Police receive intelligence of a militia plot to breach the Capitol by far-right group Three Percenters on Thursday – the day QAnon loyalists believe Trump will be made president again

Security in Washington D.C. is being beefed up even further after Capitol police received intelligence that militia group the Three Percenters could be plotting to breach the Capitol this Thursday, March 4.

Cop sources told FOX 5 that Capitol officers were issued with an intelligence bulletin on Tuesday warning of a militia plot that specifically mentioned the far-right group.

Members of the Three Percenters are among the rioters accused of breaching the Capitol on January 6 as part of a Make America Great Again mob. 

This Thursday is predicted by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory to be the day that Donald Trump will take power again, returning to D.C. to be inaugurated as president once more.

It emerged as a new source of hope for QAnon loyalists after the original theory that Trump would win the 2020 election fell apart.

Members of the National Guard enter a gate in temporary security fencing near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of March 4 as Capitol cops receive word of a threat from the 3%ers

Members of the National Guard enter a gate in temporary security fencing near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of March 4 as Capitol cops receive word of a threat from the 3%ers

Members of the National Guard enter a gate in temporary security fencing near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of March 4 as Capitol cops receive word of a threat from the 3%ers

This Thursday is predicted by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory to be the day that former President Donald Trump (pictured on Sunday) will take power again and return to Washington D.C. for his inauguration

This Thursday is predicted by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory to be the day that former President Donald Trump (pictured on Sunday) will take power again and return to Washington D.C. for his inauguration

This Thursday is predicted by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory to be the day that former President Donald Trump (pictured on Sunday) will take power again and return to Washington D.C. for his inauguration

Police sources told Fox that they have now had vacation and days off canceled for the coming week as D.C. prepares to combat the threat posed by the new theory.

Capitol police had announced earlier on Tuesday that they had been made aware of ‘concerning information and intelligence pertaining to March 4th’ and were increasing security as a result.

The statement added that ‘based on the intelligence that we have, the Department has taken immediate steps to enhance our security posture and staffing for a number of days, to include March 4th’. 

The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of Thursday and US Capitol Police requested 4,900 National Guard troops remain in the nation’s capital until at least March 12. 

A member of the National Guard guards the Captiol on Tuesday. Some members have been stationed there for two months

A member of the National Guard guards the Captiol on Tuesday. Some members have been stationed there for two months

A member of the National Guard guards the Captiol on Tuesday. Some members have been stationed there for two months

US Capitol Police said it was award of the threat on March 4 in a statement earlier on Tuesday

US Capitol Police said it was award of the threat on March 4 in a statement earlier on Tuesday

US Capitol Police said it was award of the threat on March 4 in a statement earlier on Tuesday

People walk past a section of fencing blocking the Capitol grounds on Monday as securoty is increased

People walk past a section of fencing blocking the Capitol grounds on Monday as securoty is increased

People walk past a section of fencing blocking the Capitol grounds on Monday as securoty is increased

The U.S Capitol Building behind temporary security fencing as members of the National Guard walk by on Tuesday

The U.S Capitol Building behind temporary security fencing as members of the National Guard walk by on Tuesday

The U.S Capitol Building behind temporary security fencing as members of the National Guard walk by on Tuesday

National Guard patrol a section of fencing blocking the Capitol grounds as they prepare for a potential breach plot

National Guard patrol a section of fencing blocking the Capitol grounds as they prepare for a potential breach plot

National Guard patrol a section of fencing blocking the Capitol grounds as they prepare for a potential breach plot

What is the Three Percenters movement? 

The Three Percenters are a loosely organized movement that formed in 2008, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish civil rights organization that tracks extremist groups.

On its website, the right-wing group says it isn´t an anti-government militia but ‘we will defend ourselves when necessary.’

The Three Percenters derives its name from the belief that just 3% of the colonists rose up to fight the British. They have vowed to resist any government that infringes on the U.S. Constitution.

The Oregon Three Percenters joined an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016. Dozens of people occupied the remote refuge for more than a month to protest federal control of Western lands. The group also took part in a violent right-wing rally in Portland last year.

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It comes as the Michigan National Guard has blown the whistle on sub-par food being fed to troops that has caused more than a dozen soldiers on deployment to become ill. 

March 4 is important for QAnon conspirators because it was the former inauguration date of the country before the 20th Amendment moved it up to its current date in January. 

It was moved to lessen the time of a ‘lame duck’ presidency.  

QAnon followers believe that Trump will rally and return to the Capitol on Thursday, where he will be sworn in again. 

Forbes reports that room rates at Trump’s D.C. hotel for the nights of March 3 and March 4 have spiked and far exceed the typical rates. 

A king deluxe room, for example, is going for $1,331 per night, which is 180 percent above the base rate of the hotel.

Other hotels in the area are not making the same price increases for the coming nights.

‘Raising room prices will surely be interpreted by QAnon as Trump’s support for the March 4 narrative,’ said Jason Blazakis, senior fellow at the Soufan Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

‘They absolutely try to interpret the words and actions of President Trump very carefully. 

According to Fox, there is speculation that March 20 – the day the Republican party came to life in 1834 – and April 15 – federal income tax day – may also pose a threat. 

A memo from acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett claims that some of the threat for March 4 has diminished, Fox reports, despite the bulletin naming the Three Percenters. 

The right-wing group is a loosely organized movement that claims it isn’t an anti-government militia but ‘we will defend ourselves when necessary.’

The Three Percenters derives its name from the belief that just 3% of the colonists rose up to fight the British. They have vowed to resist any government that infringes on the U.S. Constitution. 

The Capitol was the site of a pro-Trump insurrection on January 6 that left five dead, including a Capitol police officer. 

The mob believed Trump’s false claims that the election was ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’ from him. 

Members of the National Guard near the U.S. Capitol perimeter that is surrounded by security fencing due to a potential militia plot to preach the building again on March 4, on what used to be the presidential Inauguration Day

Members of the National Guard near the U.S. Capitol perimeter that is surrounded by security fencing due to a potential militia plot to preach the building again on March 4, on what used to be the presidential Inauguration Day

Members of the National Guard near the U.S. Capitol perimeter that is surrounded by security fencing due to a potential militia plot to preach the building again on March 4, on what used to be the presidential Inauguration Day

Members of the National Guard at the U.S. Capitol where many of them have been stationed for two months

Members of the National Guard at the U.S. Capitol where many of them have been stationed for two months

Members of the National Guard at the U.S. Capitol where many of them have been stationed for two months

The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of Thursday and US Capitol Police requested 4,900 National Guard troops remain in the nation's capital until at least March 12. Members of the National Guard pictured on Tuesday

The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of Thursday and US Capitol Police requested 4,900 National Guard troops remain in the nation's capital until at least March 12. Members of the National Guard pictured on Tuesday

The Capitol is being guarded by almost 5,000 troops ahead of Thursday and US Capitol Police requested 4,900 National Guard troops remain in the nation’s capital until at least March 12. Members of the National Guard pictured on Tuesday

U.S. National Guard soldiers patrol outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. The news of the threat emerged Tuesday as further details emerged of the sub=par conditions being suffered by the National Guard at the Capitol

U.S. National Guard soldiers patrol outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. The news of the threat emerged Tuesday as further details emerged of the sub=par conditions being suffered by the National Guard at the Capitol

U.S. National Guard soldiers patrol outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday. The news of the threat emerged Tuesday as further details emerged of the sub=par conditions being suffered by the National Guard at the Capitol

According to Fox, there is speculation that March 20 - the day the Republican party came to life in 1834 - and April 15 - federal income tax day - may also pose a threat as the National Guard are called on to remain until at least March 12

According to Fox, there is speculation that March 20 - the day the Republican party came to life in 1834 - and April 15 - federal income tax day - may also pose a threat as the National Guard are called on to remain until at least March 12

According to Fox, there is speculation that March 20 – the day the Republican party came to life in 1834 – and April 15 – federal income tax day – may also pose a threat as the National Guard are called on to remain until at least March 12

Even after leaving the White House, and his suspension from favorite social media platform Twitter, Trump has continued to push the unfounded allegations. 

During his remarks at CPAC on Sunday, he mentioned the possibility of winning for ‘a third time’ if he chooses to run for president again. It suggested that he had won in 2020 and could run again in 2024. 

QAnon beliefs have rarely been validated by the realities that have unfolded around the conspiracy’s followers. 

As well as believing Trump will return as president this Thursday, they think the former president is working against Satanic members of Hollywood and the Democratic Party who are running a pedophile ring, which led to the infamous Pizzagate incident.

They also believe John F. Kennedy Jr. is still alive and that COVID-19 is a conspiracy that was invented to hurt Trump’s reelection chances.

Members of the Three Percenters have been among those charged with involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot. 

Members of the Three Percenters have been among those charged with involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot, pictured

Members of the Three Percenters have been among those charged with involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot, pictured

Members of the Three Percenters have been among those charged with involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot, pictured

Security was upped around the Capitol after a MAGA mob stormed the building on January 6, pictured

Security was upped around the Capitol after a MAGA mob stormed the building on January 6, pictured

Security was upped around the Capitol after a MAGA mob stormed the building on January 6, pictured

According to a George Washington University study published on Tuesday, rioters included members of military networks, military 'clusters,' and 'inspired believers'. Pictured, rear gas is released into a crowd of rioters on January 6

According to a George Washington University study published on Tuesday, rioters included members of military networks, military 'clusters,' and 'inspired believers'. Pictured, rear gas is released into a crowd of rioters on January 6

According to a George Washington University study published on Tuesday, rioters included members of military networks, military ‘clusters,’ and ‘inspired believers’. Pictured, rear gas is released into a crowd of rioters on January 6

According to a George Washington University study published on Tuesday, rioters included members of military networks, military ‘clusters,’ and ‘inspired believers’.

Of the later group, they ‘arranged their own travel, accommodations, and other logistics to join the crowds in Washington from areas throughout the United States,’ according to the report. 

‘Charging documents claim that many of the more-organized individuals that participated in the siege were affiliated with nationwide anti-government militia movements, specifically the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters. Both groups operate as umbrella organizations for dozens of militias throughout the country,’ according to the group. 

They ‘arranged their own travel, accommodations, and other logistics to join the crowds in Washington from areas throughout the United States,’ the report added.  

Source: Daily Mail |World News

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