VA is ready for the COVID-19 pandemic, said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie during a White House press briefing March 18. “One of the things we do at VA is that we prepare for national emergencies, be they national emergencies or epidemics,” Wilkie said. VA has four specific missions. Three are Veterans health care, Veterans benefits and running national cemeteries. “Our fourth mission is to support the federal government in times of natural disasters and pandemics,” he said. Wilkie said VA is the “buttress force” if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) needs medical professionals for crises.