PHOENIX – U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona called on the state to activate its National Guard to help with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“The National Guard can be very helpful when we finally get drive-thru coronavirus testing up and running,” Stanton told KTAR News 92.3 FM Tuesday. “They can be very helpful in making that process as fast and as efficient as possible.”

Illinois has activated its National Guard while California put its on alert for humanitarian duties.

Additionally, the National Guard can provide support to health care professionals like transporting and delivering protective equipment which would free up doctors and nurses to focus on patients.

“We know that if we don’t take these aggressive steps, the pandemic will exponentially increase at a very fast rate,” Stanton said.

Stanton also said that the Arizona Department of Health Services needs to be fully transparent when it comes to coronavirus testing.

On Wednesday, the total number of cases in Arizona jumped to 27, but there was no information on how many tests the state had conducted.

“The public can handle the truth, and we need to get the truth out there in a transparent way as possible,” Stanton said.

The congressman also applauded Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero for limiting bars and restaurants to take out service only.

Stanton said these actions help to err on the side of public health and safety.

“This is a public health emergency. It needs to be treated as such, and I think we ought to heed those warnings and not only do it in the major cities in Arizona, but all across the state,” Stanton said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Debra Dale contributed to this report.