PHOENIX—Yesterday, Rep. Greg Stanton called for Arizona to activate its National Guard in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, he further pressed the state to take this action and issued the following statement:
“We face an unprecedented public health crisis and need the expertise and support of the Arizona’s Army and Air National Guard to step in and take life-saving action to curb the effects of COVID-19. We need to act today to mobilize the Guard in anticipation of what will come next. Lives are on the line and we cannot afford to wait longer.
Members of Arizona’s National Guard are trained experts in crisis response. We need their support today, and in the weeks to come, and we shouldn’t delay another moment without mobilizing them to help.”
The National Guard can provide logistical support to health care professionals—that includes everything from transporting and delivering protective equipment to staffing non-medical functions at hospitals to free up doctors and nurses to focus on patient needs. Once activated, they can assist medical centers to scale their current efforts and plan for a surge in patients. They can also help operate drive-thru testing and set up other mobile testing facilities.
National Guard members undergo extensive training in command and strategy during times of crisis. They have the skillset to anticipate security vulnerabilities across every function of our government.
Members of the National Guard can be activated by the governor or president to reduce the community impact of emergencies and disaster. As of today, 18 governors have already activated more than 1,500 guardsmen to support the response to coronavirus.