Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A group of U.S. governors called on President Donald Trump Monday to extend funding for special deployments of National Guard forces to help with the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal funding for the National Guard aids with test sites and helps forces perform other critical operations.
In a letter, the National Governors Association said the extension is needed to prevent disruption and it was signed by the governors of 39 states and 3 territories, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
"Unnecessary delays ... create significant challenges for states and territories, which are amplified in the middle of a crisis," they wrote in a letter to Trump.
"Our National Guard will be critical in supporting operations such as testing, distribution of personal protective equipment, supply and food chain support, augmenting staff at nursing homes and supporting warehouse operations."
States were scheduled to begin training new guard members Monday, who must go through a required quarantine period.
"The president says governors are getting what we need from his administration," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Saturday. "That is not true. Not by a long shot.
"Today, our National Guard begins transitioning to state status because he refuses to extend their federal mission."
The group said funding is "critically necessary" and will likely remain so until a vaccine is available.
State governors first asked Trump to extend the deadline in May as part of recovery and reopening efforts.