04.15.20

Senate Democratic Leaders Offer Roadmap to Dramatically Expand Testing Capacity Nationwide

 Health experts have made clear that being able to conduct hundreds of millions of tests is necessary before the U.S. can safely ease social distancing guidelines

 

Senators Schumer, Durbin, Murray, and Stabenow discuss importance of rapidly expanding COVID-19 testing capacity, lay out Democratic testing agenda

 
Senator Murray releases white paper outlining Democrats proposals to ramp up COVID-19 testing

 

DPCC report from Senator Stabenow shows how the U.S. lags behind other countries in testing

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democratic Leader; Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Democratic Whip; Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Assistant Democratic Leader; and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), outlined Democrats’ proposals to address the Trump Administration’s failure to rapidly expand testing capacity for COVID-19 on a press call.

On the call, the Senators discussed a series of steps outlined in a new policy white paper released by Senator Murray, “A Roadmap to Reopening by Ensuring a Speedy and Ubiquitous Lab Testing System (RESULTS),” as well as a new DPCC report released by Senator Stabenow, which details how the U.S. is lagging behind other countries in testing due to the Trump Administration’s failures.

 

“As our heroes on the frontlines continue their critical work, it remains clear that the country’s testing capabilities are dangerously inadequate—we need quicker, more-comprehensive testing infrastructure to track and respond to the virus,” said Leader Schumer. “Senate Democrats’ new proposal shows that in order to adequately assess our country’s readiness to restart and get back on track, we need fast, free, and available testing in every community; expanded reporting; and a bolstered supply chain. A transparent, science-based approach, backed by public health experts is critical—not misleading claims and propaganda—and our proposal meets the challenge.”

 

“We cannot safely end sheltering-in-place until we have testing in every place. COVID-19 does not discriminate based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. That is why Democrats are laying out a bold, comprehensive plan today that provides a roadmap to ensure COVID-19 testing is everywhere, and for everyone,” Senator Durbin said. “This should not be a partisan matter. We urge our Republican colleagues to step up and join us in this effort – a Manhattan Project for testing so that we can start to reopen this economy.”

 

“Public health experts have made clear we will need to do hundreds of millions of tests if we want to reduce social distancing and safely get people back to work, back to school, and back to some semblance of normal life. For that to happen, we need testing to be fast, free, and everywhere,” said Senator Murray “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s early delays and missteps put us way behind, and because of their continued lack of urgency and leadership—we still have a lot of catching up to do. That’s why Democrats are releasing a roadmap to get COVID-19 testing back on track—fast. These ideas should be bipartisan, and they should be put into action as soon as possible—our country cannot wait.”

 

“Testing saves lives. And a comprehensive strategy for rapid testing is essential in order to get our economy going again and allow Americans to go back to work. By failing to implement widespread testing months ago, the United States has been left unprepared and our families are paying the price. Democrats are pushing for a national testing strategy in order to protect those on the frontlines of this health care crisis as well as contain the spread of the disease. And we know that rapid testing is the only real way we can feel confident that it is safe to reopen our economy,” said Senator Stabenow.


The Roadmap to RESULTS outlined by the Democratic Senators includes:

  1. Requiring a strategic plan to leverage a “whole of society” response;
  2. Emergency funding to enable rapid scaling of testing and the full range of activities that support testing and maximize its impact;
  3. Pipeline to develop, validate, and allocate accurate, reliable tests to ensure adequate supply;
  4. Structures to administer tests in every community across the country;
  5. Robust public health infrastructure to respond to results and better contain COVID-19; and
  6. Transparency and accountability across the testing system.

 

The DPCC report details how the United States is drastically behind in testing compared to other countries. The report outlines how testing saves lives by giving health care professionals the information they need to prioritize treatment for those who need it most and manage scarce clinical resources, including personal protective equipment. Testing also keeps our essential workers safer by indicating who should stay home and who can keep working. Additionally, testing allows us to trace the virus and limit its spread through communities. Finally, testing can give us the information public health experts will need to decide when it’s safe to reopen our economy and get people back to work. 

 

Read the full Roadmap to RESULTS HERE.

 

Read the full DPCC report HERE.

 

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