Tags: Coronavirus | democrats | testing | contact | tracing | covid-19

Dems Demand $14B for Testing to Be Spent 'Immediately'

chuck schumer is shown wearing glasses
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Stefani Reynolds/AP)

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2020 04:01 PM

Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to "immediately" spend the $14 billion not yet distributed to local governments for coronavirus testing and contact tracing.

The call comes from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Health Committee ranking member Patty Murray, D-Wash., in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday, according to The Hill.

Congress had allotted more than $25 billion for increased testing and contact tracing, including $2 billion for free COVID-19 testing for the uninsured, but $14 billion remains and Democrats want that to be spent "immediately," per the letter.

"We call on you to immediately disburse the remainder of the $25 billion in funds to ramp up testing and contact tracing capacity, as well as to make sure providers are aware of and able to easily access the $2 billion that Congress appropriated to provide testing for the uninsured," the letter read, per the report.

"The United States is at a critical juncture in its fight against COVID-19, and now is the time for an aggressive and fast response. This administration will put our country at grave risk if it tries to declare an early victory, leave lifesaving work undone, and leave resources our communities desperately need sitting untouched."

The letter comes after President Donald Trump quipped during a campaign rally Saturday he would like to see testing slow down. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro called that a "tongue in cheek" comment, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at the Monday press briefing the administration has done nothing to slow down testing.

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Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to "immediately" spend the $14 billion not yet distributed to local governments for coronavirus testing and contact tracing.
democrats, testing, contact, tracing, covid-19
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2020-01-22
Monday, 22 June 2020 04:01 PM
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