FRANK PALLONE


Federal coronavirus testing plan puts burden on states

WASHINGTON The Trump administrations new strategy for coronavirus testing puts much of the burden on states while promising to provide supplies such as swabs and material to transport specimens. The plan, which was delivered Sunday to members of Congress, drew harsh criticism Monday from Democrats. In a joint letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and Washington Sen. Patty Murray said the administration still does not have a serious plan for increasing testing to stop the spread of the virus.The report comes as the U.S. death toll from the pandemic is approaching 100,000. The HHS document, which The Washington Post first reported, recommends that all states have an objective of testing a minimum of 2 percent of their population in May and June.The Democratic lawmakers, who released the HHS report along with their joint letter, said it confirms that President Trumps national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there arent enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states.The Trump Administration still does not take any responsibility for ramping up our nations testing capacity, instead pushing the burden onto the states forcing states to compete with each other to procure vital supplies to administer tests from the private market, the lawmakers wrote. They also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on the $3 trillion virus release package passed earlier this month by the House, saying it would deliver a clear strategy and $75 billion for the testing and contact tracing necessary to stop the spread of this vicious virus.