ROUNDUP: Amid Trump Administration Failure To Provide Sufficient Coronavirus Testing, Senate Democrats Introduce $30 Billion Plan To Dramatically Ramp Up Testing Nationwide

April 16, 2020

Washington Post: “Schumer And Democratic Sens. Patty Murray, Debbie Stabenow And Dick Durbin Argued … That The Trump Administration Needs To Expand Testing To Give Americans The Confidence To Go Back To Work And Resume Their Normal Lives.” 

Axios: “Senate Democratic Leadership Announced Wednesday A Plan, Authored By Sen. Patty Murray, That Calls For $30 Billion In Emergency Funds To Bolster National Coronavirus Testing And Contact Tracing.”

Seattle Times: Patty Murray And Other Senate Democrats Push White House For Broad Coronavirus Testing

Chicago Tribune: Senate Democrats Push Trump For $30 billion To Fund A Comprehensive National Coronavirus Testing Plan

LA Times: “The Democrats' Goal Would Be To Develop A Plan To Ensure Testing Is "Fast, Free And Everywhere," Said Sen. Patty Murray”

Washington, D.C.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. 

Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Stabenow released a report detailing how the United States is drastically behind in testing compared to other countries, outlining 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. Senator Murray led Senate Democrats in proposing a $30 billion plan for comprehensive national coronavirus testing that leverages a “whole of society” response that would rapidly scale up testing and provide an infrastructure to support our health care workers to enable us to respond and contain the spread of COVID-19. Read the full white paper, Roadmap to RESULTS, HERE.

See below for a full round up of coverage:

New York Times - Testing Falls Woefully Short as Trump Seeks an End to Stay-at-Home Orders

“As President Trump pushes to reopen the economy, most of the country is not conducting nearly enough testing to track the path and penetration of the coronavirus in a way that would allow Americans to safely return to work, public health officials and political leaders say. Although capacity has improved in recent weeks, supply shortages remain crippling, and many regions are still restricting tests to people who meet specific criteria. Antibody tests, which reveal whether someone has ever been infected with the coronavirus, are just starting to be rolled out, and most have not been vetted by the Food and Drug Administration. Concerns intensified on Wednesday as Senate Democrats released a $30 billion plan for building up what they called “fast, free testing in every community,” saying they would push to include it in the next pandemic relief package.” [NYT, 4/15/20] 

Washington Post - Senate Democrats release report detailing how U.S. ‘lags the world’ in coronavirus testing

“A group of top Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a report showing how the United States “lags the world” in testing and leads the world in the number of coronavirus cases. Schumer and Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) argued on the call that the Trump administration needs to expand testing to give Americans the confidence to go back to work and resume their normal lives. Schumer and Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) argued on the call that the Trump administration needs to expand testing to give Americans the confidence to go back to work and resume their normal lives. “All of those things depend on people’s confidence and the ability to go back to work, and that is why testing is so key,” Murray said. “If you don’t know, you’re going to stay home. You’re not going to go to small businesses.” In the report, the Democrats note that the United States is testing roughly 1 in every 273 people for the coronavirus, while South Korea and Germany have been testing 1 in every 100 people.” [WaPo, 4/15/20]

Reuters - U.S. Senate Democrats seek $30 billion for national coronavirus testing

“U.S. Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a $30 billion plan to vastly increase nationwide testing for the novel coronavirus, and called the Trump administration’s efforts on this score seriously insufficient. ‘We have to ramp up testing so it can be done on a broader scale,’ Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a call with reporters, adding that the nationwide effort should include more rapid tests and contact tracing.” [Reuters, 4/15/20]

Politico Pro -  Senate Dems seek $30 billion to expand virus testing

“Top Senate Democrats today laid out a plan to spend $30 billion on dramatically boosting coronavirus testing, saying the Trump administration's efforts so far won't ensure Americans can safety return to work. ‘Our testing capacity is woefully inadequate for the crisis, much less to reopen our economy,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) told reporters. ‘We have to ramp up testing so it can be done on a broader scale.’ ‘We need a federally coordinated whole-of-society response, not one that leaves each state to fend for itself or fight its neighbors for supply and capacity,’ Senate HELP Committee ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said.” [Politico Pro, 4/15/20]

Axios - Senate Democrats seek $30 billion in emergency funding for national coronavirus testing

“Senate Democratic leadership announced Wednesday a plan, authored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), that calls for $30 billion in emergency funds to bolster national coronavirus testing and contact tracing. Why it matters: The federal government has had no clear strategy in place to resolve or prevent the shortages of testing supplies that have threatened the U.S. response. While testing capacity currently sits at about 100,000 per day, Murray said during a call with reporters that hundreds of millions more tests are needed.”  [Axios, 4/15/20] 

CNBC -  Executives warn Trump that Americans need more coronavirus testing before returning to work, shopping, eating out

“On the same day, Senate Democrats announced a $30 billion proposed plan to significantly expand coronavirus testing. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized the Trump administration’s response to date on the testing issue. ‘We have to ramp up testing so it can be done on a broader scale,’ Schumer told reporters. ‘The administration is at best scattershot and at worst just chaotic when it comes to testing,’ Schumer said.” [CNBC, 4/15/20]

Seattle Times - Patty Murray and other Senate Democrats push White House for broad coronavirus testing

“Democrats in the United States Senate, led in part by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, have drawn up a road map for how to implement broad COVID-19 testing across the nation. Without widespread testing, it’s impossible to fully comprehend how widely the virus has spread. But tests have been hard to come by for many Americans as the materials needed for it have been in short supply, and in some areas, only people meeting certain criteria can get tested.” [Seattle Times, 4/15/20] 

My Northwest -  WA Sen. Patty Murray calls for $30 billion to expand coronavirus testing

Alongside a handful of Senate Democrats, Washington Sen. Patty Murray laid out a plan Wednesday to expand the country’s coronavirus testing capacity at the federal level. That includes a call for $30 billion in emergency funding to ‘enable faster scaling of testing, and development of different types of tests,’ with a focus on ‘rapid response tests.’” [My Northwest, 4/15/20]

Seattle Post Intelligencer - Senators' plan to reopen economy -- testing 'fast, free and everywhere'

“Murray reportedly delivered the call for testing repeatedly during February, a month when the Trump administration spurned test kits -- 1.4 million of them --- offered by the World Health Organization. The administration opted to produce its own test, only for the Center for Disease Control to botch the development and rollout.” [Seattle Post Intelligencer, 4/15/20] 

The Columbian - Murray joins effort to ramp up virus testing

“Sen. Patty Murray joined a group of senior Senate Democrats in introducing a road map Wednesday that would increase testing capacity for COVID-19 nationwide, a document that also highlighted what Murray called the White House’s ‘continued lack of urgency and leadership.’” [The Columbian, 04/15/20] 

Los Angeles Times - Democrats demand coronavirus testing plan

“Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a national coronavirus testing strategy, arguing that they're filling a void left by the Trump administration, which hasn't released a plan to scale up COVID-19 testing to allow Americans to return to work and school.’ ‘Reopening society will require an ‘organized, coordinated and focused plan,’ said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). ‘Not exactly the Trump administration's strong suits.’ The Democrats' goal would be to develop a plan to ensure testing is ‘fast, free and everywhere,’ said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).” [LA Times, 4/15/20]

Chicago Tribune - Senate Democrats push Trump for $30 billion to fund a comprehensive national coronavirus testing plan

“Senate Democrats want $30 billion in the latest federal coronavirus response plan as part of a package that would require the Trump administration to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 testing and tracking program, which the senators said is key to reopening the economy. ‘Public health experts have made it clear we 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,’ said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. ‘For that to happen, we need testing to be fast, free and everywhere.’” [Chicago Tribune, 4/15/20]

The Stranger -  How Can America Fix Its Deadly Coronavirus Testing Shortfall? Patty Murray Has a Plan for That.

“The failure of the United States federal government to conduct massive coronavirus testing has left this country flying blind as the numbers of deaths. Earlier testing could have prevented loss of life and helped track community spread of the illness at a time when it might have been possible to contain it. More testing right now could ground the growing debates over social distancing in a fact-based, data-driven reality, rather than leaving them to play out amid a fog of emotion and political ideology. But, says Washington Senator Patty Murray in a new white paper on testing, ‘the Trump administration has repeatedly failed to recognize the need for extensive testing to fight COVID-19.’” [The Stranger, 4/15/20]

International Business Times - Democrats Propose $30B Nationwide Coronavirus Testing And Tracking Program

“On Tuesday afternoon, Senators Dick Durbin, D-IL, Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Patty Murray, D-WA, and Debbie Stabenow, D-MI held a press call with a public health expert to discuss the Trump Administration’s failure to rapidly ramp up testing capacity for COVID-19 and the steps Democrats are pushing for to address it. The Democrats unveiled a new $30 billion plan to develop a nationwide testing and tracking program, and Sen. Durbin stated on the call that ‘we cannot end sheltering in place until we have testing in every place.’” [IB Times, 4/15/20]

Market Watch - Senate Democrats unveil measure to ensure coronavirus testing is 'fast, free and everywhere'

Senate Democratic leaders said Wednesday unveiled a $30 billion plan to fund an aggressive U.S. coronavirus testing regime they said needs to be in place before the shelter-in-place restrictions that stem from the pandemic can be lifted. To get people back to work, Sen. Patty Murray (D, Wash.) said, “we need testing to be fast, free and everywhere.” The plan unveiled by Schumer and other party leaders in the Senate calls for more testing faster with a quicker turnaround for test results and analysis. In addition to difficulty getting people tested, some governors have complained of long lag times in getting results, because of bottlenecks in supplies needed to do sample testing.” [Market Watch, 4/15/20]

Daily Kos -  Democrats unveil $30 billion plan to streamline COVID-19 testing and reopen the economy

“The reality that Donald Trump refuses to face (well, one of them anyway) is that the economy can't be reopened until there's universal testing to find out how prevalent the novel coronavirus infection still is in the population. Senate Democrats, on the other hand, get it. They're unveiling a proposal to provide $30 billion in emergency funding for universal testing. ‘What I've heard constantly from people in my state is […] where are the tests? It's been a constant refrain from the beginning until today,’ said Washington's Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. She and Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer rolled out the proposal Wednesday.” [Daily Kos, 4/15/20]

Roll Call - Democrats want $30B to fix Trump’s ‘failed’ COVID-19 testing before reopening the country

“Senate Democrats who say the Trump administration ‘repeatedly failed to recognize the need’ for extensive coronavirus testing to fight the pandemic proposed a $30 billion plan Wednesday, arguing the country cannot open without more screening.” [Roll Call, 4/15/20]

The Hill - Senate Democrats unveil plan to ramp up coronavirus testing that includes $30 billion in emergency funding

“Senate Democratic leadership rolled out a proposal on Wednesday to ramp up nationwide coronavirus testing, which public health officials have said will be key to lifting social distancing measures. The plan — unveiled by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other members of leadership — would provide $30 billion in emergency funding to increase testing and build out a structure for administering tests across the country.” [The Hill, 4/15/20]

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