Clyburn Leads Democrats from Impacted States in Demanding HHS Reverse Decision to Abandon Testing Sites

Jun 26, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2020) — Today, Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and Representatives from Texas, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar urging him to reverse the decision to end federal support for 13 coronavirus testing sites across these five states.

“This dangerous decision appears to follow the President’s instruction to ‘slow the testing down,’ but it will only make it harder to stop the spread of the virus and save American lives,” the Members wrote.  “In light of the record-breaking surges in new infections across the United States—which come after the Administration pushed states to reopen last month—the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must make every effort to ensure adequate testing capacity, especially in states hit hardest by the outbreak.  The federal government should dramatically increase testing—not abandon testing centers.”

This letter follows the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would end support for 13 community testing centers in Texas, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania at the end of this month.  Yesterday, the United States reached a total of 36,000 new cases in a single day—the highest total in the pandemic so far.

The Administration’s plan to end federal support for testing sites has drawn bipartisan criticism, with both of Texas’s Republican Senators calling for the federal government to continue supporting these testing sites. 

“Public health experts have urged government officials for months to increase the number of coronavirus tests being conducted each day in order to detect outbreaks and control the spread.   It is inexcusable that at this critical time, the United States federal government—the only entity with the resources, authority, and expertise to implement testing at the massive scale needed—is instead taking steps to slow testing down.”

“We urge you to immediately reverse this devastating decision and to quickly and efficiently ensure that all communities have the federal resources they need to conduct robust coronavirus testing.”  

Click here to read the letter to the Department of Health and Human Services.

116th Congress