National Demand for COVID-19 Testing Requires Congress to Act, Approve Funding & Reimbursement for Testing Capacity

March 23, 2020 Categories: ACLA Blog

There is broad recognition among public health experts, the White House and congressional leaders that COVID-19 testing is the most critical element of our national response to this public health emergency. Our ability to assess every intervention – health or economic – depends on the availability of testing; yet, dedicated funding for testing is notably missing from current Congressional funding packages. Testing should be accessible for all who need it. But to deliver on that promise, Congress needs to take immediate action to ensure that there is sufficient funding to support the testing itself. Read ACLA’s latest statements and updates on clinical labs’ COVID-19 response at


  • “Without readily available coronavirus tests, hospitals are ‘simply burning up [personal protective equipment] at unsustainable rates. If we had the tests and got the results quickly, we can free up PPE and hospital beds for those that really need the care.’” – Rick Pollack, American Hospital Association President, March 21



  • “The three most important parts…are testing, testing, testing…We can only defeat this outbreak if we have an accurate determination of its scale and scope, so that we can pursue the precise, science-based response that is necessary.” – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, March 13


  • “…The most important thing that we need is data. We should be testing everyone who can — who comes in so that we can really understand if there clusters, are there geographic areas that we need to make priorities, are there lessons to be learned, how many people are being hospitalized of those that test positive.” – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, March 22


  • “Our highest priority is keeping Marylanders safe, and having the capability to test quickly for potential COVID-19 cases is an important part of that.” – Gov. Larry Hogan, March 3


  • “…Let’s increase as quickly as possible our testing capacity so we can identify the positive people.” – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, March 7


  • “The pace of testing has to increase in Louisiana and this order will allow more laboratories in Louisiana to process COVID-19 tests, which is critical as our state fights the spread of this illness.” – Gov. John Bel Edwards, March 19








  • “Access to testing is the No. 1 issue right now. People who need and want to be tested are being turned away. In the nation with the best and most developed health care system in the world, that is absolutely ridiculous.” – Sen. Rick Scott, March 13


  • “Frankly, having testing would have given us a much better view as to how many people have the virus and what kind of social distancing actions we should be taking to prevent the spread of the virus.” – Sen. Mitt Romney, March 12 


  • “Members of our delegation have come forward to say this is not acceptable for Minnesota not to have the capacity to process our tests in large numbers right now. Let’s get the testing capacity to the point where we know what the numbers are, when we know community spread is occurring, so our state can have the ability to act as quickly as possible.” – Rep. Angie Craig, March 16


  • “…As legislators, we need to ensure that this bipartisan bill provides the support for testing. That is the number one priority to make sure that we are able to do this in a timely way.” – Rep. Elise Stefanik, March 12


  • “We’re the boots on the ground. We know what’s available. Some of the commercial labs do not have the materials they need…We’re getting reagents wherever we can get them. The bottom line is our lab has been using several different testing methodologies in an attempt to maximize the testing we can do, and if the supplies for that are running out, we move to the next methodology…” – Kris Ehressman, infectious disease division director for the Minnesota Health Department, March 20




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