WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following today’s White House briefing, ACLA President Julie Khani released the following statement:
“As the White House pointed out today, commercial labs are rapidly ramping up testing capacity. Since the FDA first provided an accelerated path for commercial labs to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, ACLA laboratories have collectively reported out approximately 129,000 tests to date, including 41,000 tests performed just yesterday.
The current stimulus bill being considered by Congress does not provide the adequate support to keep up this pace. What the bill does include is billions of dollars in aid for affected industries—restaurants, airlines, and manufacturers who have started to shut their doors. But for those industries to make a comeback, it will require the availability of reliable, accurate and accessible testing. As Congress considers additional provisions to this bill, it would be a grave mistake to overlook the fundamental resources needed to continue and expand testing.
We will not be able to make necessary investments to meet future demand without more support from the U.S. Government. We have asked Congress to set aside five billion dollars to support the continued availability of these lab tests – now and into the future. Like other providers, labs need to know that resources will be available to support our expanded efforts. Our laboratories are the front line of the fight against this pandemic. But without sustainable funding, there is simply no way to have sustainable testing. While we wait for Congress to act, it’s essential that we prioritize testing so those most in need or at high-risk for COVID-19 are able to access tests as quickly as possible.”
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ACLA is a not-for-profit association representing the nation’s leading clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories, including national, regional, specialty, hospital, ESRD and nursing home laboratories. The clinical laboratory industry employs nearly 295,000 people directly, and generates over 117,000 additional jobs in supplier industries. Clinical laboratories are at the forefront of personalized medicine, driving diagnostic innovation and contributing more than $106 billion to the nation’s economy.