U.S. Reps. Tlaib, Lawrence, Levin Urge the Administration to Provide Further Guidance on Testing to States

May 01, 2020
Press

Detroit, MI- Today, Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), and Andy Levin (MI-09) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting information on the department’s plan for increasing testing capabilities across the United States.

“As one of the nation’s hot spots for COVID-19, it is critical that the federal government provides states like Michigan with the resources and direction they need to combat this virus,” stated Rep. Lawrence. “Moving forward, the ability to conduct mobile and large scale testing will be critically important to ensure our health departments get a better understanding of the spread of this virus. Secretary Azar must quickly develop a strategic testing plan and distribute these funds so states can actively ramp up their ability to test.”

“Every single day our government goes without a plan that implements comprehensive testing for all is a failure for long underserved communities grappling with the already devastating losses they’ve suffered in this crisis, including the life of a five-year-old child in my district,” Congresswoman Tlaib said. “The expansion of mobile testing is a much-needed step in the right direction towards ensuring everyone, regardless of race or economic status, has access to testing. I am proud to join my colleagues in urging Secretary Azar to use the recent boost in funding his department received to implement it.” 

“Until there is a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19, testing at scale will remain an absolutely necessary tool for working our way out of this health emergency,” said Rep. Andy Levin. “We need answers from Secretary Azar on how his agency and the rest of the federal government are working to coordinate widespread testing and get a handle on the spread of this disease. I’m proud to work with Reps. Lawrence and Tlaib, two of my colleagues who have shown great leadership during this crisis, to protect the health and well-being of Michiganders and all Americans.”

The members wrote: “States like Michigan are eager to demonstrate their leadership and ability to provide large scale testing, including ramping up the capacity to do mobile testing. To do that, the federal government must use its expansive network and resources to provide states with testing kits and supplies necessary to match the demand. With an additional tranche of funding set to be distributed for expanding testing, states are still awaiting guidance on the dissemination of said funds.”

Text for the letter can be found here.

###

Background:                                                                                       

Last week, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, an interim COVID-19 funding package that included $25 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase testing capabilities, of which $11 billion will be distributed to the states. The legislation also required HHS to develop a strategic testing plan, including a focus on increasing hospital-based, point-of-care, and mobile testing.

Recent Posts


May 15, 2024
Press

Tlaib Introduces Resolution Recognizing 76 Years of the Nakba

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) introduced a House Resolution Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian Refugees’ Rights. The Nakba, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and homeland during creation of the state of Israel (1947-49). The Nakba did not end in 1948, but continues […]



May 9, 2024
Press

Tlaib, Sanders, Khanna, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Medical Debt for Millions of Working Class Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) and Ro Khanna (CA-17) with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced the Medical Debt Cancellation Act, legislation to eliminate all $220 billion in medical debt held by millions of Americans, wipe it from credit reports, and drastically limit the accrual of future medical debt.  The medical debt crisis has […]



May 8, 2024
Press

Tlaib Announces Appropriations Requests for Fiscal Year 2025

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) announced her priorities in the federal appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2025. One of the key ways to bring investments home to our district is through appropriations requests. Congresswoman Tlaib led several letters prioritizing the need for lead abatement, access to clean water, housing and health care […]