Kilmer Joins Federal Lawmakers Pushing for Strong Testing System in Washington State, Nationwide

Tacoma, WA – Tuesday, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), and the Washington state Democratic Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to Vice President Mike Pence requesting that the Trump Administration devise a plan to significantly increase testing capabilities in Washington state and across the country and develop a strong national testing system. The letter follows the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which invested $25 billion in COVID-19 testing and requires the federal government to develop a plan to scale up testing. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), as well as Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Denny Heck (WA-10), and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) also signed-on to the letter.

“Public health officials in Washington state and across the country require a strong testing system to get the information they need to determine when our states and communities can begin eventual reductions in social distancing efforts without compromising public health,” the lawmakers wrote. “As communities across the country need accurate information to make decisions about next steps, not having a coordinated evidence-based testing strategy is a recipe for disaster.”

The lawmakers continued: “It is essential the federal government build and support a strong national testing system that resolves supply chain challenges, synthesizes epidemiological data at a national level, and provides states with support to increase testing capacity. Diseases do not respect borders and they do not respect state lines. For any state to effectively protect their citizens from COVID-19, every state must do so.”

Rep. Kilmer has previously called for the President to develop a federal strategy to dramatically increase the production and availability of testing for COVID-19. Last week, he signed on as an original cosponsor of the Immediate COVID Testing Procurement Act to leverage the Defense Production Act to procure all necessary components and supplies to conduct molecular and serological COVID-19 medical testing nationwide.

Source: The Suburban Times