House Republican: US testing should be expanded to asymptomatic people

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinMembers of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 Rudy Giuliani becomes grandfather after son welcomes child Rep. Suozzi to run for New York governor MORE (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that U.S. coronavirus testing should be expanded to asymptomatic people in the next phase in order for the country to recover from the pandemic. 

Zeldin said in an interview with The Hill’s Steve Clemons that he agrees with officials, like President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE’s former Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert, that tests need to be given to people who are not showing symptoms in order to stop community spread. 

“The community spread that's been happening over the course of the last few months since this all started, in many cases was directly resulted by coming in contact with people who are showing no symptoms,” the congressman said. 

The New York Republican said the policy of only testing those with symptoms made sense earlier in the pandemic when there were limited testing kits, but now that testing has increased in the country to reach “several hundred thousand tests” per day, lawmakers should look at broadening the requirements.

“We need to look at the next level, the next phase of how testing should be conducted, and that would certainly include the ability to identify people who are asymptomatic,” he added. 

Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Congress should also concentrate on issues outside of coronavirus recovery, including economics, trade and cybersecurity involving China.

“Because of politics, we should not be censoring a conversation, where we're not having any hearings on these topics,” he said. “Let's talk about the coronavirus-related issues and the non-coronavirus-related issues regarding a country that you could argue is our largest geopolitical threat at this moment in time.”

He added that the U.S.’s recovery should focus on advancement, including in technological and cyber-related ways, rather than just rebuilding what once was.