Group of House Democrats asks for $250 billion for testing

Group of House Democrats asks for $250 billion for testing
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A trio of House Democrats on Thursday asked leaders on both sides of the aisle to include $250 billion for coronavirus testing in any upcoming coronavirus relief bill.

In a letter signed by Reps. Filemon VelaFilemon Bartolome VelaHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Hispanic leaders warn census could undercount minority communities amid pandemic Group of House Democrats asks for 0 billion for testing MORE (D-Texas), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonFrom farmers to grocery store clerks, thank you to all of our food system Group of House Democrats asks for 0 billion for testing The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chef José Andrés says most political leaders today are not acting with urgency; Dems crafting 'Rooseveltian' relief package MORE (D-Minn.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), the lawmakers said "testing is the number one way to give us an objective, data-driven assessment of where we stand in our fight against this virus."

The lawmakers said funding testing and a viable contact tracing system is up to Congress, as the Trump administration "has failed to develop a national action plan."

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"While we have made some gains in our nation’s testing capacity, with numbers now at 1.6 million diagnostic tests per week, health care experts say we are still woefully short of the estimated 30 million tests per week needed," they wrote.

The three Democrats said "Americans must feel a sense of security" before the economy reopens successfully.

Under their plan, testing would be prioritized for "health care workers on the frontlines, law enforcement, minority communities, seniors and food and agriculture workers as well as those showing symptoms."

The lawmakers said those groups would benefit most from extra testing, as they've been the most affected.

"As we have seen, essential workers and seniors are bearing the brunt of the impact of this virus, while minority communities have been disproportionately affected," they wrote.

The proposal would be pegged to an upcoming Democratic coronavirus response bill that Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFederal judges should be allowed to be Federalist Society members Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in VA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment MORE (D-N.Y.) has labeled "Rooseveltian" in size.