Schumer, Gillibrand call for fewer federal restrictions on coronavirus testing in New York

Schumer, Gillibrand call for fewer federal restrictions on coronavirus testing in New York
© Bonnie Cash

New York's Senate delegation consisting of Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMeadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program Senators press Postal Service over complaints of slow delivery MORE (D) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBiden should pick the best person for the job — not the best woman Overnight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw MORE (D) called on the federal government to work with state officials to allow coronavirus testing at more New York facilities.

In a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials, Schumer and Gillibrand also urged federal officials to approve the use of automated testing, which they said was among the steps necessary to stay ahead of the needs of New York's population.

"We urge you to work with New York on the two following issues: 1) Ensuring that all New York facilities that are capable and available to conduct COVID-19 tests are approved to do so. 2) Supporting the use of automated testing in order to increase the speed and volume with which testing is conducted," the senators wrote.

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"Resolving these two issues will significantly increase New York's ability to tests patients," they added, "and give New York vital new tools to fight the COVID-19 epidemic."

The remarks from New York's two senators come as the state announced more than a dozen new cases of the virus Sunday, and Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoGovernors' approval ratings drop as COVID-19 cases mount Should Biden win, why do some assume he'll only serve one term? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 MORE (D) hammered CDC officials on the availability of coronavirus testing.

“The CDC has not authorized the use of this lab, which is just outrageous and ludicrous,” Cuomo said Saturday, speaking about the Northwell Health Labs at the Center for Advanced Medicine. “CDC, wake up, let the states test, let private labs test, let’s increase as quickly as possible our testing capacity so we can identify the positive people.

"Not to be using this laboratory, not to be using the other private labs around the state makes no sense whatsoever," he added.