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 Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (D) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power Senators hail 'historic changes' as competing proposals to tackle military sexual assault advance Overnight Defense: Military justice overhaul included in defense bill | Pentagon watchdog to review security of 'nuclear football' | Pentagon carries out first air strike in Somalia under Biden 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 CuomoScarborough pleads with Biden to mandate vaccines for teachers, health workers Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? NYC George Floyd statue to be relocated after vandalism 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.