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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 SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' MORE (D) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOcasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' Internal Democratic poll: Desiree Tims gains on Mike Turner in Ohio House race Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter's handling of New York Post article raises election night concerns | FCC to move forward with considering order targeting tech's liability shield | YouTube expands polices to tackle QAnon 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 CuomoJustice Department expands inquiry into NY nursing home COVID-19 death count What a Biden administration should look like Rand Paul rips 'leftwing media' for focusing on COVID-19 cases: 'Mortality rates are plummeting' 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.