Schumer, Gillibrand call for fewer federal restrictions on coronavirus testing in New York
New York’s Senate delegation consisting of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (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.
“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.”
To the FDA & CDC:
As coronavirus cases in New York rise, the last thing our hospitals should be doing is sitting around awaiting federal testing results
Our hospitals need the direct ability to ramp up testing, speed up results, contain the spread
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 9, 2020
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 Cuomo (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.