April 10, 2020

Warren, Smith, Murray Lead 43 Colleagues in Push for More Information, Transparency on Coronavirus Testing Across Country

Senators Press Vice President, Other Members of Coronavirus Task Force for Plan to Address Testing Shortfalls, Keep Americans Informed

Text of Letter (PDF)


Washington, DC -- United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), today led 43 of their Senate Democratic colleagues in calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to conduct a national inventory of the coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic testing supply, publicly release data on testing results, and provide a detailed plan and timeline for addressing future shortages and gaps in the testing supply chain.


“Over three weeks after President Trump declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency, we continue to hear from our states and Tribal Nations about the lack of supplies and testing kits to diagnose our constituents for the coronavirus,” wrote the lawmakers. “State departments of health, hospitals, health care providers, and first responders lack the tests and equipment—including personal protective equipment (PPE), testing swabs, and reagents—needed to conduct adequate public health surveillance to contain and stop the spread of coronavirus.


“Widespread diagnostic testing is crucial to controlling the COVID-19 outbreak. In the short term, quickly obtaining test results for hospitalized patients allows hospitals to preserve supplies of PPE and prevents unnecessary quarantines of front-line health care workers and first responders. In the long run, experts have argued that widespread testing will be needed to track and contain COVID-19 cases, allowing communities to slowly lift general social distancing restrictions without putting the public at risk.”


The senators continued, “We urge you to promptly develop a national, real-time, public-facing inventory of COVID-19 diagnostic tests and results. This resource will provide the transparency that our states and Tribal Nations need to anticipate the national testing supply chain and the information that the federal government needs to anticipate and proactively address any testing shortages.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Senator Warren has pressed the Trump Administration to respond effectively to deliver the robust set of resources needed to address this emergency. On March 26th, she unveiled detailed plans to increase diagnostic testing nationwide.