Mar 11 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and U.S. Representatives Richard Hudson (R-NC-08) and David Price (D-NC-04) sent a bipartisan letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging the administration to provide additional resources to increase testing capacity for coronavirus in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency for North Carolina yesterday, while North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has said supplies for test kits are not yet adequate for the expected demand in the state.

“We are grateful for the work this administration has put into combatting COVID-19, and as federal representatives of North Carolina, we want to ensure our state has the capacity to meet current and future demands for diagnostic testing,” the members stated. “We understand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has distributed tests for 75,000 people across the country and is currently ramping up production for more test kits to meet the growing demands. Unfortunately, North Carolina has not yet received additional test kits, which the CDC had indicated would be delivered this week at the latest. NC DHHS has made us aware they need further guidance on best practices to prioritize patients for testing given the limited supply of test kits currently available.”

The letter commended President Donald Trump for signing the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental bill passed by Congress last week to make tests more available, support treatments, develop vaccines, protect the integrity of medical products manufactured overseas, and identify and prevent potential shortages.

According to the letter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has currently distributed tests for 75,000 people across the country. While the legislators acknowledge the CDC’s efforts to ramp up test kit production, the letter states North Carolina has not yet received additional test kits.

“We are committed to working with you to ensure that North Carolina receives its additional supply of test kits and guidance on best practices for testing prioritization,” the members continued. “We also look forward to the approval of additional Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs), as appropriate, to allow other testing methods that are not limited by current or future supply issues.”

Read the letter here.