Does your state need more COVID-19 testing funding? Trump has been holding onto ~$14B for testing.
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The Hill Reports: Democrats: Trump has yet to spend nearly $14B for COVID tests, contact tracing
According to two Democrats, the Trump administration has been sitting on $14 billion meant to be used to help state and local governments improve their COVID-19 testing and tracking.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Health Committee ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the administration needs to "immediately" distribute the funding.
In April, Congress provided more than $25 billion to increase coronavirus testing and contact tracing. They also provided $2 billion to provide free testing for the uninsured. But according to Schumer and Murray, the administration has no plans to distribute more than $8 billion out of the $25 billion.
"The United States is at a critical juncture in its fight against COVID-19, and now is the time for an aggressive and fast response. This administration will put our country at grave risk if it tries to declare an early victory, leave lifesaving work undone, and leave resources our communities desperately need sitting untouched," the lawmakers wrote.
They believe the administration should disburse these funds "immediately" to help collect data on COVID-19 racial and ethnic disparities.
Leading public health groups say state and local governments need $7.6 billion to quickly scale up contact tracing, including $4.8 billion to hire at least 100,000 contact tracers. Still other experts believe the country needs closer to 300,000 contact tracers.