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Pallone Blasts Trump Administration’s Decision to Suddenly End Support for Community-Based Testing Sites

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today blasting the Trump Administration’s unilateral decision to end federal support for Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) for COVID-19. According to an advisory issued by FEMA earlier today, states were required to petition the federal government to maintain support for their CBTS facilities by 5 pm tonight:

“The Trump Administration’s sudden decision to abandon Community-Based Testing Sites unnecessarily forces states to scramble to cover the testing needs of their hard-hit communities during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Rather than forcing states to petition the federal government at the last minute to maintain their support for CBTS on a case-by-case basis, states should have been given the opportunity to make their own decision about whether their testing sites should continue to be federally managed or state managed. The Trump Administration should allow each state to engage directly with the federal government on the details of any potential transition, including establishing an agreed upon timeframe for any such transition.

“I strongly urge the Administration to reconsider this decision and give states the time they need to make a decision.  A crisis of this magnitude requires centralized leadership and coordination from the federal government.  A patchwork strategy that forces states to confront this pandemic on their own will only prolong the duration of the outbreak and lead to the further loss of life to this terrible disease.”

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