Pallone on Administration’s COVID-19 Relief Proposal
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement this evening on the Trump Administration’s latest COVID-19 relief package proposal:
“The Trump Administration’s latest relief proposal is woefully inadequate to address the critical testing, contact tracing, surveillance and containment efforts we need to crush the terrible COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Administration continues to refuse to put a national testing, tracing and surveillance plan in place, and is once again punting its responsibility to the States. States simply cannot do this on their own and that’s why we need a comprehensive, coordinated national testing strategy, with clear federal benchmarks and timelines, that the Administration must meet.
“The Administration’s proposed funding levels also do not rise to the severity of this crisis. The public health experts have consistently told us that $75 billion at a minimum is needed to successfully suppress this pandemic, and this proposal falls short of that. It would also needlessly delay funding to states by requiring states to jump through legislative hoops that are simply unnecessary. And finally, it does nothing to address the barriers and needs of communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
‘Right now, only about 900,000 tests are conducted daily when public health experts say we need to be doing at least 4 million every day in order to effectively contain the virus.
“It is not too late to make a strategic investment in our national testing and tracing efforts, and to do that the Administration must use the Heroes Act as the framework for any serious final proposal.”