Durbin, Senate Democratic Leaders Offer Roadmap to Dramatically Expand Testing Capacity Nationwide

Health experts have made clear that being able to conduct hundreds of millions of tests is necessary before the U.S. can safely ease social distancing guidelines

SPRINGFIELD U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to outline Democrats’ proposals to address the Trump Administration’s failure to rapidly expand testing capacity for COVID-19 on a press call.

On the call, the Senators discussed a series of steps outlined in a new policy white paper, “A Roadmap to Reopening by Ensuring a Speedy and Ubiquitous Lab Testing System (RESULTS),” as well as a new DPCC report, which details how the U.S. is lagging behind other countries in testing due to the Trump Administration’s failures.

“We cannot safely end sheltering-in-place until we have testing in every place. COVID-19 does not discriminate based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. That is why Democrats are laying out a bold, comprehensive plan today that provides a roadmap to ensure COVID-19 testing is everywhere, and for everyone,” Durbin said. “This should not be a partisan matter. We urge our Republican colleagues to step up and join us in this effort – a Manhattan Project for testing so that we can start to reopen this economy.”

The Roadmap to RESULTS outlined by the Democratic Senators includes:

  1. Requiring a strategic plan to leverage a “whole of society” response;
  2. Emergency funding to enable rapid scaling of testing and the full range of activities that support testing and maximize its impact;
  3. Pipeline to develop, validate, and allocate accurate, reliable tests to ensure adequate supply;
  4. Structures to administer tests in every community across the country;
  5. Robust public health infrastructure to respond to results and better contain COVID-19; and,
  6. Transparency and accountability across the testing system.

The DPCC report details how the United States is drastically behind in testing compared to other countries. The report outlines how testing saves lives by giving health care professionals the information they need to prioritize treatment for those who need it most and manage scarce clinical resources, including personal protective equipment. Testing also keeps our essential workers safer by indicating who should stay home and who can keep working. Additionally, testing allows us to trace the virus and limit its spread through communities. Finally, testing can give us the information public health experts will need to decide when it’s safe to reopen our economy and get people back to work. 

Read the full Roadmap to RESULTS here.

Read the full DPCC report here.