Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Max Rose (NY-11)
Congressman Max Rose led a letter with every Staten Island elected official to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically urging expedited approval for automated coronavirus (COVID-19) testing technology by Cepheid that is being developed at the Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC).
“Expanding testing and expanding capacity—that’s the top priority,” said Rose, a former non-profit healthcare executive. “We’re continuing to beat down the doors to ensure our local healthcare providers—and in this instance RUMC—are able to ramp up both testing and hospital capacity. They’ve made incredible strides to develop automated COVID-19 testing, but will need this critical FDA approval to get up and running. We’ve been working hand-in-glove as one Island through this whole process and this is just the next step.”
Joining Rose in this push is Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, District Attorney Michael McMahon, State Senators Diane Savino and Andrew Lanza, Assembly Members Michael Cusick, Charles Fall, Michael Reilly Jr., and Nicole Malliotakis, Council Members Debi Rose, Steven Matteo, and Joseph Borelli.
“With the automated Cepheid equipment approved, Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) can begin testing for the coronavirus and will dramatically boost the capacity for testing on Staten Island,” wrote Rose and the Staten Island lawmakers to Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the FDA. “Currently, the only other hospital on Staten Island is able to run the tests for this deadly virus but RUMC cannot without this approval. For such a large metropolitan area to have only one facility that is able to run the test for coronavirus is unacceptable and we are concerned about backlogs in the near future.”
Rose has been leading efforts with his fellow Staten Island elected officials, hospital leadership, and city, state, and federal officials to expand testing and hospital capacity in the district. On Tuesday, Rose and Oddo helped secure emergency tents for RUMC to expand capacity at the hospital for coronavirus treatment.
Following urging by Rose, Governor Cuomo announced on Monday the first drive-through testing facility in New York City will be on Staten Island. Details regarding exact time and location have not yet been announced.
Last week, Following pressure by Rose, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approvals for Roche and ThermoFisher machines to begin automated testing. Last week, Rose pressed top Administration officials both in a Congressional hearing and in a bipartisan letter on the need to approve automated coronavirus testing to increase capacity across New York. Rose also joined fellow New York Members of Congress in urging the CDC to expedite approval of expanded testing in New York City.
Full text of letter HERE.