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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32)

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency urging that the agencies fulfill the request made to acquire reagents used to run COVID-19 tests in North Texas. The request comes after news that the Trump Administration will no longer support the Dallas based community testing sites after June 30.    

“We write in support of the request made by Dallas County for federal assistance for the County’s COVID-19 testing efforts. As you know testing remains one of the most important tools to combat and contain the spread of COVID-19,” wrote Allred and Johnson. 

“Federal support for acquiring these reagents will not only help North Texas maintain the testing efforts that our community needs, but will also improve the turnaround time for our testing program,” Allred and Johnson continued.

Allred and Johnson are submitting this request as hospitalizations continue to rise and Dallas County continues to report record-high new cases.  

“Clearly now is not the time for the federal government to withdraw federal support for COVID-19 testing,” Allred and Johnson concluded.

Johnson and Allred have consistently urged the federal government to provide Dallas County with the support and testing resources it needs. They wrote a letter on May 12 to urge an extension of assistance and on April 10 to request more supplies to increase testing, helping the County to double the number of tests to 1,000 per day.  

See the full text of the letter below and download a version here: 2020.06.25 Allred EBJ Dallas County Reagent Request.pdf

Dear Secretary Azar and Administrator Gaynor,

We write in support of the request made by Dallas County for federal assistance for the County’s COVID-19 testing efforts. As you know, testing remains one of the most important tools to combat and contain the spread of COVID-19. 

Specifically, Dallas County requests support for acquiring the reagents used in the Cepheid analyzer, which can run up to 1,500 tests per day or the Roche analyzer, which has the capacity of up to 1,000 tests per day. Federal support for acquiring these reagents will not only help North Texas maintain the testing efforts that our community needs, but will also improve the turnaround time for our testing program. Faster turnaround times will help promote effective and efficient contract tracing. 

This support is particularly critical now as COVID-19 cases are continuing to dangerously rise in North Texas. Just two days ago, Dallas County reported 445 new COVID-19 cases. COVID-19 hospitalizations are also on the rise. Since June 1, COVID-19 hospitalization in Dallas County have increased by 88 percent. Clearly now is not the time for the federal government to withdraw federal support for COVID-19 testing. 

We appreciate the assistance that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have thus far provided to the Dallas region. However, our fight against COVID-19 will require continued cooperation and coordination between federal, state, and local governments and we hope the federal government can continue to support the Dallas region’s testing efforts. 

Thank you for your attention and consideration of this request. 

Sincerely,

MIL OSI USA News