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Pocan: Coronavirus Testing Capacity Shortage Explained

Mar 12, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement after the Trump administration repeatedly was unable to answer questions about our country’s coronavirus testing capacity.

“At yesterday’s hearing with FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn as well as this morning’s briefing with members of the Trump administration, Commissioner Hahn was unable to confidently tell me what our capacity is to process the coronavirus testing kits we are now increasingly distributing.

“Commissioner Hahn has noted that 2.5 million coronavirus tests are available, and since multiple tests are needed per person, he explained that these are only enough to test 989,000 people.

“However, after a person is tested, the test needs to also be processed by labs in the United States. Former FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, has explained that labs in the United States currently only have the capacity to process about 17,000 patients a day. That means that with the current supply of test kits for 989,000 people, it would take over 58 days to process just these tests. New info from the CDC indicates they may be able to double their processing capacity soon, however that still means it could potentially take almost a month to process tests. That is a huge problem.

“The administration must stop misinforming the public on their capacity to test patients in the United States. We demand the administration provide us with the full capacity numbers for labs in the United States as well.”