Aug 4, 2020 - Health

First bipartisan multistate coronavirus testing drive to tackle shortages

Krystal Rumenos an RN with the Whittier Street Health Center performs a COVID-19 test in the parking lot of Prince Hall Grand Lodge on August 3, 2020 in Roxbury, Massachusetts

A Whittier Street Health Center nurse performs a COVID-19 test in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on Monday. Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

A bipartisan group of governors has joined the Rockefeller Foundation to deliver 3 million rapid coronavirus antigen tests to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help states safely reopen, the nonprofit announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: With no national plan, the initiative with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) would be the first coordinated testing strategy in the U.S.

What they're saying: Hogan, who negotiated the compact with the Rockefeller Foundation toward the end of his term as chair of the National Governors Association, said in a statement the group would work to bring more states, cities and local governments on board as the strategy moves forward.

  • "With severe shortages and delays in testing and the federal administration attempting to cut funding for testing, the states are banding together to acquire millions of faster tests to help save lives and slow the spread of Covid-19," he said.
  • Whitmer noted that widespread testing is "one of the most crucial tools we have to stop the spread of this virus."
  • She urged President Trump and Congress to follow the groups' lead and "work together on a recovery package that includes support for states like ours so we can continue to protect our families."
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