Florida reports nearly 9,000 more cases of coronavirus, a new one-day high

Members of the Texas Congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle are calling on the Trump administration to reconsider its decision to stop direct funding to various coronavirus testing sites in Lone Star State, where there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases.

State lawmakers, including Republicans Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, say they don’t understand why federal aid is being withdrawn as their state sees more and more cases of coronavirus.

“Frankly, I didn’t understand what they were thinking,” Cornyn told CNN on Thursday.

In a joint letter sent Thursday to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, Cornyn and Cruz urged the administration to “grant an extension to the program for test sites in Texas,” which they said are “critical to Texas Proof Ability”.

A transition out of these federally funded sites began in April, but the latest debate over federal funding comes after President Trump lamented the surge in U.S. coronavirus cases, blaming the surge in tests.

The federally funded testing program was intended to boost initial capabilities in critical areas in the U.S., according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But given the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for people to self-administer nasal swab tests at the sites, the demand for personal protective equipment and trained healthcare providers will drop, a FEMA spokesman said in a statement in April, when the administration began its transition away from the program.

A Health and Human Services spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the 13 community-based testing sites, seven of which are in Texas, would no longer receive direct funding.

What other Texas legislators say: Speaking to CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from Texas, said that given the increase in Covid-19 cases, the state “clearly opened too fast and too soon.”

González noted that Texas reported nearly 6,000 cases yesterday and said that its district in the Rio Grande Valley had a 700% increase in the past 30 days alone.

González denounced reductions in federal funds for tests.

“It would be reprehensible to imagine that we would be reducing the evidence at a time when our pandemic is increasing by leaps and bounds,” said González. “I hope the President follows the CDC’s recommendations, listens to Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn and the rest of us, making sure the evidence is strong, that it is widespread, that it is available. It is the only way we will get it. . under control.”