The federal government will stop funding some Covid-19 test sites

The Trump administration will end federal funding for 13 community-based coronavirus testing sites by the end of June as part of a previously announced plan to extend support for Covid-19 testing across the country by others. media.

The move, confirmed by NBC News, will affect seven sites in Texas, which has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases.

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, is rejecting the administration’s decision.

A Cruz spokesman told NBC News that the senator “has urged and will continue to urge [health officials] to extend community testing sites in Texas. “

Rocky Vaz, director of emergency management for Dallas, Texas, told NBC that the city has “a plan and the ability to continue testing.”

The other six affected sites are in Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.

The administration originally announced in April that it would suspend federal support for the dozen baker-based Covid-19 test sites, saying the move was part of an effort to expand community testing and encourage more public partnerships. private for testing.

The administration had delayed the decision, which had met with resistance from lawmakers, until now.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the administration’s test czar, told NBC News in a statement that “the federal government is not ending funding or support for COVID-19 test sites.”

Rather, we have expanded from the original 41 sites to more than 600 in 48 states and the District of Columbia in the federal grouped payment pharmacy program, and have enabled more than 1,400 additional pharmacy sites through flexibility regulatory that empowers pharmacists and facilitates billing and reimbursement. “

President Donald Trump (left) and Vice President Mike Pence attend a conference call with governors at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on March 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Evan Vucci | fake pictures

Giroir said that the US Department of Health and Human Services. USA “It will continue to increase overall testing capacity and make it more accessible, especially for underserved communities.”

“The only truthful, but still misleading, report in the media is that we are transitioning 13 sites from the now outdated original program to the more efficient and effective test sites described above,” he said.

“The 13 sites received an additional 30 days from the original transition date in May, and I personally spoke with the governors of the 5 states involved, and / or their leadership representatives, who agreed that the time was right to exit the transition. 13 original sites and thousands of new trial options. “

The Department of Health and Human Services has scheduled a reporters call about the test sites for 2 pm ET on Wednesday.

Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., criticized the move in a tweet linking to breaking news from the original June 30 deadline article, which was published by Talking Points Memo.

“Let me clarify this: Cases are increasing across the country,” wrote Schumer, who is the Senate’s minority leader.

“The administrator has $ 14 billion for testing and tracking that hasn’t been spent. But does President Trump think the right move is to withdraw federal support for testing outside of critical areas?”