Congressman Kim Calls for Nationwide Standard to
Return COVID-19 Test Results Within 72 Hours
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in a letter to Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Brett Giroir, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) called for the establishment of a nationwide standard for all COVID-19 diagnostic test results to be returned within 72 hours. The full letter can be read by clicking here.
The letter follows last Friday’s hearing of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis entitled, ‘The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus Crisis’, during which Congressman Kim asked Admiral Giroir, “would it be possible for our nation to have results for all COVID tests completed and returned between 48 and 72 hours? Is that a possible benchmark we can achieve?” Admiral Giroir’s responded that, “it is not a possible benchmark we can achieve today given the demand and supply.”
“If 72 hours is a benchmark we can absolutely achieve, we must do everything we can to achieve that goal,” said Congressman Kim in the letter. “I refuse to believe that our nation, the richest and most powerful country in the world, does not have the capabilities to achieve this standard immediately.”
Congressman Kim went on to reference, “multiple reports, including those from individuals in my home district, cite that tests can have up to a ten day wait time for results.” He went on to state that, “testing backlogs and delays complicate tracing and isolation efforts, which decrease the likelihood of containing the spread of the virus.”
In the letter, Congressman Kim asks the following questions of Admiral Giroir, requesting answers by August 17, 2020.
- Will you commit to implementing a national goal for all test results to be returned within 72 hours, and committing the necessary resources to make that an achievable national standard as soon as possible? When exactly do you think we could achieve this benchmark? What do you need from Congress in order to achieve this?
- Are all labs that are authorized to conduct COVID-19 diagnostic testing, including commercial, VA, and academic labs, being utilized at full capacity?
- How has the FDA prioritized the consideration of authorizations for new varieties of rapid simple at-home diagnostic COVID-19 tests like test strips?
- How has the FDA prioritized the consideration of authorizations for the approval of rapid antigen tests?
- Does the administration have a plan to work with private companies to widely deploy new cheaper diagnostic tests that are deemed safe and accurate by the FDA?
- What specific steps have you taken to bolster the testing supply chain? What steps do you plan to take to improve ongoing supply chain issues?
Information about Congressman Kim’s actions to contain the Coronavirus pandemic and address the ongoing economic impact can be found on his website by clicking here.
Congressman Kim is a member of the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, where he serves as one of twelve members of the House tasked with conducting oversight over programs aimed at ending the Coronavirus pandemic and helping address the economic impact it’s having on the American people. Congressman Kim is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Small Business. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.