Reaction: Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, says it’s not the right time to shift responsibility for the sites — especially those near emerging hot spots in Texas — to states.
“The federally supported testing sites remain critically needed, and in some place like Houston and Harris County, TX and in other hotspots, are needed now more than ever,” Becker said in an email. “This is not the time for the federal government to walk back prior commitments on testing.”
HHS weighs in: Coronavirus testing czar Brett Giroir says he has spoken to governors or their representatives in the five states that still have a federally supported testing site.
“We are transitioning 13 sites from the original now antiquated program to the more efficient and effective testing sites,” Giroir said in an emailed statement. He argued the government is still supporting increased testing capacity through a federal bundled payment program for retail pharmacies setting up testing sites.
What’s next: HHS says governors can use CARES Act funding to maintain operations at the current federally supported testing sites.