President Donald Trump and his administration announced it will terminate federal funding for 13 community-based COVID-19 test sites to extend financial support across the nation by other means.
The 13 sites which will lose federal backing by the end of June are located mostly in Texas. Seven of the supposedly affected sites are in Texas and the rest of the six are located in Illinois, New Jersey Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Health and Human Services administrator, Brett Giroir, prefers to call this step as “providing federal support in a different way” rather than withdrawal of the same.
“We are going to increase testing, both in the number and the quality and in the targeting on social media,” Giroir said.
The discontinuation of federal backing was announced in April by the Trump administration and has been facing resistance from lawmakers ever since.
The Republicans of Texas have equally protested against this decision. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, has been reportedly urging the health officials to extend the community testing sites in Texas.
John Cornyn, another Republican who presents Texas in the Senate, said, ” I know there’s a concern, concern I share, over some of the statements being made about withdrawing federal support for coronavirus testing in Texas at the end of June.
It’s pretty clear to me, and I think it’s clear to all of us, that with the uptick of cases, now is not a time to retreat from our vigilance in testing.”
“I believe that they need to extend that federal support in Texas, at least until we get this most recent uptick in cases addressed,” Cornyn said.
Discarding all these accusations, Giroir further argued “We will continue to increase testing capacity overall, and make it more accessible especially to underserved communities.”
“We are transitioning 13 sites from the original now antiquated program to the more efficient and effective testing sites outlined above,” he added.
The federal backing will be refocused on 600 pharmacy sites and 1,300 health centers, Brett Giroir informed through an email.