U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that New York State will receive $1.5 billion out of a $10.25 billion national pot for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing he proposed and fought to secure as a lead negotiator in the ‘Corona 3.5’ legislation that passed the Senate three weeks ago. Specifically, Schumer said New York State will receive $700,248,982 and New York City will receive $807,512,729 that can be used for COVID-19 testing purposes, including for testing equipment and supplies, contract tracing and surveillance, personal protective equipment and more.
“Only with an aggressive testing and tracing strategy can New York finally begin to reopen, rebuild, and return to life as normal. However, the administration has consistently slow-walked both a national plan and money for testing and mislead the American public on testing capacity,” said Senator Schumer. “Testing-and-tracing is the first and critical step out of this crisis and on to the road to recovery, which is why I fought so hard for this funding to come to New York. And why I continued to call on the administration the send the money since the moment it passed and became law. It is a step in the right direction, and it will help meet higher than ever needs for COVID-19 testing in New York. However, the work is not done, and far more is needed. I will continue to hold the administration accountable to produce a national testing strategy, while ensuring that Congress provides the funding New York needs and deserves to run a robust testing-and-tracing program.”
Schumer’s announcement of federal funding for COVID-19 testing comes the day after National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress that if the U.S. does not improve its testing capacity, we risk more infections and more deaths.
To date, there have been over 343,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York and over 27,000 deaths. Additionally, in recent weeks a rare illness suspected to be tied to the spread of the virus has been detected in about 100 children in New York State.