Earlier this week Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to implement a COVID19 testing program for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently there is no structured testing program for Members of Congress or essential staff who work in the Capitol Complex. In May, the White House offered Speaker Pelosi COVID19 rapid tests, however, she declined. Since then, more than a dozen Members of Congress have contracted the virus and many more have been forced to quarantine.
In the letter, Rep. McKinley wrote:
"Earlier this year you declined the White House's offer to make COVID rapid tests available to Congress citing the need to direct the limited number of available tests to healthcare facilities and frontline workers as the reason," wrote Rep. McKinley. "Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have been advocating for the testing of Congress stating since May stating, "The quick response tests, would allow the government to keep functioning amid a potential outbreak on Capitol Hill."
"In the months since those statements were made, the United States has made great strides in procuring and deploying COVID-19 tests. These tests are no longer the scarce commodities they once were. The House of Representatives should implement a testing regimen for all members. Without a testing policy, members could be unknowingly spreading COVID. Members travel to and from their districts regularly, and many fly, putting themselves, their families, and their staff at risk of contracting COVID," added Rep. McKinley.
Read the full letter below or click here.
Since the virus emerged in the United States in February, there has been no testing regimen for members of the House and Senate.
Months ago, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy penned an op-ed on how Congress can safely reopen and has written to Speaker Pelosi requesting a testing regimen. House Committee on Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis also wrote to Speaker Pelosi requesting a comprehensive health monitoring and testing program for Capitol Hill.
To read House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty op-ed on safely reopening Congress, click here.
To read Rep. Rodney Davis letter to Speaker Pelosi on COVID19 testing, click here.
Click here to read an article from Roll Call on the rising COVID19 cases on Capitol Hill.