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McSally Urges CDC to Rapidly Detect Coronavirus in Local Communities

U.S. SENATE—U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) joined Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), along with Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to quickly distribute its rapid diagnostic test for novel coronavirus to state and local officials across the country.

Last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health jointly reported that a patient in Maricopa County has been infected with the new virus, making Arizona one of five states with a confirmed case.

“We know that CDC is working to quickly distribute a rapid diagnostic test to state and local officials and urge CDC to do so as soon as possible, without compromising scientific validity,” the senators wrote. “We further urge you to prioritize localities where cases have already been confirmed, so that additional cases may be detected in real-time.”

The senators continued, “CDC’s response to this outbreak underscores the critical role it plays in protecting public health. Furthermore, it is a notable scientific achievement that CDC was able to develop a rapid diagnostic test for this novel virus just one week after publication of the viral genome sequence. This test has enabled health officials across the country to distinguish positive cases of this novel virus from other respiratory illnesses, allowing them to isolate patients to prevent further spread of the virus and deploy their resources where they are needed most.”

The letter was signed by 38 additional Members of Congress across the country. 

Click HERE for a signed copy of the letter. 

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