The Trump administration is ending federal funding for over a dozen COVID-19 testing sites spread across five states.
Wednesday, Politico reported that "the federal government is ending its support for 13 drive-thru coronavirus testing sites on June 30, urging states to take over their operations — even as cases spike in several parts of the country."
Seven of the sites planned for federal funding cuts are in Texas, which has seen monumental surges of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations following reopenings.
Democratic officials from Texas, where case numbers are rising, responded in a statement.
"Texas continues to set records for the number of new cases and hospitalizations and Harris County leads the state in number of confirmed cases," Texas Democratic Reps. Sylvia Garcia, Al Green, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, and Sheila Jackson Lee wrote in letters this week to U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Pete Gaynor.
"Without FEMA's supplies, fiscal aid, and personnel, these sites may no longer be able to serve our communities," the lawmakers warned. "FEMA's removal in this moment would be harmful and irresponsible. We urgently ask you to extend FEMA's presence at these testing sites through August 30, 2020."
The other testing sites set to lose federal funding on June 30 are located in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New Jersey.
California is ramping up testing for coronavirus even as a backlog of 59,000 pending tests is growing, delaying some people from getting results for up to 12 days and leaving an incomplete picture of how widespread the outbreak is in the state.
Testing rolled out slowly in California but is accelerating now. More than 90,000 tests have been administered statewide, but nearly two-thirds of those results were still pending, according to state figures.
“The backlogs are not necessarily getting better, in real-time, but we’re hopeful,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.