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Gov. Whitmer asks White House to help states with COVID-19 testing, budget shortfalls

Posted at 1:26 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 13:42:58-04

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer testified remotely before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Tuesday morning.

The governor called on the federal government to help states, like Michigan, get widespread testing, the governor's office said in a press release.

Governor Whitmer also discussed the "aggressive action" the state has taken in the fight against the coronavirus, specifically the state's efforts to obtain personal protective equipment for frontline workers, expand testing capability and eligibility and address disparities in regards to the virus in communities of color, according to the governor's office.

During her testimony, the governor said FEMA has been a good partner but there has been uncertainty regarding testing supplies and what exactly is coming from the federal government. She said state laboratories are capable of doing 25,000 tests a day, but only complete around 15,000 a day due to supply issues.

“We need the White House to create a specific, long-term plan outlining how the federal government will ensure we have adequate testing supplies so we can gather the data we need to make informed decisions about re-engaging our economies. And we would all benefit from a guarantee of free testing nationwide coupled with a robust federal messaging campaign to encourage Americans to get tested," Gov. Whitmer said. “As we re-engage Michigan’s economy, we know it is crucial we do this incrementally. The worst thing we can do is to open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, putting our frontline heroes at further risk and extending the economic crisis. We have to get this right.”

Additionally, the governor also called on the federal government to help states financially due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“Right now, the language in the CARES Act does not provide states with the flexibility we need to address our revenue shortfalls. A broader solution is needed to provide states with additional support and this critical flexibility. I thank members of the House for their work and hope that Congress and the Administration can come together to get it done.”

You can read the governor's full testimony here.

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