Trump Doesn't Think D.C. Metro Area a 'Priority' For Coronavirus Testing Yet

Vice President Mike Pence points to a question as he speaks during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By Elle Meyers
March 16, 2020

Northam, along with leaders from Maryland and D.C., wrote the president to ask for priority testing in the area

Gov. Ralph Northam, with elected officials from D.C and Maryland, sent a letter to the Trump administration Sunday requesting the federal government include the D.C. metro area to the list of cities that will get support to test for the coronavirus.

Other cities already on the list include large metropolitan areas like New York, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle and Houston among others.

“The National Capital Region is home to over six million residents and the seat of the federal government, with hundreds of thousands of employees and contractors serving the Department of Defense and other mission essential agencies,” wrote D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Northam.

They went on to explain that testing in the region is crucially important to continue a democratic government and federal government operations.

According to reports, other cities on the priority list were picked because of their large populations, like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

The three elected officials wrote that localities in the region have done thorough planning for the increasing number of coronavirus cases and are working together to identify sites suitable for drive through testing.

“Our state health departments and state emergency management agencies continue to work together across borders to identify proposed drive-through testing sites that would stand up with federal support,” they wrote. “Given our extensive planning efforts as a region, we are well positioned to make the best possible use of federal support for this testing.” 

Each official also pledged to create a drive-through testing site in each of their jurisdictions.

Vice President Mike Pence announced over the weekend that the federal government would be working towards creating drive through coronavirus testing that would allow people to get tested around the country. Major stores like Target, Walmart and CVS, among others, would provide space in their parking lots for testing. People who think they have the virus will be able to go to a website and determine if they should get tested and where.

Although actual plans from the federal government are still murky, local jurisdictions are working to coordinate with health agencies and emergency responders to fast track testing. 

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