Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are pushing back on the Trump administration’s recent decision to end federal funding for the 13 drive-through coronavirus test sites across the country. Many of these sites are located in Texas, which is currently facing a surge in cases of the virus, as are more than half the states in the U.S.
As reported by The Hill, both senators sent a letter on Thursday to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and called on the Trump administration to reconsider its decision.
“Now is not the time to end a program that is working and successfully increasing testing capacity — especially for underserved communities in the state. Due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Texas, cities need additional time to prepare for the transition to state and local control of the testing sites.”
Cornyn released a statement on Wednesday afternoon in which he criticized the Trump administration’s decision, The Daily Mail reported.
“I think it’s clear to all of us, that with the uptick of cases, now is not a time to retreat from our vigilance in testing,” the senator wrote.
Speaking to NBC News, a spokesman for Cruz claimed that the senator would continue to pressure health officials to “extend the community testing sites in Texas.”
The letter comes the same day that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state would be halting its reopening plan amid the surge in COVID-19 cases. Both Cornyn and Cruz pointed to the increasing coronavirus cases in Texas, and noted that some of the state’s largest cities, where the testing sites are located, have hit record highs for single-day coronavirus cases.
Despite the Trump administration’s alleged plans, Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for the HHS and coronavirus testing czar, said Wednesday that the administration would not be decreasing the testing in Texas and other states. According to Giroir, the federal government only plans to stop directly funding the testing sites, not the rate of testing.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is nearing the record high hit back in April, which was 34,696 cases. The surge comes as over half the states in America are experiencing a rise in new virus cases over the last two weeks.
Despite the increase in daily new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the country’s daily death rate continues to decline.