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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 27, 2020 12:32 PM
From: Senator Steven J. Santarsiero
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Urging the President and Federal Officials to Provide Resources for COVID-19 Testing in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution urging the President and federal officials to exercise their power to provide Pennsylvania with adequate testing supplies for the purpose of understanding who in our population has been infected with COVID-19. By implementing an effective testing strategy throughout the state, we will be able to reopen businesses in a manner that protects the health and safety of the public, while not jeopardizing the work we’ve done to mitigate the spread of the virus.
With only 1.27% of the United States population having been tested as of April 19, 2020, we do not currently have enough data on hand to make informed decisions regarding the public health impacts of returning to business as usual.  The medical community has been in lockstep on its belief that, without widespread testing, a broad reopening of the country cannot be done in a safe manner.  Recently, researchers at Harvard University suggested that without a tripling of our daily average testing in the US to 500,000 to 700,000 per day (currently at 146,000 per day in April), the infection percentage of population will be at a dangerously high ratio.  The World Health Organization recommends a maximum COVID-19 positive rate of 10 percent.
The federal government has enormous powers to order businesses to manufacture goods and supplies that are critical to our public health landscape at this time. It also has an opportunity to work with states, including Pennsylvania, to guide resources where they are needed. 
Now is the time to make sound decisions based on data. Lives are literally at stake. I hope you will join me in sending a strong message to the President that economic decisions need to be accompanied by and done in concert with quantifiable public health data.

Introduced as SR326