As senators return to Capitol Hill from an extended recess due to the virus outbreak, they will be supplied with rapid COVID-19 tests, according to President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services chief Alex Azar.
Trump said in a tweet Saturday that there was “tremendous” testing capacity for senators returning to work on Monday, adding that a rapid test developed by Abbott would be used.
Azar said in a tweet of his own that the administration will supply lawmakers with both tests and three rapid-result testing machines.
“Good news: as the Senate reconvenes to do important work for the American people during this public health crisis, we have now received an initial request and are sending three Abbott point of care testing machines and 1,000 tests for their use,” Azar said in a tweet late Friday.
The Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late March. It runs on a portable device the size of a toaster and the company says the process can deliver “positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.”
“Because of its small size, it can be used in more non-traditional places where people can have their results in a matter of minutes, bringing an alternate testing technology to combat the novel coronavirus,” Abbott said in a statement.
Trump added in his tweet, “Please inform Dr. Brian P. Monahan,” the Capitols attending physician. According to multiple reports, Monahan told Republican officials he didnt have the capacity to test all 100 senators when they return to work after the long absence. Monahan reportedly said he lacked the equipment to perform rapid COVID-19 tests. Azars announcement of the expected delivery of the Abbott testing machines suggests that may no longer be a constraint.
In his tweet, Trump also suggested there were enough tests to accommodate members of the House, “which should return but isnt because of Crazy Nancy P,” referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The House was initially due to return on Monday, the same as the Senate, but Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) decided to halt these plans after consulRead More From Source