Statement attributable to:
Carmen L. Wiley, PhD
President, American Association for Clinical Chemistry
“AACC applauds the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for passing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This legislation will provide essential support to a healthcare system that has been stretched thin by the coronavirus outbreak and will ensure that all patients continue to get the care they need. In particular, we commend Congress for responding to the concerns of the clinical laboratory community and including $25 billion in this legislation that is broadly marked for expanding the nation’s coronavirus testing capacity. Last week, the White House released guidelines for reopening the U.S. that are heavily reliant on extensive COVID-19 testing. However, AACC’s members—who are laboratory experts on the frontlines—are still facing substantial obstacles to performing these tests. The most significant of these obstacles include shortages of sample collection and test components, as well as personal protective equipment, known as PPE. In light of these barriers to maximizing testing capacity, AACC sent a letter to the Coronavirus Task Force urging the Task Force and White House to alleviate problems with the supply chain, and to find and coordinate resources so that physicians, nurses, laboratory professionals, and other healthcare workers can do their jobs.
“We would like to thank Congress now for taking these needs into account and including funding in the bill for labs to research, develop, manufacture, purchase, and expand overall capacity for COVID-19 tests; to increase the workforce needed to perform these tests; and to scale up to conduct surveillance and contact tracing of COVID-19. These resources are a crucial first step toward enabling labs to maximize their COVID-19 testing capabilities, which in turn is key to flattening the curve of the outbreak and achieving the eventual goal of easing social distancing measures. We now urge the President to move swiftly to sign the bill and enact it into law.”
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.