N.J. just got $613M from feds to expand coronavirus testing, which is key to reopening economy
The funds were included in recently passed legislation that also provided $310 billion more for the small business paycheck protection program, and were added by congressional Democrats over Republican objections.
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the figures on Wednesday.
“We cannot successfully defeat this virus and safely reopen our economy without increased testing for COVID-19," said Pallone, D-6th Dist. "This funding will help New Jersey increase testing capacity as we work together to lower transmission rates.”
In a recent Pew Research Center poll, 61% said it was a federal government responsibility to ensure there was enough testing, with 37% saying the burden should fall on the states.
The allocation came as Murphy on Tuesday talked about the ongoing efforts to ramp up testing for the coronavirus in the state, which has the second largest number of cases in the country.
“More testing means more people will know their health status, and that means more peace of mind,” Murphy said at his daily coronavirus press conference. “And more testing creates more data, and more data allows us to take more steps forward.”
Murphy said the state would be testing at least 20,000 people a day by the end of May, and at least 25,000 people a day by the end of June.
The $3 trillion stimulus bill introduced by House Democrats Tuesday includes another $75 billion for testing.