Sinema highlights Arizona’s lack of testing and urges tests be distributed based on per capita population statistics
PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema urged FEMA to increase the distribution of coronavirus tests to states based on population. Sinema highlighted Arizona’s lack of testing and argued that if FEMA distributes tests based on confirmed coronavirus cases, many states with low testing numbers will never receive adequate resources to safely reopen their economies.
“Adequate testing is critical to reopening our economy, getting Arizonans back to work, and ensuring the health and safety of all Arizonans. FEMA must distribute coronavirus tests based on population, rather than confirmed coronavirus cases, so all states have access to needed testing now,” said Sinema.
Arizona is among the bottom ten states in testing nationwide, when measured in tests per million residents. Sinema argued that if FEMA distributes federal resources based solely on confirmed COVID-19 numbers, Arizona will never receive an equitable share of funding, tests, PPE, and other critical assistance. Sinema has been holding weekly calls with Arizona mayors and county leaders whose economies are suffering due to the coronavirus outbreak. Arizona cannot safely reopen unless wide-spread community testing is implemented.
The recent Congressionally-approved coronavirus relief package includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion for smaller, disadvantaged businesses, $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants, $75 billion for health care providers, and $25 billion for testing, including $11 billion directly to states. Sinema also worked to include in the bill additional funding for testing and a national strategic testing plan outlining the assistance that will be provided to states for testing and increasing testing capacity.
Earlier this week, Sinema secured 7,500 masks and 7,500 acrylic shields for the Professional Firefighters of Arizona through the IRONMAN Foundation’s Operation IRONAID Face Masks in partnership with Framebridge.
Sinema also recently facilitated a donation of personal protective equipment from General Dynamics to the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers through Protect AZ, an Arizona non-profit connecting front-line health care workers to critical medical equipment during the coronavirus outbreak. Sinema also led the Arizona Congressional delegation in urging the President to grant a Major Disaster Declaration for Arizona, allowing Arizona to access more public safety resources to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.
Click HERE for Sinema’s letter.