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RALEIGH, NC — Cal Cunningham today reiterated the need for the speedy delivery of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 to North Carolina from the CDC, echoing Governor Roy Cooper’s calls for additional kits. Helping states test for cases of COVID-19 and accurately diagnose the infected is key to having accurate data about where it is spreading and how it will spread in order to aid prevention efforts.
“In the Army, you learn to assess threats, make a plan, and marshal the resources to carry out an objective. Our country would benefit from, and North Carolinians are looking for, that leadership at the federal level in light of this growing public health threat,” said Cal Cunningham. “It is incumbent on our representatives in Washington to press this Administration for a clear plan and ensure North Carolina is supplied with the test kits it needs.”
In addition to the need for more tests in North Carolina, Cal believes it is important to prioritize the following at the federal level:
ACCESS TO FREE TESTING AND AFFORDABLE TREATMENT: We know that this situation is made worse by the lack of individuals with health insurance. That is why, in the long term, it is critical to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, including by adding a public option and by North Carolina expanding Medicaid to cover an additional 600,000 residents. In the immediate term, Cal supports making testing free and ensuring that cost is not a barrier to treatment for anyone who becomes infected.
EMERGENCY READINESS, INCLUDING FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS: We also need to ensure our response meets demands — that means making sure not only that our emergency response facilities are prepared to take on surges in demand, but also that workers on the frontlines and first responders have the protective equipment to stay healthy themselves.
EMERGENCY SICK LEAVE: As people are encouraged to stay home when they feel sick, Cal believes we ought to make sure they have the ability to do so, without being punished. Many workers, particularly hourly wage earners, do not have the ability to telecommute, and do not have paid sick leave. That means emergency paid sick and family leave for those who feel sick or may be impacted by quarantine.