More coronavirus testing supplies sought

Inslee and Pence
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee meets Vice President Mike Pence’s handshake with an “elbow bump” during a March news conference at Camp Murray, Wash. (C-Span Video)

In a strongly worded letter, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Vice President Mike Pence today that the state has “nowhere near” the coronavirus testing capability needed to begin initiating pandemic recovery plans.

Inslee requested federal assistance to boost that capability through a robust national testing system.

The governor said state officials have been trying to procure the supplies for 2.5 million sample collection kits — including swabs, viral transport media and reagents. “We are nowhere near that today,” he wrote.

Charissa Fotinos, deputy chief medical officer at the Washington State Health Care Authority, told journalists during a follow-up teleconference that “we should have, by early next week, 30,000 kits that can be deployed across the state.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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