NEW YORK – The College of American Pathologists sent a letter Wednesday to the House Energy and Commerce Committee expressing support for its COVID-19 relief package, which includes $46 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing.
The $46 billion would also be used to implement a testing strategy supporting investments in laboratory capacity. CAP President Patrick Godbey wrote in the letter that the funds should be used "for a broad range of tests, including SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid tests, for a variety of communities and practice settings," such as academic medical centers and small community hospitals.
Godbey added that CAP supports the use of the $46 billion to invest in lab capacity to "develop, manufacture, procure, and distribute" tests, personal protective equipment, and other necessary supplies.
In addition, CAP said it supports the proposed $1.75 billion in funding for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to genomic sequencing but added that the sequencing should be done broadly, in academic medical centers and other facilities, to increase viral sequencing and genomic surveillance.
Godbey also wrote that the organization supports the $500 million proposed to the CDC to expand data surveillance infrastructure and modernize the disease warning system, as well as the $750 million to support the agency's efforts to combat SARS-CoV-2 across the world.
The House's plan includes $7.6 billion to the US Department for Health and Human Services to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce, which CAP supports and said should include medical examiners. It also includes $7.5 billion to the CDC for vaccine outreach and supply chain improvements.