MADISON, WI – Democratic Wisconsin Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02), Gwenn Moore (WI-04), and Ron Kind (WI-03) sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) questioning why Wisconsin has received none of the testing materials it requested on March 28 and 29—specifically testing kits, test collection swabs, and reagents. It has additionally received an inadequate amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—including 50% fewer N95 respirators than expected.
FEMA’s failure to provide Wisconsin with adequate testing materials comes at the same time that President Trump has said expanding testing capacity is up to state governors. Wisconsin has gone through the proper supply chains and that is still not enough to meet the state’s testing needs. Our state’s labs are expanding capacity, but cannot implement the amount of testing we need to safely re-open the state without the necessary supplies FEMA is withholding.
The Trump administration is turning its back on Wisconsinites while the President blames state governors for his failures—rather than getting us the supplies we need,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “The federal response has been woefully inadequate to the needs of our state. We need FEMA to step up. Nationwide, we are failing to test people for this deadly virus quick enough. Wisconsin labs are attempting to ramp up capacity and serve the people of our state, but cannot do so without the testing supplies the federal government to provide. States like Wisconsin are doing everything in their power to fight this pandemic, but the federal government’s failures are threatening us all.”
“The lack of crucial supplies needed to fight COVID-19 is straining hospitals and putting Wisconsinites and health care workers at risk,” said Rep. Gwen Moore. “Wisconsin needs more federal support during this pandemic, which is why I’m joining my colleagues in this effort to secure more testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.”
“Health care organizations across Wisconsin are doing everything they can to acquire the personal protective equipment and testing supplies needed to treat patients and prepare for additional cases of COVID-19, but we need the federal government to step up and do its part,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “It is unacceptable that three weeks after Governor Evers submitted a request to FEMA for supplies, our state has only received a small portion of needed supplies and hasn’t been informed of when the additional supplies can be expected to arrive.”