Mayor Durkan Leads Nearly 80 Mayors Calling on Trump Administration to Make Full Use of the Defense Production Act to Scale-up Critically-Needed Testing Supplies

Seattle (July 23, 2020) – With a critical component of testing in short supply which is leading to longer wait times for testing, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and 77 Mayors across the country sent a letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force calling on the Trump Administration to make full use of the Defense Production Act to rapidly scale up critically needed testing supplies – highlighting specifically the need for reagents, the key ingredient used to complete wide-spread testing, reliably, and expeditiously to help contain the virus. In some cases in Washington State, there are now reported delays of up to 7 to 10 days.  

“Back in early March, I sounded the alarms on testing. Months later, we need to sound the alarm again. As the virus surges across the entire country, we know that supply chains are at capacity.  By refusing to act, we will continue to not have the capacity needed for widespread and rapid testing. Testing saves lives,” said Mayor Durkan. “We have asked so much from our communities from Stay Home orders to wearing face coverings to socially distancing from family and friends – a requirement that goes against every fiber of our being in times of crisis. Just as we’ve asked much of our communities, we need our federal government to step up and harness the ingenuity and innovation of American companies to provide the supplies needed to save lives.” 

Studies reveal that communities should be prepared to expect waves of the virus over the next two years, even if a vaccine is developed. Testing, with a quick return of results and in tandem with robust contact tracing efforts, are the key ways to track COVID-19 in the community and isolate those who are sick to reduce exposure risk and contain the virus. As we move towards fall, differentiating between COVID-19 and the seasonal flu will continue to have life and death repercussions without the testing resources we need.  

This week, congressional leaders led by Senator Patty Murray, sent a letter to the White House questioning why up to $8 billion in testing funding allocated in April sits unspent. 

You can read the full text of the letter and list of signers here

Since the start of the pandemic, Mayor Durkan and the City of Seattle have implemented a series of programs that support artists, nonprofits, small businesses, workers, and our most vulnerable including:    

The City has also created a comprehensive resource page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.