Coronavirus response to take priority in NDAA, Rep. Adam Smith says

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Ramping up production of testing materials for COVID-19 will be a top priority for this year’s annual defense policy bill, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday.

Widespread testing will play a major role in getting people back to work, Washington Democrat Adam Smith told reporters during a press call. And some components of testing, like swabs, are already in short supply.

The Defense Department, Smith said, has a lot of experience and expertise in logistics and contracting and could lead government efforts to ensure the availability of extensive testing. And Smith wants to use his committee’s bill to push the Pentagon to drive that effort.

[Democrats ‘got completely rolled’ in NDAA talks, critics say]

“It’s going to require a massive amount of testing before we can safely allow people to go back to work,” he said. Knowing who has COVID-19 — and, crucially, who might have developed immunity — will allow informed decisions about keeping people safe.


Andrew Clevenger

2020-04-07 16:08:24

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