EUGENE, Ore -- Representative Peter DeFazio is working with the Biden administration to pass a large stimulus package.
According to DeFazio, the Trump administration failed to provide enough financial assistance for states to effectively increase their testing capabilities. He says that’s all about to change under the new administration.
“We’re going to get a lot of money down to the states to help them with this effort, DeFazio said. “We’ve got to get this thing under control. We’ve got to get people back to work and the economy moving again.”
DeFazio toured the University of Oregon’s Monitoring and Assessment Program lab today to learn how additional funds could expand the lab’s test processing capabilities.
The lab, located at the Phil & Penny Knight Campus, is home to Lane County’s largest testing program with approximately 4,000 tests processed every week. It has helped increase the state’s testing capacity to around 17,000 every day.
The university received more than $4 million in federal relief last spring to help speed up statewide testing efforts.
With new, more contagious COVID-19 variants spreading in the United States, DeFazio says increasing testing efficiency at similar labs around the country is critical right now in order to study variants and strengthen vaccines accordingly.
“They will be able to instruct from that sequencing how we might modify the vaccines in the future to deal with new threats from these mutating viruses,” DeFazio said.