U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i) today announced that Hawai’i will receive at least $21.3 million in new federal funding to support the state’s testing capacity, including for the research, development, validation, manufacturing, purchasing, and administration of tests and testing supplies.
“The only way we can begin to reopen our economy is by ramping up testing,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This new federal funding will give Hawai’i additional resources to test more people for COVID-19, conduct contact tracing, and help stop the spread in our state.”
Hawai’i will receive at least $16.3 million specifically for testing through the new $500 billion coronavirus relief package passed by the Senate on Tuesday. The bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives later today.
Hawai’i is also receiving $5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This funding was provided by the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in March.
A report called Crush the Curve issued by the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center stressed that additional testing is key to understanding and managing the COVID-19 outbreak and giving government and health officials the information they need to make decisions about reopening the economy. New West Broadcasting’s Sherry Bracken recorded a 45-minute interview with its lead author, Dr. Robert Perkinson, in which he explains the steps needed, and is available by clicking here.