Alexander Statement on COVID-19 Testing for Members of Congress

Posted on May 5, 2020

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2020 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement:

“With the increasing number of diagnostic tests available, I expect attitudes to change quickly about accepting the president’s offer to test members of Congress for COVID-19, especially as the House of Representatives comes back to work. From a public health point of view, this is not mostly about protecting members of Congress. It is about protecting the people members might infect. Bringing 100 or 535 members from across the country to Washington, D.C.—a coronavirus hotspot—and then sending them home each weekend creates a highly efficient virus spreading machine. You would have to hire an army of public health workers to track and test all of those people that members of Congress might infect, not to mention their staffs and other Capitol workers. The country will soon be able to test two million Americans each week. This is enough to test 535 members of Congress each week before they go home to make sure they don’t spread the disease from a virus hotspot into every section of the country.”

Alexander serves as chairman of the Senate’s health committee.