WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eighth DistrictCongresswoman Kim Schrier got a chance to question the nation’s top infectious disease doctor yesterday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci sat for questions with the House Oversight and Investigations committee. Schrier, who’s also a pediatrician, asked Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about increasing the availability and safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and the need for more rapid testing to control the coronavirus.
“If COVID is going to be with us for a while, vaccination is critical,” Schrier said in the hearing, “but I also believe we need a much greater ability to test asymptomatic people, test them early, catch them early, and prevent outbreaks that could land us right back in the same situation.”
Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that not only did he agree with Rep. Schrier about increasing the availability of rapid tests, he has been saying we needed to “flood the system” with inexpensive rapid tests for months. Fauci and Walensky said more guidance to facilitate increased inexpensive at-home rapid tests was coming “imminently.”
Schrier has been encouraging federal officials to increase inexpensive, rapid at-home tests that would allow safe reopening of schools and the economy. Last month she announced a rapid testing pilot program partnership between Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington school districts, and was a signatory to a letter pushing the FDA to research rapid antigen tests to identify the most effective ones, for large-scale manufacturing.
On Tuesday, the FDA announced it was developing steps to streamline an approval path for COVID-19 screening tools, something Schrier has advocated since last September.
View video of the full exchange between Schrier, Feuci and Walensky at this link.