Evans Urges Universal Mandatory Testing

April 30, 2020
Press Release
Calls on Trump to Use Defense Production Act to Get Testing Supplies Produced

PHILADELPHIA (April 30, 2020) – Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) today called for universal mandatory Covid-19 testing and for President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to have manufacturers produce the necessary testing supplies.

Evans is a member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Medicare and much of the U.S. health-care system, along with handling legislation relating to taxes, trade and Social Security.

“We have to get as serious as possible about making it safe for workers and customers to come back! Any state can say ‘we’re reopened’ but if workers aren’t protected or customers don’t feel safe, it’s not enough. The president showed he is willing to use the Defense Production Act to keep meat in the grocery stores – universal testing is far more important,” Evans said.

“And if we need to add funding for testing beyond the $25 billion we passed last week, we should do that. Spending a comparatively small amount up front can save us a lot later, in terms of lives as well as health-care costs and economic damage.”

Evans noted the concept of universal mandatory testing also has support from a former Clinton administration official, Robert Shapiro, chair of Sonecon.

Evans said, “The idea of universal mandatory testing would be a good complement to the proposed Essential Workers Bill of Rights, which I support. I signed a joint House-Senate letter in support of that proposal this week.”

Evans voted last week for legislation, quickly signed into law, that provides $25 billion in federal funding for testing. After that bill passed, Evans sent a letter urging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to include the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium in Philadelphia as part of a coordinated city and state strategy to reach the highly vulnerable African American community.

Evans said he also supports a $46 billion plan unveiled by bipartisan health leaders that would help with safe reopening of the economy by providing funding for states to find people who have been exposed to the coronavirus, and to offer resources to infected and exposed people who want to self-isolate.

Evans also expressed support for a concept that most Senate Democrats and several House Democrats are introducing as legislation, federalizing the supply chain for testing supplies and other critical medical supplies such as personal protective equipment.

“The bottom line is we have to get as serious as possible about this,” Evans said.

To keep up with news and government actions about the outbreak, Evans invites constituents to follow his updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, @RepDwightEvans, including his Facebook and Instagram Stories. They can also sign up for his e-newsletter at evans.house.gov. Evans’ office is continuing to provide service to constituents by telephone or email; the Philadelphia office number is 215-276-0340.

Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, Southwest and Center City Philadelphia.