House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Saturday that they would not accept the Trump administration’s offer to send members of Congress quick Abbott tests for COVID-19.
“Congress is grateful for the Administration’s generous offer to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities to Capitol Hill, but we respectfully decline the offer at this time,” Pelosi and McConnell said in a joint statement. “Our country’s testing capacities are continuing to scale up nationwide and Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly.”
The two congressional leaders said lawmakers on the Hill would continue to use current testing procedures “until these speedier technologies become more widely available.”
Earlier on Saturday, President Donald Trump bragged about “tremendous” opportunities for Congress to take tests for the virus.
“There is tremendous CoronaVirus testing capacity in Washington for the Senators returning to Capital [sic] Hill on Monday. Likewise the House, which should return but isn’t because of Crazy Nancy P,” he tweeted. “The 5 minute Abbott Test will be used.”
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar had announced the previous day that the administration would send Abbott tests to the Senate.