News Releases

ABC: Washington State senator 'frustrated' residents can't get tested for new coronavirus 

Spokesman-Review: ‘Way behind the 8-ball’: Sen. Murray decries COVID-19 testing lag time, shortage as virus spreads 

The Stranger: Patty Murray Grills Trump Administration Over Seattle’s Coronavirus Outbreak: “This Is A Really Frightening Time” 

Washington Times: Sen. Patty Murray: Lack of prep, direction on coronavirus is 'completely unacceptable'

(Washington, D.C.) – This week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray has been working to hold the Trump Administration accountable for its chaotic and delayed response to the novel coronavirus and pushing to get state and local health departments in Washington state and across the country the resources they need as quickly as possible.

In a hearing with public health officials, she expressed the frustration she is hearing from people in her state unable to get tests, and she also sent letters to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia pressing them on how they are preparing for the spread of coronavirus and to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar about how President Trump’s health care sabotage undermines our preparedness for outbreaks like this. Senator Murray is also pushing for a robust emergency supplemental funding package that goes far beyond President Trump’s totally inadequate request.

Excerpts of the coverage of Senator Murray’s recent efforts below.

“At a congressional hearing Tuesday reviewing the U.S. response to the COVID-19 crisis, Washington Sen. Patty Murray expressed strong frustration to federal health officials over what she said was a lack of testing in her home state where at least six people have died. ‘I’m hearing from people that are sick and want to get tested they do not know where to go,’ Murray said in her opening statement.” [ABC News, 03/03/20]

“Food and Drug Administration officials told Murray and other members of Congress that they are working with private companies to catch up by developing and sending out 2,500 test kits, each with 500 tests, by the end of the week... Murray isn’t buying that number, however. ‘I have not seen any evidence that that is real, nor did they provide any information to make me more secure about that – that’s what concerns me,’ Washington’s senior senator told The Spokesman-Review.” [S-R, 03/03/20]

“Sen. Patty Murray criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the spreading coronavirus Tuesday morning, using a Senate hearing to criticize the federal government’s response to the deadly virus. The administration has had months to prepare for this and… if someone in the White House is actually in charge of responding to this crisis it would be news to anyone in my state,’ Murray said. ‘This is really a frightening time. At least six people in my home state have already died from the virus and I’m told we should expect more.’” [The Stranger, 03/03/20]

“Sen. Patty Murray, whose home state of Washington has seen nine deaths from the virus, was similarly blunt. ‘We know there are not enough tests out there,’ she said. ‘People cannot get access to them’ Murray is tired of waiting. She blasted the administration’s handling of the situation, telling federal health officials Tuesday that it’s ‘unacceptable’ Americans are having trouble getting tested.” [Politico, 3/3/20]

“‘The failure to develop and distribute working test kits to public health agencies has really cost us valuable time,’ Murray said afterward. ‘I’m hearing from people personally across our state who are frustrated. They believe they have been exposed, they are sick, they want to get tested — but they have nowhere to go.’ [Politico, 03/03/20]

“The state’s other senator, Patty Murray, said she had been hearing from constituents who were desperately calling ‘every number they can find’ for information, and cannot get through. ‘I think there’s a lot of concern about honest, accurate reflection of what is real when you have something like this happening,’ Ms. Murray said. She criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to play down the effects of the virus. ‘What I really feel strongly about is, we do not need Mick Mulvaney telling people don’t watch TV,’ she added, referring to remarks made by the acting White House chief of staff. ‘We do not need the president saying this is fear mongering.’” [NYT, 03/03/20]

“‘The most important thing we can do right now is pass a strong emergency supplemental as quickly as possible, so that our federal and state and local health officials have all of the resources they need. This is truly a serious crisis, and we cannot respond on the cheap or at the last minute,’ said Democrat Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, whose state has had nine deaths.” [AP, 03/03/20]

“‘We need the questions to be honest, it can't be 'well, we're going to, we're going to' – that's not what families hear right now,’ said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee. ‘They hear, 'We will not have a test for three months, and therefore we need you to do this.' We're asking for honesty.’” [CNN 03/30/20]

CNN Host:  

This is just coming in from Washington, Senator from Washington Patty Murray. There’s a hearing going on, senate hearing going on the coronavirus and Senator Murray had some very strong words to say regarding the concern over the concern of this virus. She said that people in the state, and these are her words, are ‘I’m hearing from people who are sick. Who want to get tested, are being told, or not being told where to go. I’m hearing that even when people get tested, and it is very few so far, that results are taking way longer to get back to them. It is unacceptable that people in my state and nationwide can't even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected.’ She says folks are really scared. Is that what is happening?”

King County Executive Dow Constantine:

I talked with Senator Murray yesterday and she's doing great work for us in Washington, D.C. on this.” [CNN, 03/03/03]

See below for a full round up of coverage.

TV and Radio Coverage

“Senator Patty Murray is leading the fight to get more federal funding to battle the Coronavirus” [KING, 03/03/20]

“After an inadequate supplemental funding request from the Trump Administration, Senator Murray is now pushing for sufficient emergency federal funds to combat the virus” [Q13, 03/03/20]

“Senator Murray also touched on the fact that she doesn’t feel the Trump Administration understands the seriousness of this outbreak” [KIRO, 03/03/20]

“Senator Patty Murray focused on the availability of tests in our area to diagnose COVID-19” [KOMO, 03/03/20]

“Senator Murray says she fears low-income workers and those without health insurance will keep working even when they’re sick” [KOIN, 03/03/20]

“At the hearing, Senator Murray said that if someone one in the White House is actually in charge of responding to this crisis it would quote, ‘be news to anyone in Washington state’” [KAPP, 03/03/20]

“Senator Murray is the top Democrat on the [health] committee, and showed that she is deeply concerned with the situation unfolding right here in the state.” [KIMA, 03/04/20]

Senator Murray: “I am pressing everyone at ever one of the agencies, from FDA, to NIH, to CDC, to move quicker than they have to get the tests out to our communities” [KNKX, 03/04/20]

Senator Murray: “I am hearing from people personally across our state who are frustrated. They believe they have been exposed. They are sick. They want to get tested. They have nowhere to go.” [CNN, 03/04/20]

Print Coverage

The Washington Times: Sen. Patty Murray: Lack of prep, direction on coronavirus is 'completely unacceptable'

“Sen. Patty Murray of Washington on Tuesday said her constituents are seeing delays and confusion in getting tested for coronavirus and that if anyone is in charge at the White House, it ‘would be news to anyone in my state.’

“‘And that is completely unacceptable,’ Mrs. Murray, a Democrat, told administration officials before the Senate Health Committee.

‘This is really a frightening time,’ she added. ‘At least six people have already died in my state. I’m told we should expect more.’

‘The administration has had months to prepare for this,’ she said.” [The Washington Times, 03/03/20]

ABC: Washington State senator 'frustrated' residents can't get tested for new coronavirus

“At a congressional hearing Tuesday reviewing the U.S. response to the COVID-19 crisis, Washington Sen. Patty Murray expressed strong frustration to federal health officials over what she said was a lack of testing in her home state where at least six people have died.

“‘I’m hearing from people that are sick and want to get tested they do not know where to go,’ Murray said in her opening statement, speaking to officials from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.”  [ABC News, 03/03/20]

Spokesman-Review: ‘Way behind the 8-ball’: Sen. Murray decries COVID-19 testing lag time, shortage as virus spreads

“Or as Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a congressional hearing Tuesday, ‘We are now seeing community transmission of this virus; families deserve to know when testing will actually be ready to scale up.’

“Food and Drug Administration officials told Murray and other members of Congress that they are working with private companies to catch up by developing and sending out 2,500 test kits, each with 500 tests, by the end of the week.

“‘That should give us the capacity, in the hands of laboratories, once they validate, to perform up to a million tests,’ Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday.

“Murray isn’t buying that number, however.

“‘I have not seen any evidence that that is real, nor did they provide any information to make me more secure about that – that’s what concerns me,’ Washington’s senior senator told The Spokesman-Review.”

“Sen. Murray wants the CDC to make testing more widely available and faster, but Dr. Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledged on Tuesday that rapid walk-in style testing in doctor’s offices is still months away.

“Without testing for more people with symptoms, regardless of the severity of those symptoms, decision-making gets tough, Murray said.

“‘If you are a parent or a business owner trying to make decisions – unless you have the facts to know how many people have it and are impacted – it’s impossible to make a decision,’ Murray said.”

“While local and state health departments implement testing, quarantines and monitoring, Congress is considering a bill to help fund local response and research for treatment for the COVID-19 outbreak. Murray said she would like to see the bipartisan supplemental funding passed by the end of the week.” [S-R, 03/03/20]

The Stranger: Patty Murray Grills Trump Administration Over Seattle’s Coronavirus Outbreak: “This Is A Really Frightening Time”

“Sen. Patty Murray criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the spreading coronavirus Tuesday morning, using a Senate hearing to criticize the federal government’s response to the deadly virus.

“‘The administration has had months to prepare for this and…if someone in the White House is actually in charge of responding to this crisis it would be news to anyone in my state,’ Murray said. ‘This is really a frightening time. At least six people in my home state have already died from the virus and I’m told we should expect more.’” [The Stranger, 03/03/20]

Politico: Widespread coronavirus testing could still be weeks away

“Sen. Patty Murray, whose home state of Washington has seen nine deaths from the virus, was similarly blunt. ‘We know there are not enough tests out there,’ she said. ‘People cannot get access to them.’”

“Murray is tired of waiting. She blasted the administration’s handling of the situation, telling federal health officials Tuesday that it’s ‘unacceptable’ Americans are having trouble getting tested. In some cases, she said during a Senate HELP Committee hearing, they have reportedly been turned away when they seek clarity on whether they've been infected.

“‘The administration has had months to prepare for this, Murray said. ‘We are now seeing community transmission of this virus. Families deserve to know — and fast — when testing will actually be ready to scale up.’

“Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) also pressed for a faster increase in screenings, telling administration officials that ‘there need to be more test kits available.’

“Hahn reiterated his estimate that materials for 1 million tests would be available by the end of the week — emphasizing that the number includes commercial tests still under development.

“Under questioning from Murray, he denied that HHS delayed issuing guidance allowing private labs to use their own coronavirus tests.” [Politico, 3/3/20]

CNN: King County Executive Dow Constantine on Coronavirus (TV)

Host: “This is just coming in from Washington, Senator from Washington Patty Murray. There’s a hearing going on, senate hearing going on the coronavirus and Senator Murray had some very strong words to say regarding the concern over the concern of this virus. She said that people in the state, and these are her words, are ‘I’m hearing from people who are sick. Who want to get tested, are being told, or not being told where to go. I’m hearing that even when people get tested, and it is very few so far, that results are taking way longer to get back to them. It is unacceptable that people in my state and nationwide can't even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected.’ She says folks are really scared. Is that what is happening?”

King County Executive Dow Constantine: “I talked with Senator Murray yesterday and she's doing great work for us in Washington, D.C. on this. The CDC had very narrow criteria about who could be tested, and originally the kits the state received from the federal government were faulty. Now we’re expanding to do local testing at the state labs, at the University of Washington. We are in the next couple of days going to have dramatically increased capacity to test suspected cases of coronavirus.” [CNN, 03/03/03]

CNN: Feds sending health experts to Washington hospital where 6 coronavirus patients have died

“As a Washington congresswoman warns her constituents are scared, federal health experts are being deployed to a Kirkland hospital where six coronavirus patients have died, a top health official said Tuesday.”

“The situation has residents frightened, US Sen. Patty Murray said during the Senate hearing, expressing concerns about testing protocol and the length of time it takes to get results. ‘I'm hearing from people who are sick, who want to get tested, (who) are not being told where to go,’ she said. ‘I'm hearing that even when people do get tested -- and it's very few so far -- that results are taking way longer to get back to them.’” [CNN, 03/03/20]

CNN: Pence: 'Any American can be tested' for coronavirus

“On Capitol Hill, Pence and his coronavirus response team briefed Republicans and Democrats behind closed doors about the response to the virus, but Democrats left the briefing expressing alarm that the Trump administration was unprepared.

“‘We need the questions to be honest, it can't be 'well, we're going to, we're going to' -- that's not what families hear right now,’ said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee. ‘They hear, 'We will not have a test for three months, and therefore we need you to do this.' We're asking for honesty.’” [CNN 03/30/20]

The New York Times: Any American Can Now Be Tested for the Coronavirus, Pence Says

“The state’s other senator, Patty Murray, said she had been hearing from constituents who were desperately calling ‘every number they can find’ for information, and cannot get through.

“‘I think there’s a lot of concern about honest, accurate reflection of what is real when you have something like this happening,’ Ms. Murray said.

She criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to play down the effects of the virus.

“‘What I really feel strongly about is, we do not need Mick Mulvaney telling people don’t watch TV,’ she added, referring to remarks made by the acting White House chief of staff. ‘We do not need the president saying this is fear mongering.’” [NYT, 03/03/20]

CNBC: Coronavirus live updates: US death toll rises to 9, North Carolina confirms state’s first case

“The first federal facility in the U.S. was closed due to the coronavirus, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said at a Senate hearing on the outbreak. ‘Since we have been in this room, in this hearing since this started, we have now learned of the first full closure of a federal facility due to this virus,’ she said. ‘It’s a DHS center in Tukwila, Washington in my home state.’” [CNBC, 03/03/20]

My Columbia River Basin: Murray questions fed’s COVID-19 response

“U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) expressed concerns Tuesday at a Senate committee hearing on novel coronavirus and the federal government’s response. Speaking to officials from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, Murray said in her opening statement she’s hearing from people that are sick and want to get tested but do not know where to go.

“She said there is a lack of testing in Washington, her home state, where six people have died. Murray said the problem is the same across the country.

“‘It’s unacceptable that people in my state and nationwide can’t even get an answer to whether or not they are infected,’ she said. ‘To put it simply: if someone at the White House or in this administration is actually in charge of responding to the coronavirus, it’d be news to anybody in my state.’” [My Columbia River Basin, 03/04/20]

Politico: Coronavirus emergency bill stalled over vaccine cost concerns

“Lawmakers including Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington, where nine deaths have been confirmed, challenged Pence during the hourlong meeting, which became contentious at times, according to attendees.

“‘The failure to develop and distribute working test kits to public health agencies has really cost us valuable time,’ Murray said afterward. ‘I’m hearing from people personally across our state who are frustrated. They believe they have been exposed, they are sick, they want to get tested — but they have nowhere to go.’

“Roughly $900 million in the bill would go toward purchasing equipment including masks and ventilators. Murray said that officials told senators they had stockpiled masks, but that there were not enough.” [Politico, 03/03/20]

Washington Post: The U.S. health system is showing why it’s not ready for a coronavirus pandemic

“Despite weeks of preparations, health planners continue to fret about shortages of protective masks and gowns for hospital staff, as well as lifesaving mechanical respirators for patients with severe cases of the disease.

“‘We need masks, we need ventilators for our medical facilities, and we need it fast,’ U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington state, which has experienced the largest fatal outbreak in the country, said Tuesday. [WaPo, 03/04/20]

Bloomberg: Virus Tests and Transparency Are Main Concerns in U.S. Congress

“Senator Patty Murray, the panel’s top Democrat, said the administration’s response so far has been ‘unacceptable,’ with her state of Washington reporting six deaths this week.

‘Containing this is absolutely critical,’ Murray said. ‘Can the American people rely on you to be 100% transparent?’” [Bloomberg, 03/02/20]

Bloomberg Government: Senators Push Trump Officials on Virus; Preparedness Scrutinized

“Federal experts sought to reassure the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that their offices are working alongside the private sector to identify Americans infected and help treat the roughly 20% of cases that display severe symptoms. Top Democrat Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the response from the administration so far has been ‘unacceptable.’ Her state reported eight deaths this week, including two deaths announced today.  [Bloomberg Gov, 03/03/20]

Bloomberg Government: U.S. Health Officials Testify on Coronavirus: TOPLive Transcript

“Senator Murray said she’s hearing from people who are sick and want to get tested. This is going to be a major concern, mixing fear of the coronavirus with an ongoing flu season. Plenty of people who have the flu may think they have the virus. And there are probably also a decent number of people who do have the coronavirus, or are at risk, but haven’t been able to get tested. A lot of this would have been avoided if wider testing had been available early.”

“‘I urge the Senate to pass it very quickly,’ Murray says of the spending package. She says she’s glad Congress has gone beyond the $2.5 billion requested by the administration.”

“‘We can’t let conspiracies stoke panic’ or discrimination, Murray says. She says Congress needs to take steps to prevent bullying and harassment ‘motivated by fear.’”

“Murray says she will press Education Secretary Betsy DeVos later this week about how and when schools should close and what role the federal government will play in assisting state and local governments.” [Bloomberg Gov, 03/03/20]

The Washington Times: Congress nears deal on coronavirus response package as U.S. death toll increases

“Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, said the increase can’t come soon enough during a ‘frightening time’ in her state.

“‘The administration has had months to prepare for this, and it’s unacceptable that people in my state and nationwide can’t even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected,’ she said. [The Washington Times, 03/04/20]

CNBC: As coronavirus spreads, government races to solve a problem it doesn’t yet understand

“‘Do you really believe that one million tests will be available by the end of this week?’ Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn. Hahn had said in prepared remarks at the onset of the hearing that the administration would be able to achieve that objective.

“Murray, whose state has seen nine people die from the illness, is one of many lawmakers who blamed limited testing supplies on allowing the illness to proliferate.

“In response to Murray, Hahn later clarified he expects ‘up to a million tests.’ He walked the panel through what would need to happen to achieve that goal.” [CNBC, 03/03/20]

NBC: Coronavirus deaths in Washington rise to 9 as state ups outbreak response

“Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., heard about the uptick in the death toll while speaking at a Democratic policy luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday afternoon.

“‘I just was texted that two more people have been confirmed fatalities in King County in Washington state, just while we're standing here,’ Murray said. They brought the death toll to nine.

“‘This is truly a serious crisis,’ she added.” [NBC, 3/3/20]

Education Week: Schools Should 'Minimize Disruption' Over Coronavirus, CDC Official Says

“Schools might need to change how they operate in the face of the coronavirus, but should also resist significantly disrupting the lives of students and educators, a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told members of a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday.”

“Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the committee's top Democrat, indicated that she will be pressing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for more information about the U.S. Department of Education's response to the virus. Murray and several of her Democratic colleagues wrote a letter to DeVos on Monday asking for details about her department's response to the virus, how it was working with other federal officials, and other questions.” [Ed Week, 03/03/20]

Associated Press: Lawmakers close in on $7.5B measure to battle coronavirus

“Lawmakers are finalizing a $7.5 billion emergency bill to fund the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, even as fear is growing that the rapid spread of the virus is a shock to the economy and will lead to significant disruption in people’s everyday lives.”

“‘I am hearing personally from people across our state who are frustrated. They have been exposed. They are sick. They want to get tested. They have nowhere to go,’ said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., whose state is at the epicenter of the outbreak. ‘This is truly a serious crisis and we cannot respond on the cheap or at the last minute.’” [AP, 03/03/20]

Associated Press: In Congress, questions about overdue testing for coronavirus

“Lawmakers on Tuesday expressed skepticism that U.S. health officials will be able to meet their goal of significantly ramping up testing for the new coronavirus.

“Health officials have said U.S. labs should have the capacity to run as many as 1 million tests by the end of the week. But such testing has faced delays and missteps, and ‘I’m hearing from health professionals that’s unrealistic,’ said U.S. Sen Patty Murray, during a Senate hearing.” [AP, 03/03/20]

Associated Press: Tensions Rise as U.S. Death Toll From Coronavirus Reaches 7

“Tensions over how to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus intensified Tuesday in the United States as the death toll climbed to seven and lawmakers expressed doubts about the government's ability to ramp up testing fast enough to deal with the crisis.”

“But testing so far has faced delays and missteps, and ‘I'm hearing from health professions that's unrealistic,’ Democratic Sen Patty Murray of Washington state said at a Senate hearing.”

“‘The people across my state are really scared. I’m hearing from people who are sick, who want to get tested and don’t know where to go,’ Murray said. ‘It’s unacceptable that people in my state can’t even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected.’” [AP, 03/03/20]

Associated Press: The Fed makes emergency rate cut to offset the coronavirus impact, but will it work?

“The amount Congress is expected to approve is multiple times more than what the administration initially asked for, although still less than what some health policy experts have said was needed. Democrats have accused Trump of not moving quickly enough to respond to the spread of the virus.

“‘The most important thing we can do right now is pass a strong emergency supplemental as quickly as possible, so that our federal and state and local health officials have all of the resources they need. This is truly a serious crisis, and we cannot respond on the cheap or at the last minute,’ said Democrat Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, whose state has had nine deaths.” [AP, 03/03/20]

The New York Times: Estimates Fall Short of F.D.A’s Pledge for 1 Million Coronavirus Tests

“Does the United States really have the capacity to ramp up its efforts and produce one million coronavirus tests by the end of this week, as the head of the Food and Drug Administration promised on Monday during a White House briefing?”

“Dr. Hahn repeated the estimate in testimony Tuesday at a Senate committee hearing, where he told Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, that, although ‘this is a dynamic process,’  the federal government was working with private companies to ship about 2,500 test kits to labs by the end of the week.” [NYT, 03/03/20]

The New York Times: Waive Fees for Coronavirus Tests and Treatment, Health Experts Urge

“In a letter to be sent on Wednesday, Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and about three dozen of her colleagues expressed ‘serious concern that this Administration’s health care sabotage and absence of a plan to lower drug prices undermine our ability to respond’ to the coronavirus and other infectious disease outbreaks.

“‘When a patient who has potentially been exposed to the virus develops symptoms consistent with Covid-19, they should be able to seek appropriate medical care without being worried they cannot afford it,’ they said.” [NYT, 03/03/20]

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Response Plan Exposes Vulnerabilities in U.S. Health-Care System

“Congressional Democrats have been pushing the paid sick leave bill proposed by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Ms. Murray of Washington that would require employers with 15 or more workers to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave a year, and all the leading Democratic presidential candidates support a national paid sick leave requirement.” [WSJ, 03/04/20]

Washington Post: Every American can be tested for coronavirus, Pence promises

“Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington state led the questioning at the closed-door lunch, demanding to know when more test kits would become available.” [WaPo, 03/04/20]

Roll Call: Doubts remain about timetable for new coronavirus tests

“But some lawmakers at a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing — such as ranking member Patty Murray, D-Wash. — were skeptical.

“‘Frankly, I’m hearing from professionals that’s unrealistic,’ said Murray, who represents Washington state, the site of a coronavirus cluster at a facility that treats the elderly. Nine Washington residents have died, according to the Washington State Department of Health.”

“When pressed by senators such as Murray, Hahn declined to say how many people he expected to be tested this week.” [Roll Call, 03/03/20]

Salon: Coronavirus calls for a president — but Trump is just playing one on television

“From Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., there was a link between spread or worry about disease spread to the lack of Medicare for All, and notes that Trump has cut money for the CDC. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., pointed out the obvious, that we need more than tweets and reassuring remarks, and should be stockpiling whatever is medically needed.” [Salon, 03/04/20]

The Oregonian: Coronavirus in Seattle: Online petition calls for University of Washington closure to protect student health; 15,000 have signed

A change.org petition is calling for the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle to be closed because of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the city…The availability of coronavirus testing has been an issue in Washington state. “It’s only after a long, frustrating delay that we’re able to test patients,” Washington’s senior U.S. senator, Patty Murray, said this morning. [The Oregonian, 03/03/20]

MyNorthwest: What it takes to get tested for coronavirus in Washington

“Despite the increased presence of coronavirus in Washington state, many have been left with questions over how and when exactly to get tested… Similar stories made their way to Washington Sen. Patty Murray, who spoke Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Health Committee.

“‘The people across my state are really scared — I’m hearing from people who are sick, who want to get tested, and don’t know where to go,’ she described. ‘It’s unacceptable that people in my state can’t even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected.’”

“‘It’s only after a long frustrating delay that we’re able to test patients,’ said Sen. Murray, citing a lack of necessary resources to adequately deal with testing. ‘Resources are absolutely critical, but also were never envisioned to be sufficient to respond to a threat like this.’ [MyNorthwest, 03/03/20]

STAT: Washington State risks seeing explosion in coronavirus cases without dramatic action, new analysis says

“The coronavirus outbreak in the Seattle area is at a critical juncture and could see explosive growth in cases much like Wuhan, China, if public officials don’t take immediate, forceful measures, according to a new analysis of genetic data.”

“On Capitol Hill, Washington Sen. Patty Murray (D) expressed deep frustration with the situation. ‘The failure to develop and distribute working test kits to public health agencies has really cost us valuable time. I am hearing from people personally across our state who are frustrated,’ Murray said.

‘They believe they have been exposed, they are sick, they want to get tested, they have nowhere to go,’ she added. ‘People want to be safe and protected, they do not want to spread this, they want to take care of themselves but we don’t have the capability right now to do it with the policies we have in place.’” [STAT, 03/03/20]

MedPage Today: Senators Quiz Health Officials on Coronavirus Basics

“Access to testing was a hot topic at the hearing. Ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), whose state has seen deaths from novel coronavirus (nine as of March 3, 2020), said people aren't being told where to go for testing. For people in her state who have undergone testing for the virus, ‘the results are taking way longer to get back to them,’ she said.

“Murray said she'd heard that a million novel coronavirus tests will be available by the end of the week, but the experts called that timeline ‘unrealistic.’” [MedPage Today, 03/03/20]

The Hill: Senators press Pence over coronavirus response in private briefing

“Senators on Tuesday pressed Vice President Pence in a closed-door meeting over the administration’s response to coronavirus, particularly expressing concerns with a lack of testing.”

“In the Democratic lunch, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, who represent Washington state, which is at the center of the spread of the virus in the U.S., took a lead role in questioning Pence.”

“Murray also pressed officials at a hearing earlier on Tuesday.

‘I have people in my state who may have been exposed,’ she said. ‘They cannot get answers about where to go, and health officials are telling us that they fear that this virus has been circulating for weeks undetected. We need to get these tests out. People need to know answers.’” [The Hill, 03/03/20]

The Washington Post: U.S. reports 9th coronavirus death as the virus continues to spread; Fed cuts interest rate

“Washington State reported new deaths from coronavirus on Tuesday, raising the U.S. death toll from the virus to nine.”

“Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington state, which has had the only U.S. deaths so far from the virus, led the questioning in the closed-door lunch, multiple senators said.” [WaPo, 03/03/20]

NEWSWEEK: Coronavirus U.S. Outbreak Update As New Cases Confirmed In New York, California, North Carolina, New Hampshire And Washington

“Concerns have been raised over whether the government will be able to supply the country with nearly a million virus testing kits within days, as previously promised by health officials, the AP reported.

“‘I am hearing from people personally across our state who are frustrated,” Washington state senator Patty Murray said at a meeting with senior government officials, adding that the situation was ‘unacceptable’ and that ‘families deserve to know when testing is going to scale up," according to the AP.

"The failure to develop and distribute working test kits to public health agencies has really cost us valuable time,’ she said.” [Newsweek, 03/04/20]

Al Jazeera: US government under scrutiny over delays in coronavirus testing

But members of Congress expressed scepticism over the estimates.

"I'm hearing from health professionals that's unrealistic," Democratic Senator Patty Murray told Hahn during the hearing. [AJ, 03/03/20]

Capital News Service: As new cases are reported, senators question government’s coronavirus response

“Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington and the committee’s ranking member, expressed frustration with the lack of testing available in her home state, where six people have died from the virus and an outbreak has overtaken a nursing home.

“‘The administration has had months to prepare for this, and it is unacceptable that people in my state — and nationwide — can’t even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected,’ Murray said.” [Capital News Service, 03/03/20]

Voice of America: Fed Rate Cut Fails to Halt Stock Plunge Due to Coronavirus Fears

“Health professionals across the country have complained about a lack of adequate testing and missteps by federal authorities, including botching an initial diagnostic test and restricting widespread screening.

“‘I am hearing from people who are sick, who want to get tested, and don't know where to go,’ said U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from the state of Washington, the location of all nine domestic deaths from the disease.” [Voice of America, 03/03/20]

Newsmax: US Death Toll From Coronavirus Climbs to 9

“On Capitol Hill, lawmakers expressed skepticism about U.S. health officials' claims that testing for the new virus should be widely available by the end of the week. Authorities have said labs across the country should have the capacity to run as many as 1 million tests by then.

“But testing so far has faced delays and missteps, and ‘I'm hearing from health professions that's unrealistic,’ Democratic Sen Patty Murray of Washington state said at a Senate hearing.

“The chief of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn, said the FDA has been working with a private company to get as many as 2,500 test kits out to labs by the end of the week. Each kit should be able to allow a lab to run about 500 tests, he said. But health officials were careful about making hard promises.”

“But some people who want to be tested for the virus in the state are encountering confusion, a lack of testing options and other problems as health authorities scramble to deal with the crisis.

“‘The people across my state are really scared. I’m hearing from people who are sick, who want to get tested and don’t know where to go,’ Murray said. ‘It’s unacceptable that people in my state can’t even get an answer as to whether or not they are infected.’” [NewsMax, 03/03/20]

Courthouse News: Health Officials Debunk Trump Claims on Coronavirus

“Six U.S. patients have died from coronavirus, all in Senator Patty Murray’s home state of Washington.

“The Democrat called the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak unacceptable, and stressed that low income workers have been told to stay home if they are sick due to a shortage of test kits, many without guaranteed paid leave.

“‘To put it simply, if someone at the White House or in this administration is actually in charge of responding to the coronavirus virus it would be news to anybody in my state,” Murray said. [Courthouse News, 03/03/20]

The U.S. Sun: DEATH SPIRAL Coronavirus death toll rises to NINE in US with more than 100 others infected by deadly virus

“Senators gathered in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to discuss the response and next steps in response to the coronavirus.

“‘I'm very frustrated at the steps the President has taken from repeatedly contradicting experts' advice, to downplaying the seriousness of this threat, and to appointing a politician to lead the response,’ Senator Patty Murray from Washington said at the hearing.” [The U.S. Sun, 03/03/20]

Nexstar: Senators question health officials on coronavirus plans

“Health experts testified before a Senate committee Tuesday, laying out the latest facts on the coronavirus.

“The virus, which originated in China and has infected tens of thousands of people there, has now spread to nearly every continent. More than 100 cases have been confirmed in the United States.

“‘People in my area scared,’ Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said.

“Her state is the only one in the nation that has recorded coronavirus deaths. Nine people there had died of the infection as of Tuesday afternoon.

“‘If someone at the White House or in this administration is actually in charge of responding to the coronavirus, it would be news to anybody in my state,’ Murray said.

“She said providing states with reliable testing equipment will help stop the spread, speeding up the process because state officials won’t have to send suspected cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“Murray said she fears low-income workers or those without health insurance will be forced to keep working when they are sick, perhaps making them more susceptible to contracting and spreading the illness.” [WJTV, 03/03/20]

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