Senate announces creation of ‘shark tank’ to fast track creation of COVID-19 tests

Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:03 PM PT — Thursday, May 7, 2020

Senators are pushing to increase the U.S.’s virus testing capacity. On Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced the creation of a “competitive shark tank” to fast track rapid development of testing kits.

The committee was created using $1.5 billion from the most recent virus stimulus bill. It will be housed at the National Institutes of Health.

A City of Miami Fire Rescue worker is tested for COVID-19 at Hard Rock Stadium, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, Pool)

According to the senator, Americans need to be assured it’s safe to return to work and school. He has said the nation will need “tens of millions of tests” to do that.

“This shark tank at the National Institutes of Health would utilize the capacities of government itself, in coordination with the private sector, to pull out all the stops and fast track new technologies,” stated Sen. Alexander. “(It’s) designed to produce tens of millions of tests by August…and even millions more than that by the flu season.”

If the project is successful, it could pave the way for the country to completely reopen by late summer.

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