Wisconsin Dem congressional reps send letter to FEMA, say state’s received no COVID testing materials

Congressman Mark Pocan, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congressman Ron Kind

Congressman Mark Pocan, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congressman Ron Kind

MADISON — Democratic Wisconsin Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04) and Ron Kind (WI-03) sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) questioning why Wisconsin has received none of the testing materials requested on March 28 and 29 — specifically testing kits, test collection swabs and reagents.

A news release Thursday, April 16 from Rep. Pocan’s office said the state has additionally received an inadequate amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — including 50% fewer N95 respirators than expected.

The release went on to say, “FEMA’s failure to provide Wisconsin with adequate testing materials comes at the same time that President Donald Trump has said expanding testing capacity is up to state governors. Wisconsin has gone through the proper supply chains and that is still not enough to meet the state’s testing needs.  Our state’s labs are expanding capacity, but cannot implement the amount of testing we need to safely re-open the state without the necessary supplies FEMA is withholding.”

“The Trump administration is turning its back on Wisconsinites while the president blames state governors for his failures—rather than getting us the supplies we need,” said Rep. Mark Pocan in the release. “The federal response has been woefully inadequate to the needs of our state. We need FEMA to step up. Nationwide, we are failing to test people for this deadly virus quick enough. Wisconsin labs are attempting to ramp up capacity and serve the people of our state, but cannot do so without the testing supplies the federal government to provide. States like Wisconsin are doing everything in their power to fight this pandemic, but the federal government’s failures are threatening us all.”

“The lack of crucial supplies needed to fight COVID-19 is straining hospitals and putting Wisconsinites and health care workers at risk,” said Rep. Gwen Moore in the release. “Wisconsin needs more federal support during this pandemic, which is why I’m joining my colleagues in this effort to secure more testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.”

 “Health care organizations across Wisconsin are doing everything they can to acquire the personal protective equipment and testing supplies needed to treat patients and prepare for additional cases of COVID-19, but we need the federal government to step up and do its part,” said Rep. Ron Kind in the release. “It is unacceptable that three weeks after Governor Evers submitted a request to FEMA for supplies, our state has only received a small portion of needed supplies and hasn’t been informed of when the additional supplies can be expected to arrive.”

The letter to FEMA is as follows:

The Honorable Peter T. Gaynor

Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street, SW

Washington, DC 20024-2523

Dear Administrator Gaynor:

We write to follow up on the Wisconsin congressional delegation’s March 30th letter asking for expedited consideration of the State of Wisconsin’s request to FEMA for critical supplies including testing kits, test collection swabs, reagent, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The three shipments from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) received to date by Wisconsin have been critical to responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet, these shipments have not included the testing materials requested by the state. Wisconsin has worked around the clock to expand testing capacity through public-private partnerships. However, this still falls short of the state’s testing needs. There are labs in the state, like the UW-Madison Hospital lab, that are capable of running up to 2,000 tests per day but cannot due to the shortage of reagent in the normal supply chain.

As you know, the President said this week that expanding testing capacity is up to the Governors. Following FEMA’s direction, the States are going through the normal federal supply chain and still falling short. The State of Wisconsin needs FEMA’s support in providing testing supplies to be able to test at our full lab capacity to effectively respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, we respectfully request you expedite the supplies included in the State’s March 28th and 29th request to FEMA, attached to this letter.

The people of Wisconsin are relying on FEMA to efficiently provide these supplies. Finally, as we mentioned earlier the state received its third shipment from the SNS, however the N95 respirators received were 50% less than expected. This is unacceptable, our heroic first responders and health care workers must have the appropriate PPE so they are not exposed to the coronavirus as they are treating and evaluating patients. We request a response no later than Friday April 17, 2020 on the reason for the shortage of N95 masks in the third shipment and a specific timeline for testing supplies to be shipped to Wisconsin.

Requests from Governor Evers’ March 26th Letter:

Urgent Needs

Item Request Details Quantity as appropriate
Swabs Copan Swabs (23-600-952 Diagnostic Nylon Flocked Swabs) 10,000
Swabs Mid-turbinate nasal and nasopharyngeal swabs 250,000
Media M4-RT Transport media/tubes 10,000 tests
Reagents Hologic Assay Reagents (Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 PPR Catalog # PRD-06391) 10,000 tests
Cartridges Hologic cartridges (LDT Enzyme Cartridges Catalog #PRD-04303) 10,000 tests
Reagents Hologic Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 control reagents (Catalog # PRD-06404) 100 tests
Plastic ware Roche (Roche MagNA Pure plasticware Catalog #s: 03004171001, 030004074001, 03004058001, 03045501001, 03004112001, 03004147001) 60,000 tests
Reagents TaqPath 1-Step RT-qPCR Master Mix, CG manufactured by ThermoFisher 10,000 tests
Reagents MagNA Pure LC Total Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit, REF 03038505001 10,000 tests
Reagents Simplexa COVID-19 Positive Control Pack (Catalog # REF MOL4160) 10,000 tests
Reagents Direct Amplification Disc (DAD) Kit (DiaSorin Molecular Catalog # REF MOL1455) 10,000 tests
Reagents Simplexa COVID-19 Direct Reaction Mix (DiaSorin Molecular Catalog #MOL4151), 24 vials 10,000 tests
Reagents Viral Transport Medium (any of the following) to be used as No Template Control (NTC): 1. Universal Transport Medium (ThermoFisher Scientific Catalog #305C); 2. M6 Viral Transport Medium (Remel, Catalog #R12533); 3ml tubes of Remel M6 transport. 10,000 tests
Plastic ware 50 uL pipette and sterile, nuclease-free disposable pipette tips with filters 10,000
Plastic ware Replacement Foil Wedges (Catalog #REF MOL1550) 10,000

 

Near Term Future Requests

Item Request Details Quantity as appropriate
Extraction reagent MagNA Pure LC Total Nucleic Acid Isolation kit, REF 03038505001 80,000 tests
Reagents TaqPath 1-Step RT-qPCR Master Mix, CG manufactured by ThermoFisher 80,000 tests
Reagents Promega Maxwell RSC Viral TNA (Catalog# AS1330) 200 tests
Extraction reagent BioMerieux EMAG/EasyMag extraction reagents, buffers 50,000 tests
Extraction reagent BioMerieux EMAG/EasyMag extraction reagents, plastics 50,000 tests
Reagents MagNA Pure LC Total Nucleic Acid Isolation kit, REF 03038505001 20,000 tests
Plastic ware TaqPath 1-Step RT-qPCR Master Mix, CG manufactured byThermoFisher 70,000 tests
Reagents Roche MagNA Pure, for LC 2.0 instruments-reagents 20,000 tests
Reagents Promega GoTaqProbe 1-Step qPCR System (Catalog #A6120 or A6121) 10,000 tests
Reagents Hologic assay reagents (Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 PPR Catalog # PRD-06391) 10,000 tests
Cartridges Hologic cartridges (LDT Enzyme Cartridges Catalog# PRD-04303) 10,000 tests
Reagents Hologic Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 control reagents (Catalog# PRD-06404) 100 tests
Plastic ware Roche MagNA Pure, for LC 2.0 instruments-plastic ware (Catalog #s: 03004171001, 03004074001,03004058001, 03045501001, 03004112001, 03004147001) 30,000 tests
Reagents Simplexa COVID-19 Positive Control Pack (Catalog #REF MOL4160) 20,000 tests
Reagents Direct Amplification Disc (DAD) Kit (DiaSorin Molecular Catalog # REF MOl1455) 20,000 tests
Reagents Simplexa COVID-19 Direct Reaction Mix (DiaSorin Molecular Catalog #MOL4151), 24 vials 20,000 tests
Reagents Viral Transport Medium (any of the following) to be used as No Template Control (NTC): 1. Universal Transport Medium (ThermoFisher Scientific Catalog #305C); 2. M6 Viral Transport Medium (Remel, Catalog #R12533); 3ml tubes of Remel M6 transport. 20,000 tests

Requests from Governor Evers’ March 28th Letter:

Request Reference #2655-112174 – Testing supplies for UW Hospital

Request Reference #2655-112057 – Testing supplies for Children’s Hospital of WI

Item Request Details Quantity as appropriate
Reagents Easy Mag extractor reagents 11,500 tests
Reagents Primers probes enzymes 11,500 tests
Reagents Hologic Panther Fusion reagents 459,500 tests
Plastic ware Roche plasticware 108,000 tests
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