Phoenix Mayor Says FEMA Denied Multiple Requests For COVID Testing Site

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.Screengrab / ABC15 Arizona / YouTube


Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said she was told the city's case numbers were too low in April to approve a testing site.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D) recently said the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied numerous requests for a coronavirus testing site in Arizona’s capital despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, according to The Hill.

  • The mayor “told AZCentral in a story published Monday that her office had asked the agency to create a large-scale drive-thru site comparable to those in cities like Houston but that when she made the request in April, the agency said the city’s case numbers were too low for such a site.”
  • Gallego has submitted another request now that Arizona has more than 100,000 confirmed cases.
  • She said FEMA told her “they're trying to get away from that type of testing site ... and they don't want to open any new ones.”
  • According to Governor Doug Ducey’s (R) office and state Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ, FEMA is providing support to Arizona in other ways.
  • Christ said “the agency’s testing strategy has focused more on partnerships with local providers throughout communities rather than central hubs, citing partnerships with drugstores such as Walgreens and CVS,” but added that Arizona is still working to increase testing capacity.

Gallego said the state’s outbreak requires wider-reaching testing infrastructure, telling AZCentral, "These are people who are feeling sick and miserable and dehydrated to begin with and we want to be able to get them tested.”

FEMA told The Hill in a statement:

“FEMA continues to provide requested assistance to states, territories and tribes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In regard to testing, we have provided Arizona with 367,064 swabs and 381,994 media for a total of 749,058 testing supplies delivered to Arizona. The state decides where those supplies go within Arizona.Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) are handled by the Department of Health and Human Services."

Read the full report.


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