“We are working every single day to clear out any red tape to make tests more and more available. Right now, every state lab in America can conduct testing,” Pence told “Fox & Friends.”
Pence said anyone with concern can call their doctor, who can request a test from a state lab. Health officials have sounded the alarm in recent days about delays and a shortage of testing kits.
Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel called Monday for the immediate provision of coronavirus testing kits in order to examine people who show symptoms of exposure.
“We still don’t have the testing,” Siegel told "Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “It was announced over the weekend that we were going to be able to test.”
Several governors have called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expedite the production and shipping of additional test kits as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.
Initially, the lab at the CDC's headquarters in Atlanta was the only place with this capability, putting potential patients in places like California and Washington state at a disadvantage.
The COVID-19 test requires three culture swabs: one from the nose, one from the throat and one from the lower lungs. The test requires a person to inhale deeply, cough and spit up saliva and mucus into a sterile collection cup.
Pence said that the president’s most important move was bringing in the leaders from the top commercial laboratories in the country, such as Quest and LabCorp, to work with their administration. Pence said that they have already approved a test that is being processed for mass distribution.
“We’re clearing the red tape out of the way. That’s going to be the way that in the days ahead we’re going to have a broad-based test available across the country," he said.