March 19, 2020

Heinrich: FDA funds will help COVID-19 testing efforts in NM

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.

New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich said during a press conference Thursday that he received confirmation the Food and Drug Administration approved money that will eventually help provide more supplies for New Mexico.  

“I’m pleased to announce this morning that we received confirmation that the FDA has granted an emergency use authorization to Abbott Laboratories which will soon be able to supply New Mexico enough of the resources needed to significantly increase our current testing capacity,” Heinrich said. 

He also praised Congress for working together to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which Heinrich called an “essential step towards getting a better handle on the spread of the virus.”

President Donald Trump signed the bill into law Wednesday night.

“This legislation will provide the necessary resources to rapidly expand free COVID-19 testing for all those who need it,” he said. 

He said his staff are currently working in a “virtual office system” in an attempt to decrease the spread of COVID-19, which is a disease caused by the coronavirus. In light of a member of Congress testing positive for COVID-19, Heinrich said it’s easier in the Senate than in the House for members to keep their distance from one another because of the smaller number of people. 

“I think we have a pretty solid plan in our Senate office right now,” Heinrich said, “But what would help would be more testing capacity because we don’t know if it’s only one member of Congress and that’s part of the problem.”

Heinrich also urged landlords and banks to work with people who have seen decreased income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He said he remains committed to working with other senators as well as state leaders to ensure New Mexicans are taken care of. 

“I truly believe that this is the challenge that our nation will be measured against,” he said. “And despite the sometimes inconsistent messages and behavior in the White House over recent weeks and months, I remain laser focused on doing everything in my power to demand a coordinated federal response.”