Coronavirus outbreak: Health and medical experts testify before Senate Health Committee | FULL

Health and medical experts in the US government testify before the Senate Health Committee on the Coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is among those testifying.

Doctor Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outlined for the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday morning the overall strategy the organization is taking to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Lawmakers on Tuesday expressed skepticism about U.S. health officials’ claims that long-overdue testing for the new coronavirus would be widely available by the end of the week.

Health officials have said U.S. labs should have the capacity to run as many as 1 million tests by the end of the week. But such testing has faced delays and missteps, and “I’m hearing from health professions that’s unrealistic,” said U.S. Sen Patty Murray, during a Senate hearing.

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn, said the FDA has been working with a private company to get as many as 2,500 test kits out to labs by the end of the week. Each kit should be able to allow a lab to run about 500 tests, he said.

But health officials were careful about making hard promises.

“I am optimistic but I want to remain humble,” said Dr. Schuchat.

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