AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement related to the April 13 AAMC letter to Ambassador Deborah Birx, MD, White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, about testing capacity for COVID-19:
“Our nation’s great medical schools and teaching hospitals have been at the forefront of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, including developing and performing diagnostic tests for the virus. In addition, these institutions have been on the frontlines in caring for COVID patients and see the continuing urgent need to substantially increase testing of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals to stop the spread of the virus and to inform an evidence-based return to work. Unfortunately, many laboratories across the country continue to be severely hampered by shortages of needed reagents and supplies for testing.
Throughout the crisis, we have been in frequent discussions with the administration about our shared goal of comprehensive testing. As a follow-up to recent discussions, in an April 13 letter to Ambassador Birx, I outlined three ways in which the federal government and state public health departments can work with the academic medical community to alleviate the challenges that are keeping academic facilities from maximizing their testing capacity, such as:
- Moving quickly to deploy a web portal that would allow all laboratories to easily report reagent or other supply shortages that are slowing or preventing testing from occurring;
- Taking a clearer role in the assessment and management of the supply chain for key testing reagents and supplies; and
- Implementing a transparent communication system to inform vendors and labs about the priorities, directions, and specific needs of the community.
We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the administration to rapidly increase testing capacity for COVID-19.”
The full letter to Ambassador Birx is available here.
The AAMC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their 173,000 faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org