Congressman furious overseas service members aren't being tested for coronavirus -- because there are no test kits
US Marines arrange their equipment as US troops arrive in Kandahar after their withdrawl from the Camp Bastion-Leatherneck complex in Helmand province on October 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/Wakil Kohsar)

Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan (D) is sounding the alarm about military service members around the world who are being exposed to coronavirus/COVID19 but are unable to be tested for it.


Speaking to MSNBC Friday, Pocan specifically cited an Afghanistan base just outside a town that has reported five cases of coronavirus. He said that they hadn't even learned about it from the Pentagon, rather a family member contacted his office saying that a number of the troops have flu-like symptoms but aren't testing positive for the flu.

"Even if you do get the test, unless you get that processed in 72 hours, you can get a false negative or conditions of the test might be ruined," he explained. "We still have a lot of concerns on the front."

MSNBC's Andrew Mitchell noted that it isn't merely Afghanistan, there are members of the armed forces in Italy and in west Asia.

"How can that be possible that military doctors do not have access to these tests?" she asked.

"It shouldn't be possible," the congressman said. "We should be having those tests out like we need to get them across the country. We know the administration made a number of missteps and I'm not here to talk about that today but we're significantly behind where we should be. It's one thing about getting tests out but it's important we're proactively testing the right people, anyone in the medical system and health personnel."

Americans were told there were about 2.5 million tests and Vice President Mike Pence said that there would be at least 1 million tests done by the end of last week. That promise and deadline has come and gone, while doctors and hospitals are clamoring for test kits.

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