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Beyer, Gonzalez Introduce Bipartisan Testing Innovation Legislation

U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) today introduced the At-Home Testing Prize Competitions Act, legislation designed to encourage the development of new COVID-19 testing. The bill would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in consultation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to quickly launch prize competitions promoting the development of an accurate COVID-19 test that can be safely self-administered by ordinary people in their homes.

“In order to safely reopen businesses and communities we must first improve our ability to pinpoint the spread of COVID-19 with better testing,” said Beyer. “With this bipartisan legislation we hope to pave the way for more rapid development of testing that people could use at home to quickly determine whether or not they can safely leave their homes without putting others at the risk of infection. Prize competitions have a strong track record of helping launch extremely rapid periods of technological advances, and we hope this approach can win rapid support with our colleagues.”

“America is opening up again, and it is critically important we develop the tools needed to test at home to ensure safety and confidence as we do so,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “I firmly believe that American innovation is the key to beating the coronavirus pandemic, and establishing this prize competition will help to put the full weight of the American scientific community behind that goal.”

Beyer and Gonzalez serve together on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and previously introduced similar legislation to create a prize competition to encourage the development of point-of-care testing. Text of the At-Home Testing Prize Competitions Act is available here.