March 5 (UPI) -- Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to ensure more widespread COVID-19 testing by the end of the week.
Speaking at a joint news briefing on the coronavirus with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday evening after the two meet in Tacoma, Pence said the agency was focused on providing tests to Washington and California the two states with the virus and should have the capability to allow 1.2 million Americans to be tested for coronavirus.
"We know while we're meeting the demand of cases we know about today we still have a way to ensure that tests are available for any future cases and also for people across your state and across the country that may be concerned that they have contracted the coronavirus and want to obtain a test," he said.
Pence added that another 4 million tests would be made available by the end of next week, adding that President Donald Trump met with leaders of top commercial labs who formed a consortium to increase the availability of testing.
"In a matter of weeks, through validation efforts that we'll do through the FDA they could well be in a position where, in the not so distant future your doctor, your local pharmacy, your local med check will have access to a coronavirus test," he said.
Pence traveled to Washington to tour the facility as part of his role as the leader of the White House coronavirus task force.
Also joining Pence were members of Washington's congressional delegation, including Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Kim Schrier, Pramila Jayapal, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene and Derek Kilmer.
Washington state has been the site of the biggest cluster of U.S. COVID-19 deaths, with 10 reported there in less than a week. California has one death.