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Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) shows CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield the total cost of a coronavirus test.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) shows Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Robert Redfield the total cost of a coronavirus test. (Image: screenshot/Katie Porter/Twitter)

'I Did the Math': Katie Porter Gets Trump CDC Head to Commit to Making Coronavirus Testing Free

"We live in a world where 33% of Americans put off medical treatment last year, and we have $1,133 expense just for testing for the coronavirus."

Eoin Higgins

Democratic firebrand Rep. Katie Porter on Thursday extracted a commitment from Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Robert Redfield to use his authority under federal regulations to waive the cost of coronavirus testing for all Americans. 

"I did the math," said Porter, holding up a whiteboard on which she wrote the associated costs to the total $1,331 bill.

"We live in a world where 40% of Americans can't even afford a $400 unexpected expense," said Porter. "We live in a world where 33% of Americans put off medical treatment last year, and we have $1,133 expense just for testing for the coronavirus."

Noting that the prohibitive expense of the test could discourage poorer Americans from getting tested, Porter demanded Redfield use his legal authority under the Code of Federal Regulations to waive the cost. 

After a back and forth in which Porter called Redfield's attempts to avoid committing to covering the cost "not good enough," the California Democrat finally got Redfield to commit to using his authority under 82 CFR 6975 to waive the costs of testing. 

Watch the full exchange:

Progressives praised the California Democrat's latest standoff with a Trump administration official and noted that Porter and Redfield's exchange had real-world, positive consequences for the country. 

"Representative Katie Porter just got CDC director Robert Redfield to commit to making coronavirus testing free for anyone regardless of insurance," tweeted the Atlantic's James Hamblin. "That's big."

Crooked Media's Priyanka Aribindi simply stated her admiration. 

"Katie Porter is fucking phenomenal," said Aribindi.

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