Leahy calls for comprehensive COVID-19 testing, tracing

WASHINGTON (WCAX) Vermont's senior senator wants a national COVID-19 testing and contact tracing program.

Sen. Patrick Leahy addressed the Senate Tuesday afternoon, urging Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority to address what Leahy called critical needs amid soaring coronavirus numbers.

The House passed the HEROES Act, a sweeping federal support bill, more than a month ago but it hasn't gained any traction in the Senate.

Leahy asked the Senate to pass legislation to create a comprehensive testing and tracing program and to provide the resources to implement it.

"I want my family to be safe. I want my wife and my children to be safe, and their children and their spouses to be safe. I want Vermonters-- I want everybody in all 50 states to be safe, and we need testing," said Leahy, D-Vermont.

Leahy is the vice-chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.