Arkansas and Rhode Island Join Bipartisan Interstate Testing Compact, Expanding Agreement To Ten States
Compact Expands To Five Million Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Tests
Partnership With Rockefeller Foundation Now Includes Ten Governors—Five Republicans, Five Democrats
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced that Arkansas and Rhode Island have joined the bipartisan interstate testing compact for rapid point-of-care antigen testing—the first interstate testing compact of its kind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s announcement expands the compact to ten governors—five Republicans, five Democrats—who will work together in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation to acquire and deploy five million antigen tests.
“I want to sincerely thank Governor Hutchinson and Governor Raimondo for signing on to this first-of-its-kind agreement to acquire millions of faster tests as we continue to fight this deadly virus,” said Governor Hogan. “This is yet another shining example that at one of the most important moments in our history, governors are doing what we do best—we are working together in a bipartisan way, showing real leadership, and finding real solutions.”
“I am grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation and the bipartisan group of leaders who put their heads together to create new solutions to the problems we face,” said Governor Hutchinson. “This interstate compact is designed to increase our purchasing power while lowering the cost and increasing the availability of tests. This letter of intent is the start of this effort which we all hope will increase testing availability. It is also evidence that despite divergent views, people of both parties can work together for the good of the nation.”
“In Rhode Island, we’ve responded to the COVID-19 crisis by taking an aggressive approach to testing,” said Governor Raimondo. “But we cannot take our foot off the gas. As we work to keep our economy open and send our students back to school safely, it’s critical that we have access to rapid testing. I’m proud to join this bipartisan interstate testing compact.”
The states are already in active discussions with Becton Dickinson and Quidel—the U.S. manufacturers of antigen tests that have been authorized by the FDA—to purchase 500,000 tests per state. The Rockefeller Foundation will work with the states to set policies and protocols for the use and deployment of these antigen tests.
Members of the Bipartisan Interstate Testing Compact
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R)
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R)
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D)
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R)
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D)
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D)
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D)
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R)
Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R)
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D)