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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

After months of silence, Senator Algiere finally has something to say about COVID

Calls for more access to testing

By Will Collette

Since Donald Trump was "elected" in 2016, it has seemed like senior state Senator Dennis Algiere (who represents the southern half of Charlestown) went into hiding, perhaps fearing that someone among the Trump mob will discover he didn’t drink all of his Kool-Aid®. 

Even though he is leader of the tiny Republican minority in the Senate, nearly all of his colleagues are dyed-in-the-wool Trumplicans. He stayed silent through all of Trump’s outrages, including the January 6 attempted coup. 

But one month ahead of Groundhog Day, Algiere has emerged from his burrow and issued the following statement: 

STATE HOUSE – Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) released the following statement concerning the lack of access to rapid and PCR testing for COVID-19 in Rhode Island. 

“I am hearing from my constituents, and from residents throughout the state, that they are simply unable to access COVID-19 tests in South County or throughout the state. They can’t find at-home tests, and there is no availability at the public testing sites. If they are fortunate enough to get an appointment, they have to wait inexcusable time periods to learn the results of their PCR tests. The residents of District 38, and throughout the state, are justifiably concerned for their health and wellbeing as the Delta and Omicron variants continue to sweep through Rhode Island,” said Leader Algiere. 

“As case numbers soar, I am calling for an immediate scale-up of testing. We need more at-home rapid tests and far more state-run testing capacity in order to provide residents with their infection status in a timely and useful manner. A positive test result does nothing to protect our communities if the result is received after someone has already recovered from the virus. We have been at this for far too long to be this bad at it. We need to do better to protect our residents from COVID-19 infection, and this is only possible with a robust and efficient testing protocol, something the state is lacking at this time,” concluded Leader Algiere.


Now if only he might find the courage to become the top state Republican to call for the unvaccinated to get their shots and wear masks. But I’m not holding my breath.