‘Not good enough’: How Rep. Katie Porter’s relentless questioning led the CDC chief to commit to free coronavirus testing

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) did the math.

Like a host of “The Price Is Right,” Porter asked a Department of Health and Human Services official to guess what it would cost for an uninsured American to receive a coronavirus test, itemizing everything from the initial flu test to the expensive emergency room visit. She tallied up the total cost on a whiteboard: an estimated $1,331 out of pocket.

She turned to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and quickly transformed her demeanor from an amiable game-show host into a formidable principal doling out discipline.

“Dr. Redfield,” she asked, “do you want to know who has the coronavirus and who doesn’t? Not just rich people, but everybody who might have the virus?”