Susan Collins heaps praise on testing company that gave her nearly $20,000

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The Republican senator from Maine has accepted a total of $19,500 in campaign contributions from Abbott Laboratories, which is now engaged in developing testing systems for the coronavirus.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is using election advertising and social media to praise a multinational corporation that has contributed nearly $20,000 to her campaigns over the past two decades.

Collins has touted Abbott Laboratories' work in two Facebook posts and one campaign ad over the past month, singling out the company for its work in creating a rapid diagnostic test to detect the novel coronavirus.

Abbott is not the only company making coronavirus tests. Others include Roche Diagnostics, Biomerica Inc., and Chembio Diagnostics Inc.

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Abbott gave the maximum $5,000 contribution for an election cycle through its political action committee to Collins' 2020 reelection campaign, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The corporation contributed a total of $14,500 to Collins' reelection campaigns in 2002, 2008, and 2014.

Collins' comments about Abbott's work have been effusive.

"Great work, Abbott! This is a significant breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19. When I toured your Scarborough facility in 2018, I was so impressed by your dedicated employees who were making the next generation of diagnostics," Collins wrote in a March 28 Facebook post, linking to a press release from Abbott announcing its new coronavirus test.

On April 13, Collins released a campaign ad highlighting the work companies in Maine were doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Abbott, which has a facility in the state, was the first company she mentioned in the 30-second spot.

"When the coronavirus hit, Maine employers stepped up. Abbott Labs developed a new test that produces results in five minutes," Collins said, adding, "We thank companies like them for putting people first."

And on April 16, Collins' campaign sent out an email highlighting Abbott's new test:

"Maine workers at so many companies, big and small, in our great state are putting people first during the coronavirus pandemic. These companies are retooling operations to make protective equipment for medical workers, staying open to make sure Mainers can get essential items like food, and using that classic Maine spirit of innovation to create medical equipment that will be critical in fighting this global pandemic. Abbott Labs in Scarborough is pushing the boundaries of medical science by creating new coronavirus tests that will save lives."

Donald Trump has also praised Abbott, showcasing the company's rapid diagnostic test at a March 30 White House news conference.

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Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.