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Colorado Scores 150,000 Coronavirus Tests With The Help Of Sen. Cory Gardner

DENVER (CBS4)- Colorado hit the jackpot. As other states scour the world for COVID-19 tests, the Colorado State Public Health Lab received 10 boxes containing 150,000 tests from South Korea Thursday morning.

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The tests are such short supply that Gov. Jared Polis said at one point he was considering sending a jet to find supplies, including tests, in other countries.

"It's a global free-for-all," Polis said in an interview with CBS4' Political Specialist Shaun Boyd earlier this month.

Unlike other crises, where states come to each other's aid, the governor noted that it's every state for itself in the coronavirus pandemic.

"Everybody across world is trying to buy these things at same time we are."

Ambassador Seoung-Hyun Moon from South Korea, the second-highest ranking South Korean government official at the embassy in Washington D.C., says Colorado had an advantage over the other states.

"We received so many requests from around the world, that is why we just particularly focused on state of Colorado because of the close relationship with Senator Gardner."

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Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, is chair of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia.

"It first started out as my effort to build an economic national security relationship with Asia, has now turned into incredible relationship to address COVID-19 health emergency," Gardner said.

Colorado's junior senator reached out to Polis.

"My approach has been all hands on deck and when the governor of Colorado says he needs something, we go to bat and find it," Gardner said.

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Sen. Cory Gardner (credit: CBS)

In this case, he went halfway around the world to find the tests. Gardner says after many late night calls, South Korea directed two of its suppliers to help Colorado out.

"They went to work for us, it's incredible and I give so much thanks," he said.

RELATED: Sen. Cory Gardner Secures Millions Of N95 Masks From Taiwan

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