The White House on Wednesday announced a billion-dollar investment in at-home rapid coronavirus tests that it said would help quadruple their availability by later this year.
By December, 200 million rapid tests will be available to Americans each month, with tens of millions more arriving on the market in the coming weeks, Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 coordinator, said at a news conference. Mr. Zients also said the administration would double the number of sites in the federal government’s free pharmacy testing program, to 20,000.
The changes reflect the administration’s growing emphasis on at-home testing as a tool for slowing the spread of Covid-19. President Biden in September said that he would use the Defense Production Act to increase the production of rapid testing kits and would work with retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, to expand their availability. He pledged $2 billion to the effort, or roughly 280 million tests.
The Biden administration’s commitment “allows the manufacturers to have the confidence in the demand to scale up their production,” Mr. Zients said. “It’s an expansion of the industrial base, so that more manufacturing occurs, based on the U.S.’s commitment to the testing sector.”
authorized Acon Laboratories’ at-home test. Dr. Jeffrey E. Shuren, the director of the agency’s medical devices center, said the move could double at-home testing capacity in the coming weeks.
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