The federal government is ending its giveaway of Covid-19 at-home tests.
A senior Joe Biden administration official said Sunday that the last tests will be sent out Friday, Sept. 2, because of insufficient congressional funding.
The stockpile of tests is being quickly depleted.
The source said that officials want to have enough on hand in the event of a fall surge.
The giveaway includes tests mailed at no cost to recipients who request them at Covidtests.gov.
The source said that unless there’s a surprise round of additional funding from Congress, the giveaway will end on Sept. 2.
The difficult decision was made to preserve our limited remaining supply due to the lack of funding.
Due to the chance of facing a new rise of infections in the fall, The White House needed to ensure there would still be a limited supply of tests available.
The Administration has been clear about the urgent COVID-19 response funding needs.
They’ve warned that Congressional inaction would force unacceptable tradeoffs and harm our overall COVID-19 preparedness and response.
The consequences will likely worsen over time.
Additional funding could be approved by Congress as part of the annual budget process this fall to replenish the stockpile of tests.
“If Congress provides funding, we will expeditiously resume distribution of free tests through covidtests.gov,” the source said. “Until then, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course.”
The Administration issued a warning in May that another wave of 100 million coronavirus infections and a sizable number of fatalities could occur this fall and winter.
The surge will be primarily driven by new omicron subvariants that have shown resilience.
People aren’t testing for the Coronavirus as much as they once were, and many have likely had it without realizing it.
Many experts believe that many Americans have been reinfected at this point in the pandemic.
Efforts to provide additional pandemic funding stalled on Capitol Hill earlier this year as lawmakers couldn’t come to a deal on a budget or resources for the funds.
Republicans want to repurpose money Congress has already approved.
But Biden and congressional Democrats want up to $22.5 billion in additional.
They’ll use the additional funds for more vaccines, tests, and therapeutics.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s current chief medical adviser, thinks the Coronavirus will be a seasonal occurrence like the flu.
Even when the government stops distributing tests on Friday, most Americans will still have free testing available, or they can be reimbursed through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
More than 92% of Americans are covered by one of these programs.
Through its Covid-19 test website, the federal government has provided citizens with an estimated 600 million tests.
When the omicron version peaked in January, the first tests were released.
Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys