On Wednesday, a White House official said, the US will announce a $1 billion investment, which will go toward the “purchase of rapid at-home Covid tests to further mobilize our testing manufacturers to bring more to market.”
In September, President Joe Biden announced a $2 billion investment in rapid testing for community health centers, food bank and schools, and also announced that retailers including Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will sell at-home rapid test kits at cost for the next three months.
But demand has outpaced supply for those tests so far, with shelves empty across the country. The administration is seeking to quickly ramp up that supply.
The $1 billion announcement also comes days after the US Food and Drug Administration authorized an at-home test from ACON laboratories, which will accelerate the pace of rapid tests hitting the shelves.
The investment, paired with Biden’s September announcement and the FDA approval, the White House official said, means “we are now on track to quadruple the amount of at-home, rapid tests available to Americans in December.”
In recent months, the US has produced about 30 million tests per month, which is expected to accelerate to 200 million tests per month starting in December, the official said.
The administration will also announce Wednesday that it will double the government’s free testing program to include 20,000 local pharmacies.
“With these pharmacy sites added to the thousands of community-based free testing sites, in total there will be 30,000 free testing sites,” the official said.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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