(CTN News) – A senior Biden administration official said Sunday that the government would end its at-home distribution of Covid-19 tests Friday due to insufficient congressional funding.
The stockpile of the tests is depleting, and officials want to have enough on hand in case of a fall surge. Many will start to look for alternatives such as the COVID 19 Point of Care Test.
Covidtests.gov, which includes free tests mailed to recipients, ends Friday.
A source said the giveaway, which includes free tests mailed to recipients who request COVID-19 Tests at Covidtests.gov, will end Friday unless Congress comes up with a surprise funding round.
If Congress provides funding, we will resume free tests distribution through COVID-19 Tests covidtests.gov as soon as possible,” the source said. For now, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course.
Congress was castigated by the administration official who spoke to NBC News.
According to the source, the administration has been clear about the urgent funding needs for the Covid-19 response.
We have warned that inaction by Congress would lead to unacceptable tradeoffs and harm our overall Covid-19 preparedness and response.
Coronavirus is less commonly tested for, and many people are assumed to have had it without knowing for sure. At this stage in the pandemic, many Americans are believed to have been reinfected.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, Covid-19 will be a seasonal occurrence.
Even with the halting of distribution Friday, most people in the U.S. would still be able to get free testing or reimbursement through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Through its Covid-19 tests website, the federal government has distributed an estimated 600 million tests.
Free COVID-19 Tests started shipping in January when omicron variants peaked.
There was no immediate word on how many are left in the stockpile.
Earlier this year, the White House requested an additional $22.5 billion in funding for Covid relief efforts, warning the program would be unable to sustain its testing capacity without it.
Due to an impasse, the Biden administration was unable to grant the funds, which were also intended for research and treatment.
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