White House Plans to Send 500 Million Coronavirus Tests to Americans Two Weeks After Mocking Idea

Rapid at-home Covid-19 test kits are distributed by the GreenRoots environmental protection organization and Chelsea Community Connections in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on December 17, 2021. - Each kit contains two test and each person is given enough for their entire family. Cities and towns across Massachusetts are receiving the free tests …
JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty

President Joe Biden will announce a plan Tuesday to send out 500 million coronavirus tests to Americans who want them, in his latest attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

The plan is a sudden turnaround from just two weeks earlier, when White House press secretary Jen Psaki mocked the idea in a press briefing.

“Should we just send one to every American?” she asked a reporter sarcastically who asked if the Biden administration would consider sending out free tests.

“Then what — then what happens if you — if every American has one test?” she continued mockingly. “How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?”

Several countries offer free tests, including in the United Kingdom where residents can order one pack of seven tests per day. But high demand soon led to a shortage of tests, making them hard to get.

The president will announce the government will purchase and distribute 500 million free coronavirus tests to send Americans who request them.

The Biden Administration will set up a website where Americans can request free tests.

Volunteers from GreenRoots and Chelsea Community Connections explain how to use a rapid at-home Covid-19 test in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on December 17, 2021. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty)

Video footage and photos shared online show that many Americans in highly populated areas are struggling to get access to testing.

The tests are expected to be ready to deliver next month, but not soon enough to alleviate long lines of people waiting to get tests before holiday travel.

 

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