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?”
Jen Psaki somewhat mockingly asks reporter at the White House Daily Press Briefing if the US should be sending out rapid #COVID19 tests to every household.
— Matt Karolian (@mkarolian) December 6, 2021
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.
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.