White House orders 500 million additional Covid-19 tests and plans to make higher quality masks available - Market News
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White House orders 500 million additional Covid-19 tests and plans to make higher quality masks available

White House orders 500 million additional Covid-19 tests and plans to make higher quality masks available

topline

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that his administration will make higher-quality masks available to Americans for free next week, and announced a new order for 500 million Covid-19 tests to be distributed for free — the latest government moves to try. the spread of the highly transmissible ommicron variety.

Key facts

Biden said the federal government will announce plans next week to hand out higher quality masks for free.

He is also “steering his team to purchase an additional 500 million tests” to meet future demand, a White House official said. Reuters, who first reported the news.

The additional tests will be ordered once the administration receives the first 500 million they have ordered, CNN reports.

Vice President Kamala Harris said the first 500 million tests could be available as soon as possible next week during an interview on Thursday at the Today show.

The new order will make a total of 1 billion tests available to Americans free of charge once ordered and acquired.

What to watch out for

The Biden Administration said it will launch a website where Americans can sign up for free at-home tests, which will be delivered by mail later this month.

chief critic

Biden has come under fire from legislators and health experts because they have not made testing more widely available and because they are not doing enough to make the shortage of testing. After Biden announced its first order of 500 million tests in December, experts said: the action would not come soon enough to prevent the spread of ommicron. Anne Rimoin, a UCLA professor of epidemiology, told Reuters the US was “terribly” behind in testing. “Unfortunately, it comes late and will be a small drop compared to the tsunami of fallen on the horizon,” Rimoin said after the first order was announced.

key background

The omicron variant has led to the highest number of Covid cases ever reported in the US, with new cases reaching more than 1.3 million on Monday, according to to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospital admissions have also reached peak numbers in the country, with more than 155,000 people hospitalized for Covid-19, according to to the Ministry of Health and Health.

Read further

Exclusive: Biden orders US to purchase 500 million additional COVID tests to meet demand (Reuters)

Biden to announce free Covid home testing kits soon (Forbes)

Biden requires insurance companies to cover free Covid tests at home starting this weekend (Forbes)

US Covid hospitalizations set new record – especially in these states (Forbes)