Biden: More Free COVID Tests Available Next Week
The White House will expand its free COVID-19 testing program, President Joe Biden announced in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, promising to ramp up supplies just as many of the initial round of federally provided tests near their expiration dates.
Starting next week, additional at-home tests will be available on COVIDtests.gov, including to U.S. households that already received their allotted four tests.
The administration said it had already sent out 270 million tests to 68 million households since announcing the program over a month ago, with more than 45 million orders placed the first day the federal website came online.
But some deliveries took weeks to arrive through the U.S. Postal Service, and 500 million tests — roughly 46% of the stockpile — went unordered, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Now many are nearing expiration dates as early as March.
“On testing, we have made hundreds of millions of tests available for you to order for free,” Biden said. “Even if you already ordered free tests tonight, I am announcing that you can order more from COVIDtests.gov starting next week.”
The United States, where vaccinations have become a theater of culture war politics, suffered more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country by far, with the death toll reaching more than 952,000 as of February. But after a flare-up of cases and deaths from the highly infectious omicron variant throughout the winters, numbers have significantly fallen in recent weeks.
In response, U.S. policymakers from some of the country’s most populous cities and states recently began easing restrictions requiring masks in public, indoor spaces.