U.S. Government To End Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Program

The federal government is ending its free at-home COVID-19 test program effective Sept. 2, citing a lack of funding and efforts to preserve supply. 

The website where people order the tests says, “Congress hasn’t provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests.”

The program provided up to 16 free tests per household since the beginning of the year.

The Biden administration launched the initiative, which shipped rapid COVID tests via the U.S. Postal Service, in January amid a wave of cases attributed to the Omicron variant.

“We have warned that Congressional inaction would force unacceptable tradeoffs and harm our overall COVID-19 preparedness and response—and that the consequences would likely worsen over time,” a White House official told CNN. “Unfortunately, because of the limited funding we have to work with, we have had to make impossible choices about which tools and programs to invest in—and which ones we must downsize, pause, or end all together.”

Still, the official said the administration would “expeditiously resume distribution of free tests through COVIDTests.gov” if and when Congress allocates additional funding, but “[u]ntil then, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course.”

Read more from CNN here.

In other news: 

  • The Biden administration anticipates offering reformulated booster shots targeted to the Omicron variant. Read more from Bloomberg here.

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