The government will stop giving away home COVID-19 tests on Friday due to insufficient funding from Congress, a senior Biden administration official said on Sunday.
A stockpile of the tests is running low, and officials want to have enough on hand in case of a surge, the source said.
The gift, which includes proofs mailed free of charge to recipients who request them at covidtests.govit will end on Friday, according to an announcement on the site, unless there is a surprise round of funding from Congress, the source said.
“If Congress provides funding, we will quickly resume distribution of free tests through covidtests.gov,” the source said. “Until then, we believe reserving the remaining proofs for distribution later this year is the best course of action.”
CNN first reported that the Biden administration was blaming Congress for the end of the program.
The administration official who spoke to NBC News criticized Congress.
“The administration has been clear about our urgent Covid-19 response funding needs,” the source said. “We warned that Congressional inaction would force unacceptable trade-offs and damage our overall COVID-19 preparedness and response, and that the consequences would likely worsen over time.”
Few people are being tested for the coronavirus, and many are thought to have had it without knowing it conclusively. In fact, experts believe that many Americans have been reinfected at this point in the pandemic.
dr Anthony Fauci, the president’s top medical adviser, has said that he believes Covid-19 will be a seasonal phenomenon, like the flu.
With the distribution taking place on Friday, the vast majority of people in the US would still have the option of free testing or reimbursement through private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
The federal government has distributed approximately 600 million tests through its Covid-19 testing website.