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White House buys 100M COVID-19 tests, calls on Congress for more funding

To prepare for an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the fall, the federal government has purchased an additional 100 million at-home rapid tests from domestic manufacturers, the White House said Thursday. File Photo by White House

To get ready for an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the fall, the government has purchased yet another 100 million at-home rapid tests from domestic manufacturers, the White House said Thursday. File Photo by White House

Sept. 8 (UPI) — To get ready for an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the fall, the government has purchased yet another 100 million at-home rapid tests from domestic manufacturers, the White House said Thursday.

But, the administration acknowledged, it doesn’t have the required funding to obtain as much of the tests since it want heading in to the fall, once the number of instances most likely increase.

“The administration is acting, within its limited funding, to improve the way to obtain at-home COVID-19 tests in the Strategic National Stockpile by purchasing over 100 million additional at-home, rapid tests from domestic manufacturers,” the White House said in a statement.

“While insufficient to adequately replenish our existing stockpile of at-home tests, this procurement can help meet some testing needs in the months ahead and can put us in an improved position to control a potential upsurge in testing demand this fall and winter.

“And, it’ll further the administration’s goal of mobilizing and strengthening the domestic testing manufacturing industrial base.”

Congress have not “stepped up,” Health insurance and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said earlier this week, discussing too little further funding for COVID-19 requested by President Joe Biden‘s administration.

“We shall not need tests inside our Strategic National Stockpile should we see another omicron like event,” Becerra said Tuesday.

“We’d promised the American people we’d ensure that we didn’t enter that, but we needed Congress to intensify. Congress have not stepped up.”

The other day, the administration sent an updated $22.4-billion request to Congress for immediate short-term domestic needs, including testing.

“The administration has clarified to Congress that people need additional funding for the country’s COVID-19 response. Once we warned for months, congressional inaction has forced us to create difficult tradeoffs that harm our response and preparedness,” a White House statement said.

It added: “While we’ve made tremendous progress on COVID-19, Congress must intensify to make sure that we can continue steadily to stick to our foot from this unpredictable virus”

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