Jan 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden announces purchase of additional 500 million COVID-19 tests

Picture of a sign in a pharmacy that says "no more covid test"
Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday that his administration is buying an additional 500 million rapid tests to distribute to people in the U.S. for free.

Driving the news: The administration previously bought 500 million rapid tests in December, which are scheduled to arrive this month. With the purchase announced today, the U.S. will have 1 billion tests in total "to meet future demand," Biden said.

What we’re watching: Biden said the administration will announce next week how it will make “high-quality masks” available to the American people.

  • The administration will also roll out a website next week “where you can order a free test” and have it “shipped to your home.”

What he's saying: "For those who want an immediate test, we continue to add FEMA testing sites so that there are more free in-person testing sites," Biden said.

  • The president reminded the public that those with health insurance can get reimbursed for eight tests a month, and for those without insurance, "we have over 20,000 free testing sites all around the country."

Go deeper: America once again faces COVID test shortages

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