Vice President Kamala Harris couldn’t definitively say Thursday when 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests promised by the Biden administration will be shipped out to American households — greater than three weeks after the initiative was introduced by President Biden.
“They’ve been ordered. They’ve been ordered,” Harris informed NBC’s “Today” present.
“I have to look at the current information,” the veep added. “I think it’s going to be by next week. But soon, absolutely soon. And it is a matter of urgency for us.”
When requested by interviewer Craig Melvin if the sluggish rollout ought to have occurred sooner, Harris snapped: “We are doing it.”
The Biden administration has to date failed to supply a set timeline for when Americans would possibly have the ability to get their fingers on the thousands and thousands of at-home fast tests amid the continuing Omicron surge.
Even although the weeks-old plan has but to be totally rolled out, the White House on Wednesday promised to supply 10 million extra COVID-19 tests monthly to colleges.
That plan includes distributing 5 million fast tests to colleges and making an extra 5 million PCR tests obtainable by way of a Department of Health and Human Services program.
Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response on the Department of Health and Human Services, revealed earlier this week that the administration had contracted for simply 50 million check kits to date out of the five hundred million.
“We anticipate the first tests going out at the end of this month with the remaining tests going out over the next 60 days,” O’Connell informed lawmakers throughout a Senate listening to.
The administration still hasn’t launched a web site for folks to request the fast tests — and it isn’t clear that the tests will attain Americans earlier than the variety of Omicron infections hit their peak.
The present seven-day every day common of COVID-19 instances within the US has now surged to 751,000.