Friday, January 6, 2022 — A White House plan to offer 500 million free at-home rapid test kits for the coronavirus to families across America is being finalized.
Four people familiar with the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the department would launch a website where people can order express tests. Washington Post mentioned. With the help of the US Postal Service (USPS), officials hope to start sending out test kits by mid-January.
Test makers and distributors seeking to provide a quota of 500 million tests have already submitted proposals to the government, and the first contract was awarded Thursday night, a person familiar with the plan said. An official announcement about the details of the plan may come next week Mail mentioned.
Meanwhile, the USPS is negotiating with its four labor unions to expand its seasonal workforce—about 40,000 people are brought in each year to help the agency operate through an abundance of vacation packages and mail, Mail mentioned.
A White House representative would not comment on the plan, and USPS representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
President Biden first announced the test group plan just before Christmas.
In recent weeks, demand for tests has surged from the previous show as millions of Americans traveled during the holiday season while the highly contagious Omicron variant intensified. Across the country, Americans stood in long lines at pharmacies, community centers and local government buildings, desperate for tests that would tell them if they could visit their loved ones during the holidays.
Jeffrey Zentes, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters Wednesday that manufacturers will begin providing tests to the federal government “within the next week or so.” He added that these kits “will not in any way disrupt or dismantle tests found on pharmacy shelves, on websites and used elsewhere,” Mail mentioned.
Since the Omicron variant first appeared in South Africa in November, the smart variant has spread across America at a rapid pace and now accounts for 95% of all COVID cases in the United States, the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
The USPS almost played a role in a similar partnership with the Trump administration at the start of the pandemic. The idea was to ship 650 million reusable cloth masks to every home in the United States as early as April 2020, but former President Donald Trump scrapped the plan due to an ongoing dispute with the USPS leadership and concern that sending the masks “could create anxiety or panic, A Trump administration official told Mail.
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Posted Jan 2022