US government to end free at-home Covid testing program this week

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The White House and the website where people can claim their tests have accused Congress of failing to provide additional funding for the program, which has provided up to 16 free tests per household since the start of the year.

“Ordering through this program will be paused on Friday, September 2 because Congress has not provided additional funding to replenish the country’s testing stockpile,” said the covid.gov website bed.
The administration launched the initiative, which shipped rapid tests to Americans through the United States Postal Service, in January amid a surge of Omicron variant cases and limited test availability. However, officials have warned for months that without additional congressional funding, the administration would be forced to backtrack on its Covid-19 response efforts.

“We warned that Congressional inaction would force unacceptable compromises and undermine our overall COVID-19 preparedness and response — and the consequences would likely worsen over time,” the White House official said. at CNN. “Unfortunately, due to the limited funding we have to work with, we have had to make impossible choices about which tools and programs to invest in – and which ones to scale back, pause or end all together.”

Still, the official said the administration will “quickly resume distributing free tests through COVIDTests.gov” if and when Congress allocates additional funds, but “[u]Until then, we believe that saving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course of action.”

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