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HomeHealthBiden administration to stop sending free at-home Covid-19 tests on Friday

Biden administration to stop sending free at-home Covid-19 tests on Friday

The government will end its giveaway of Covid-19 at-home tests on Sept. 2, the result of insufficient congressional funding, a senior official in the administration of President Joe Biden said Sunday.

A stockpile of the tests is getting depleted, and officials want to have enough on hand in the event of a fall surge, the source said.

The giveaway, which includes tests mailed at no cost to recipients who request them at, will cease Friday, according to an announcement on the site. That is, unless there’s a surprise round of funding from Congress, the source said.

“If Congress provides funding, we will expeditiously resume distribution of free tests through,” the source said. “Until then, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course.”

The Biden administration blaming Congress for the program’s ending was first reported by CNN.

The administration official who spoke to NBC News castigated Congress.

“The administration has been clear about our urgent COVID-19 response funding needs,” the source said. “We have warned that congressional inaction would force unacceptable tradeoffs and harm our overall Covid-19 preparedness and response — and that the consequences would likely worsen over time.”

The news comes at a time when fewer people are testing for the virus and many are believed to have had it without knowing conclusively. In fact, experts believe many Americans have been reinfected at this point in the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, has said he believes Covid-19 will be a seasonal occurrence, like the flu.

With the halting of distribution Friday, a vast majority of Americans would still have the option of getting reimbursed or free testing through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

The federal government has so far distributed an estimated 600 million tests through its Covid-19 test website.

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