President Joe Biden announced Thursday the administration would purchase another 500 million more at home COVID-19 tests.
President Biden committed to buying 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests last month. However, long lines are still occurring at test sites across the country, and tests are becoming harder to purchase online. Additionally, the daily number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths is still rising.
The president added that high-quality face masks would also be available for free, and a website where Americans can order the free tests will be launched next week. However, it’s still unclear when the tests will be available and how long the tests will take to be delivered.
According to NPR, Biden made the announcement before receiving a briefing from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on how the agencies will assist healthcare providers.
Due to hospitals filling up fast in some states, Biden will send military personnel to hospitals in Cleveland, New York, Michigan, New Mexico, and New Jersey. The Biden administration added that more than 800 military and other federal personnel have been deployed in 24 states. More than 14,000 National Guard members have been deployed in 49 states to assist with everything from administering vaccines to clinical and emergency care.
The pandemic has taken a toll on the Biden administration in recent months. Along with a rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the administration is also dealing with rising inflation and student and teacher walkouts. Biden is all but begging unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated and boosted to stay safe and put an end to the pandemic.
“If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, do it,” Biden implored. “Personal choice impacts us all.” He called COVID-19 “one of the most formidable enemies America has ever faced. We’ve got to work together, not against each other.”
At this point, the pandemic has infected more than 64.3 million Americans, killing more than 865,000.