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White House to purchase $1 billion worth of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests

The White House on Wednesday said it will buy $1 billion worth of rapid, at-home coronavirus tests, quadrupling the number of tests available for Americans by December.

Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told The Washington Post that because rapid tests haven't been widely available, it's harder for public health experts to track and fight COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. This purchase of tests is "a big deal," he said. "The White House is beginning to take testing as seriously as they've taken vaccinations."

Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the Biden administration is also going to expand the number of pharmacies in the country's free COVID-19 testing program to 20,000. By December, Zients said, there should be 500 million at-home and PCR lab tests available at clinics, doctor's offices, and pharmacies every month. "Together, the steps we're taking will ensure that every American, no matter their income level or ZIP code, can access accurate, convenient, and affordable testing," he added.