The Biden government rejected a COVID-19 mass test plan in late October, according to Vanity Fair.
Experts at the meeting called for 732 million rapid tests to be produced and distributed monthly for the home.
They expected the holidays to increase, but WH officials said the test makers had no capacity.
President Joe Biden’s administration rejected a plan by COVID-19 testing experts in late October to manufacture and ship over 700 million rapid COVID-19 home tests to Americans before the holidays, according to Vanity Fair.
On October 25, the report said public health experts from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the COVID Collaborative and the Rockefeller Foundation unveiled the 10-page plan in a Zoom call with White House officials. The plan provided for a “test wave to prevent COVID waves on vacation”.
To do that, the experts told the White House that at least 732 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests would need to be made at home each month and mailed to American citizens before the holiday season, Vanity Fair reported.
“We didn’t have the capacity to produce over-the-counter tests on this scale,” a Biden official who attended the presentation told Vanity Fair, referring to the FDA’s approval process.
Biden officials told Vanity Fair that the plan was rejected because few home tests had been approved by the FDA and none of the companies were able to increase their capacity to meet proposed manufacturing requirements.
Shortly thereafter, the Biden administration worked instead to expedite the FDA approval process for other rapid home tests in the pipeline.
As things stand, the Biden government is expanding testing across the country in view of the highly infectious Omicron variant.
In a speech Monday, Biden said his government would provide 500 million free COVID test kits to use at home for Americans affected by the surge in the Omicron variant.
On Thursday, President Biden told ABC News, “I wish I had thought about ordering the 500 million tests” two months ago. “
Similarly, on Friday, The Washington Post reported that the spring of the Biden administration decided to stop focusing on mass testing and instead decided to focus solely on boosting vaccinations.
Officials at the time vied for widespread PCR testing as there were major doubts about the accuracy of rapid antigen tests at the time, officials told the Post.
Insider asked the White House for comment.
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