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Biden administration makes 8 more free Covid tests available to US households as it calls on Congress to pass additional funding

By Betsy Klein, CNN

The Biden administration is opening for a third round of orders while reiterating its calls on Congress to act on additional Covid response funding.

US households are now able to order “an additional eight free at-home tests at—bringing the total number of free tests available to each household since the start of the program to 16,” the White House said in a fact sheet on Tuesday. The tests were first made available on Monday.

The government first launched the website to allow for the order of free tests in January, and Americans were able to order their second round of tests in March. During both rounds, people could order a maximum of four tests per household. This third round doubles that.

The administration has delivered approximately 350 million free tests so far, the fact sheet said, and this round of tests is being funded with money made available in last year’s stimulus package. The White House has pushed for $22.5 billion in additional funding for for testing, treatment and vaccines, and warned on Tuesday that more tests would not be forthcoming without additional spending.

“Due to Congress’s failure to provide additional funding for the nation’s Covid-19 response, the Administration cannot continue making the types of federal investments needed to sustain domestic testing manufacturing capacity, and this may jeopardize the federal government’s ability to provide free tests moving forward,” the fact sheet said.

The White House has repeatedly warned of negative effects to the federal Covid response as part of its push for more funding, including what it says are threats to the production of new vaccines. At one point earlier this month, the administration asserted that 100 million infections were possible in the fall and winter, though the White House has not released underlying data to support the projection, raising questions about whether political considerations helped shape the figure.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to endorse Covid-19 testing for all domestic travelers. Previously, the recommendation to test before domestic travel applied to those who weren’t up to date with their Covid-19 vaccines.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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