According to a report, the White House rejected a proposal in October that would have allowed more than 730 million COVID tests per month to be added to the market.
Top industry experts from Harvard’s T.H. The Chan School of Public Health, COVID Collaborative and the Rockefeller Foundation sought to increase manufacturing capabilities in order “to Prevent Holiday COVID Suge,” as first reported by Vanity Fair on Thursday.
The White House turned down the offer and announced three days later that it would support rapid home testing by using the FDA’s regulatory approval process. A government official who was present at the October meeting said that the U.S. did not have the capacity to produce over-the-counter testing at such a scale.
The FDA only approved a few testing kits for at-home testing. This meant that there was not much scope to increase the manufacturing capacity.
President Biden’s announcement earlier this week indicates a shift in the administration’s priority since COVID cases continue to rise across the country. Biden stated that he wished he had considered ordering half a million [tests] before COVID hit.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated earlier this year that the administration had dismissed the idea prematurely. “Shouldn’t we just send one to each American?” She scoffed at the podium when she was asked about increased access to the testing kit.
What happens if each American has one? What does it cost? And what happens next? She added. She stated earlier this week that she would agree that there is not a single day that passes that I don’t get up on the podium to say something.