Increased funds to expand COVID-19 testing focus on addressing supply chain issues and monitoring for new variants
The White House announced Feb. 17, 2021, the allocation of new funds to expand access to COVID-19 testing. This new initiative will involve providing over $1.6 billion and is designed to help increase the public’s accessibility to testing, reduce supply chain shortages for clinical laboratories, and better monitor new variants.
“We need to test broadly and rapidly to turn the tide of this pandemic,” said Carole Johnson, the White House’s Covid-19 Testing Coordinator. “But we still don’t have enough testing and we don’t have enough testing in all the places it needs to be.”
Sources of Federal Funding Moving in Three Directions
Of the over $1.6 billion being allocated to COVID-19 testing, the breakdown for these funds includes:
- $650 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Department of Defense (DOD) to expand testing in schools and underserved congregate settings.
- $815 million from HHS and the DOD to increase the domestic manufacturing of COVID-19 testing supplies such as reagents and transport containers. This increased funding is designed to reduce supply shortages for clinical laboratories.
- $200 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand and promote genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2. This funding is designed to detect and track variants circulating in the US.
These funds will help both clinical laboratories and public health labs to have better access to the resources needed to increase COVID-19 testing.
White House: Briefing Feb. 17, 2021