Biden vows to deliver free rapid Covid-19 tests and reassures vaccinated Americans

Washington DC – On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced his plan to increase vaccination sites, get medical help sent to hospitals, and deliver free Covid-19 tests to Americans who want them.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the status of the country's fight against Covid-19 on Tuesday in Washington DC.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the status of the country's fight against Covid-19 on Tuesday in Washington DC.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

As the Omicron variant continues to spread around the country, with even vaccinated individuals testing positive for the virus, President Biden vowed to get Covid-19 tests into the hands of Americans at no cost to them.

During a speech by given on Tuesday, Biden said the federal government was purchasing 500 million rapid at-home Covid-19 tests to send to Americans across the country, with delivery starting in January.

According to the president, there will be a website set up where Americans can request Covid-19 tests to be delivered directly to their homes for free, using funds from the Defense Production Act.

Biden noted officials are still working out the finer print of the program, like the number of tests each household can get, and how individuals without internet can submit their requests.

The order comes after many cities across the country have been experiencing a shortage in Covid-19 tests amid an uptick in cases.

Service members on standby

President Joe Biden ordered the federal government to purchase 500 million rapid at-home Covid-19 tests for Americans to request at no cost.
President Joe Biden ordered the federal government to purchase 500 million rapid at-home Covid-19 tests for Americans to request at no cost.  © IMAGO/MediaPunch

President Biden ordered the government to create more pop-up testing and vaccination sites for those who have not been vaccinated or received their booster shots, calling it Americans' "patriotic duty," to do so.

The first wave of new pop-up testing and vaccination sites will be located in New York City, and should be up and running before Christmas.

Biden also assured Americans their holiday travel plans were safe, that Is – if they were vaccinated.

"I know some Americans are wondering if you can safely celebrate the holidays with your family and friends. The answer is yes, you can, if you and those you celebrate with are vaccinated – particularly if you've gotten your booster shot."

The president doubled down on using Covid-19 health and safety precautions by urging Americans to wear masks when indoors and on airplanes – including vaccinated individuals.

According to CNN, another one of Biden's newly announced initiatives includes a plan to assemble 1,000 military service members such as doctors, nurses and medics that can be deployed to assist in understaffed and overburdened hospitals across the US, starting in January.

Though a White House official said the administration is hopeful they won't have to use all 1,000 service members, they added, "If we do, they are ready and they're mobilized."

The Biden administration continues to insist that federal lockdowns are not on the table at this time, while doubling down on their push for unvaccinated Americans to get the shot in order to protect themselves from serious illness or hospitalization.

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

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