Biden Administration Announces Expansions in COVID-19 Testing and Treatments
To support the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration on Wednesday announced significant investments to expand access to available COVID-19 testing and treatments nationwide. Below, we highlight these announcements:
- COVID-19 Testing Expansion: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will invest $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan to ramp up COVID-19 screening testing among schools and $2.25 billion to scale up testing in underserved populations.
- Schools: The Administration’s $10 billion investment will be provided to states to support COVID-19 testing for teachers, staff, and students to assist states in safely reopening in-person instruction. California is anticipated to receive nearly $900 million of the $10 billion investment.
- Underserved Areas: The CDC will invest $2.25 billion to address COVID-19-realted health disparities and advance health equity among high-risk and underserved populations. Grants to public health departments are anticipated to improve testing and contact tracing capabilities, develop innovative mitigation and prevention resources and services, and improve data collection and reporting to advance health equity and address social determinants of health related to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Treatments for Underserved Communities: HHS is also investing $150 million to increase access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatments for patients in vulnerable communities throughout the country. This new effort is anticipated to speed assistance to hard-hit communities to increase administration of the treatments to prevent hospitalization and deaths. The funding will support additional staffing, infusion center capacity in traditional and non-traditional health care settings, and equipment to administer intravenous infusion treatments. The effort will additionally increase awareness among health providers and patients about available treatment options, including where and how to access them.
President Joseph R. Biden on Thursday additionally announced the U.S. has administered over 100 million COVID-19 vaccines. Recall, the President previously set a goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses by the 100th day of his Administration. According to the Administration, this goal was reached in 58 days.