"Ordering through this program will be suspended on Sept. 2 because Congress hasn't provided additional funding to replenish the nation's stockpile of tests," a banner alert on the federal website where American households could request free COVID-19 home testing kits stated. The website was set up during the COVID-19 wave of infections driven by the more infectious yet milder B11529 omicron variant.
"If Congress provides funding, we will expeditiously resume distribution of free tests through the website," a White House senior official told various news outlets. "Until then, we believe reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best course."
Back in January, the Biden administration pledged one billion free COVID-19 tests. Half of this amount would be delivered to households via the U.S. Postal Service. This resulted in a rapid testing initiative for American households, which could receive up to 16 free home antigen test kits per order in its first phase.
Two months later in March, the White House asked Congress for an additional $22.5 billion for COVID-19 relief efforts. It warned the House of Representatives that without the said funds allocation, it would be unable to sustain testing capacity. In the third phase in May, Biden administration officials said 350 million tests had been given away to 70 million households. (Related: Study: Taxpayers are spending millions on "free" COVID tests.)
"We have warned that Congressional inaction would force unacceptable tradeoffs and harm our overall COVID-19 preparedness and response-and that the consequences would likely worsen over time," the White House representative said. "Unfortunately, because of the limited funding we have to work with, we have had to make impossible choices about which tools and programs to invest in and which ones we must downsize, pause, or end altogether."
Taxpayers are shouldering the cost of the free rapid test kits. Given this, critics are perplexed as to why the stockpile of COVID-19 tests is depleted.
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in June analyzed the revenue collected by 21 laboratories in Hawaii, which were obtained from the Hawaii Department of Taxation. It noted that the labs performed 2.8 million COVID-19 tests from March 2020 to November 2021.
These tests contributed to an increase in revenue: A month before the pandemic, each lab recorded revenues between $19 million and $22 million. But when the pandemic came, their revenue shot up – with each lab raking in between $28 million and $36 million after November 2020.
Johns Hopkins University professor Ge Bai, a co-author of the study, commented on the findings.
"The misconceptions most people have is 'I don't pay out of pocket,'" he said. "We are literally witnessing the government channel money from taxpayers, patients [and insurance plan] sponsors to labs. We are bearing all the costs without even knowing it."
Bai's earlier work showed some private labs charged as high as $14,750 for COVID-19 tests alone. He pointed out that labs that process large volumes of tests can do so for less than $20 apiece.
Even though the study's data was limited to labs in Aloha State, the professor added that their study's findings may apply to other states where labs continue to collect revenue and profit from testing.
Visit Pandemic.news for more stories about COVID-19 testing.
Watch the below video that talks about toxic chemicals in at-home COVID test kits that were made in China.
This video is from the Winston Churchill ? Vitamin D channel on Brighteon.com.