U.S. to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests

Clay Curtis
September 29, 2020

Trump, at a Rose Garden event, said the tests would largely be used for opening schools and ensuring safety at centers for senior citizens. The move comes as the first presidential debate draws closer.

Trump's warning that more cases are ahead was echoed by Vice President Mike Pence., who said "the American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead".

The president has repeatedly suggested that more testing leads to more cases, when in fact testing uncovers cases that already exist.

There have been more than seven million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the USA and 205,000 deaths as of Monday.

Trump said he will also distribute a coronavirus vaccine immediately, once it is approved.

"Here's our plan: 50 million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities", such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Trump said.

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As of Monday afternoon, the COVID-19 death toll was near 205,000, with at least 7.1 million cases confirmed in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The White House will encourage states - which have ultimate discretion over how to deploy the tests - to use about 100 million to screen teachers, check symptomatic children to see if they have contracted the virus, or conduct baseline surveillance. "Coordination among FDA, private test developers, federal public health leaders, and state leadership has allowed us to build the world's largest and most effective testing system, supplying the right tests for the right circumstances".

Each of the kits cost the federal government $5, and the health department said in a statement that Abbott plans to make 48 million kits available monthly in the coming weeks. Results are produced in about 15 minutes.

Trump is trying to show progress in the battle against the pandemic as he campaigns for re-election on November 3 against Democrat Joe Biden.

Admiral Brett Giroir spoke at the press conference about US progress on covid testing, talking about the Abbott test and demonstrating how easy it is.

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