Nearly half of Biden's 500 million free COVID tests remain unclaimed
Officials say fewer than 100,000 orders a day are coming in for the packages of four free rapid tests per household. The White House is sensitive to criticism that plan may have come too late.
Nearly half of the 500 million free COVID-19 tests the Biden administration recently made available to the public still have not been claimed as virus cases plummet and people feel less urgency to test.
That's according to administration officials who say the program still represents a step toward a deeper and more responsive testing program that will accommodate demand surges and remain on standby when cases wane.
On the first day of the White House test giveaway in January, the government website COVIDtests.gov received 45 million orders. Now officials say fewer than 100,000 orders a day are coming in for the packages of four free rapid tests per household, , delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
Testing will become more important with mask requirements now easing, say some independent experts.
President Joe Biden’s pivot to testing came under duress as the omicron variant gained force just before the end of December. Tests were frustratingly hard to come by, and expensive. The White House is sensitive to criticism that help may have come too late.