January 13, 2022

Congressman Schiff on President Biden Announcement of a Billion COVID-19 Rapid Tests

“The unprecedented spread of the Omicron variant has made it clear that we have entered a challenging new phase of this pandemic - one that requires a public health response that evolves to meet the severity and urgency of the moment. An additional 500 million COVID-19 rapid tests, alongside the 500 million already promised, will be critically important as we continue to vaccinate the country and combat the virus. I applaud President Biden for urgently bringing these rapid tests into our homes.

“The federal government must do everything it can in the coming days and weeks to ensure these tests reach people when they need them and that they are accessible to all. Earlier this week, I led more than 50 of my House and Senate colleagues in urging the President to do just that, by substantially increasing the supply of rapid tests and removing financial and logistical barriers to access. And I have been pleased to see the administration take action on some of our recommendations in just the past few days, from procuring these additional tests, to announcing plans to set up a phone line so those without reliable broadband can order free rapid tests and requiring private insurers to cover up to eight kits per month.

“While the rapidly-changing nature of the pandemic demands we constantly reimagine our response, we must remain vigilant that no one is slipping through the cracks. I look forward to introducing legislation soon that will ensure our efforts to defeat this virus are as comprehensive and equitable.

“In the interim, I urge everyone to take measures to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting fully vaccinated - the vaccines are safe, free, and convenient - and boosted."