The Biden administration will spend $1.6 billion to ramp up coronavirus testing and sequencing across the country — including $650 million for testing in K-8 schools, it announced Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters during a coronavirus briefing, officials said that while the administration was working to inoculate as many as possible, a “robust testing” operation was needed to further protect public health.
“We need to test broadly and rapidly to turn the tide of this pandemic. But we still don’t have enough testing and we don’t have enough testing in all the places it needs to be,” said White House COVID-19 supply coordinator Carole Johnson.
As part of the strategy, President Biden will sign a series of executive actions and orders authorizing the spending.
Through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, the federal government will spend $650 million of the funds for testing in elementary and middle schools, as well as homeless shelters.