The first Covid-19 tests that will be sent to Americans for free will start arriving for distribution “early next week,” the White House said Monday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during an afternoon briefing that the administration is “working closely with manufacturing distributors to understand what they can ship and by when.” She said officials were still “working through the timelines of distribution.”
“There are several components of this,” Psaki continued. “We want to ensure that there's not only that physical test, but the ability to distribute them, which is what we're working through right now.”
She said contracts with testing manufacturers were expected to be “structured in a way to require that significant amounts are delivered on an aggressive timeline, the first of which should be arriving early next week. We expect to have all contracts awarded over the next two weeks, and then Americans will begin being able to order these tests online later this month.”
“We also expect to have details on the website as well as a hotline later this week. So these are all components that we're working through and working to expedite as quickly as possible,” she said.
More background: On Friday, the Biden administration signed its first contract with a test manufacturer as part of President Biden's efforts to distribute half a billion free rapid tests throughout the country, according to White House officials. As CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported, officials have offered few details since Biden announced the endeavor to send free test kits amid a nationwide shortage and surge in new cases.