The Trump administration unveiled Thursday a $750 million deal to buy 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests from Abbott Laboratories, a move that would substantially expand the nation’s capacity for rapid testing.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday granted emergency-use authorization to the company for a $5 rapid-response Covid-19 antigen test that is roughly the size of a credit card. The test could be administered in a doctor’s or school nurse’s office and uses technology similar to home pregnancy tests. It returns results in about 15 minutes.
“This is a major development that will help our country to remain open, get Americans back to work and kids back to school,” White House senior adviser Alyssa Farah said.
The White House announcement comes as President Trump is expected to tout his response to the pandemic that has claimed roughly 180,000 American lives in his speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention, where he will formally accept the party’s presidential nomination for the second time.