The Biden administration has signaled a shift to a more aggressive approach to in-home testing for COVID-19, but according to their new plans, it will not be in time to help most Americans before Christmas or even New Year's Eve.
President Biden will announce Tuesday a number of new initiatives that include increased testing, both at designated sites and for private, in-home use, senior administration officials said.
The latter is a reversal from the attitude presented by White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier this month, when the idea of sending tests to Americans was raised during a press briefing.
"Why not just make them free … and have them available everywhere?" asked NPR reporter Mara Liasson.
"Should we just send one to every American?" Psaki responded sarcastically. When Liasson said that would be a good idea, Psaki pushed back.
"Then what happens … if every American has one test? How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?" she asked.
While the answers to those questions remain unknown, the president will announce Tuesday that the administration will be buying at least 500 million at-home rapid tests to send to Americans for free.
Unfortunately, those tests will not be available for Americans to use before the winter holidays to help them decide whether to gather with family or friends. The tests are first scheduled to be sent out to American homes in January.
New York City residents, however, may be in luck. Biden will also be announcing the establishment of a number of new federal testing sites throughout the U.S. New York City will have the first one, set to open this week.
Officials said testing in the United States is "a lot better than it was," but admitted that "there’s more to do."
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.