Written by 10:23 am News

White House announces purchase of 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced the purchase of 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

“This is a major development that will help our country to remain open, get Americans back to work, and kids back to school!” McEnany tweeted.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal with Abbott Laboratories is worth $750 million.

Some background: Abbott Labs received emergency approval yesterday from the US Food and Drug Administration for its rapid antigen test, which can detect a Covid-19 infection in 15 minutes.

The FDA’s emergency use authorization is for Abbott’s BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag Card. The size of a credit card, BinaxNOW will cost $5 and will come with a free mobile app that will let people who test negative display a temporary, date-stamped health pass that is renewed each time a new test is taken.

The antigen test, which involves a nasal swab, uses the same type of technology as a flu test. Abbott says it anticipates producing 50 million BinaxNOW tests a month by October.

“The massive scale of this test and app will allow tens of millions of people to have access to rapid and reliable testing,” said Joseph Petrosino, a professor of virology at Baylor College of Medicine, in a statement released by Abbott.

With reporting from CNN’s David Goldman, Andrea Kane and Nadia Kounang.

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