Vice President Mike Pence has assured Americans that all coronavirus disease 2019 testing will be free of charge. “Cost is never going to be a barrier to anyone getting a coronavirus test,” he told reporters at a press conference at the White House on Sunday, March 15.
Pence explained how the Trump administration had been hard at work in gaining access to coronavirus disease tests for all.
“As you recall, several weeks ago the president directed a change in our Medicare and Medicaid programs to ensure coronavirus testing was included. Health insurers were brought in and they all agreed to waive copays,” Pence said.
He praised the cooperation between members of Congress, “Because of the good bipartisan work done in the House of Representatives now all coronavirus testing is free and it’s free for every American, including uninsured Americans,” he said, according to The Blaze.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir was also present at Sunday’s press conference and announced that 1.9 million tests will be available next week.
“Because, as the vice president, of last week’s historically fast approval of high throughput testing, we are now in a new phase of testing,” Giroir said.
“We’re going from somewhat manual, relatively slow phases to a testing regimen where we can test many tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of individuals per week and maybe even more. We will have 1.9 million of these high throughput tests available this week,” he added.
Giroir also noted the Trump administration has organized 2,000 labs, “starting to turn the lights on,” to commence this week, and said it will be a “game-changer.”
As of Monday, March 16, there are 3,774 confirmed cases in the United States, with 69 deaths.
Authorities are urging elderly citizens and those with health problems to hunker down at home, increasing their chances of remaining virus-free.
As testing increases in the next few weeks, public health officials expect the number of confirmed coronavirus cases to increase while the mortality rate goes down.