White House to invest $230 million in rapid coronavirus test


The Biden administration announced Monday it has struck a deal with an Australian company to ramp up the production of an over-the-counter, self-administered, coronavirus test that yields results in a matter of minutes.

Andy Slavitt, senior adviser for the White House’s COVID-19 response, said the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Service has awarded $230 million to the company Ellume to bolster the manufacturing and rollout of its rapid at-home nasal test.

“These are over-the-counter, self-performed, test kits that can detect COVID with roughly 95% accuracy within 15 minutes,” Mr. Slavitt said at a COVID-19 briefing. “They can be used if you feel symptoms of COVID-19 and also for screening for people without symptoms so they can safely go to work, to school and to events.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the test in December.

The investment guarantees 8.5 million more tests in the United States.

“Making easier to use tests available to every American is a high priority with obvious benefits,” Mr. Slavitt said.

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