‘Free’ Covid tests from federal government to cost taxpayers billions

Negative Covid-19 antigen test kit, one step coronavirus antigen rapid test, saliva swab, 1 test box with imagine of lungs, close up

The Biden Administration is spending billions of dollars to make free Covid-19 test kits available to Americans starting Sept. 25.

Although some taxpayer somewhere is paying for the kits, the cost to the consumer is nothing. You can request four free test per household through covidtests.gov.

The CDC said the test kits are able to detect the latest Covid variants and can be used through the end of December.

The exact costs of the program are unclear, but in 2022, three companies that provided about 380 million free over-the-counter test kits were awarded $2 billion to do so. That is likely the baseline for the current round of free test kits.

The free testing program comes almost exactly one year after President Joe Biden said that the Covid pandemic was over.

The pandemic is over,” Biden told 60 Minutes on Sept. 19, 2022. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing, and I think [the Detroit auto show resuming after three years] is a perfect example of it.”

Free test kits were once being handed out like candy in pharmacies and retail outlets, but they are no longer as widely available and insurance companies are no longer reimbursing the cost, after Biden announced the end of the public health emergency on May 11.

Also today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $600 million in grants to 12 commercial Covid-19 test manufacturers.

The grant is meant to produce about 200 million new over-the-counter Covid tests for future federal government use.

The awardees are almost all in liberal states:

  • $88.7 million for Access Bio in New Jersey.
  • $4.5 million for Advin in California.
  • $61.2 million for Azure in Texas.
  • $86.4 million for CorDx in California.
  • $167 million for iHealth in California.
  • $20.7 million for InBios in Washington.
  • $31.4 million for Kwell Laboratories in California.
  • $49.5 million for Maxim Bio in Maryland.
  • $5.7 million for OraSure Technologies in Pennsylvania.
  • $28.7 million for Princeton BioMeditech in New Jersey.
  • $28.6 million for Quidel in California.
  • $20.5 million for Sekisui in Delaware.


  1. Wondering, maybe Suzanne Downing can attempt to answer this, what percent of businesses paid back their COVID “loans” to the U.S. Treasury?

    • SeenThisB4, I dunno, maybe Suzanne can report on how many times a dog wagged it’s tail?

      Maybe you can tell us how many businesses suffered irreparable harm from the Stalin like dictates of our leaders? You know, where huge Corporations flourished and their little guy competition was squelched.

      How many people shut in and isolated from loved ones due to silly plandemic dictates suffered from depression or Mass Psychosis?

      Better still, how many people suffered and perished because therapeutics that apparently work were denied to them? All the while being forced to take an experimental jab that didn’t work and has proven to have detrimental side effects.

      Has the same Government that borrowed trillions of dollars with which to offset their disastrous Covid response, which also debased our currency yet Acknowledged that the virus was engineered and as such was an actual biological attack?

      Chew on the above and get back to us with more of your enlightening questions.

      • The answer to the above “loan” payback is less than 1% Sorry Joe didn’t provide you with any horse dewormer “therapeutics”. Try the Trump vaccine for a change.

        Getting $48K from the Feds when your company is run remotely and did not suffer financial loss is nothing to sneeze or laugh at.

      • I just received what every other Joe & Jill did. However, some businesses that didn’t suffer any noticeable loss because their activities are run remotely got handsome windfalls. One in particular I’m thinking of, got $48,003. All info available on line, courtesy of your Federal Government.

        • B4 you didn’t answer IM’s question. It leaves one with the impression that you also did NOT repay your loan and you are jealous of others, who weathered the pandemic better than you. This is no place for personal vendettas, if if bothers you take it up with the feds.

  2. “Free.” To the uneducated, free is magical. To the educated, “free” means someone besides me paid for it.

    • Sounds a lot like arguing over pronouns and PC terms to me. Should we be getting rid of the word free and replace it with “at no direct cost at point of acquisition?” or “at cost to tax paying persons?”. Or maybe we could spend our time on policy and encouraging people to vote instead of arguing over language semantics.

  3. Biden: “I have a free and playful velociraptor chick to give to your children.”

    Our CHILDREN’S debt, people, keeps on piling up, by the $trillions. Dr. Anthony ‘gain-of-function’ Fauci’s federal pension is secure, though, so he can rest easy.

  4. If it is free from the illegal government, you can count on it being hazardous for your health. It will probably give you Marburg or whatever “virus(es)” they are spreading this time around. Do not take the jabs or use the test kits – dangerous for your health!

  5. Big pharma is currently the fattest pork rooting at the federal trough.

    And our government is making us feed the pig.

  6. On stop whining about it. See it for what it is – a small measure of grace that may make your (or someone else’s) life just a bit easier. Geez.

    • If the government handed me several million dollars, it will certainly make my life a little easier.
      Glad to see you are all about making my life easy.
      Know what might my life, and a lot of other people’s lives easier? Repealing every restrictive gun control law currently on the books. And, remember, no whining. It is making people’s lives easier.

    • Translation into realitytalk:

      See it for what it is — a small but additional measure of fearmongering to the uncritical-thinking lemmings who blindly follow every demand of sociopathic authority, and an additional measure of pandering to the parasitic and predatory corporate-pharmaceutical state.

    • Huh?? How is this making my life easier??
      Don’t you always complain about the defense budget and how they waste money we should use for social programs for Americans??
      This looks to me like a pay-off.
      Even if the government sits on those test for decades,
      or tests don’t really work, because they are calibrated to some older variant and
      hardly anyone wants them anymore,
      these companies got their pound of flesh and will most likely kickback to their “Made in China” partners, who gave us this mess to begin with.

    • The unjabbed don’t need a test kit because they know that this upcoming plandemic and the previous one are made up. People are getting sick and dying from the jabs, which contain bioweapon technology meant to make everyone ill and kill all of us. The tests kits, more than likely, have the bioweapon technology in them to make people sick. No thank you Mrs N, we are not interested in any freebies from the gov’t.

  7. I admit that I did the first 2 shots and a booster because of pulmonary co-morbidities. Clearly a mistake I will have to live with.
    But I have never had one of the FREE tests. Threw the offers from the Postal Service away. If a test was required, I just didn’t go.
    I only found out that I had had covid when I donated blood and they tested for antibodies.
    Nothing, especially from the government, is “free”.

      • The better question to ask “did you actually derive ANY benefit”?? Wouldn’t that be the point of getting jabbed??
        Considering that the shots DO NOT prevent you from getting it, passing it on, or (if you are a very mature adult) die with/from it, being a pin cushion seem kind of pointless.
        Before you get into a lather about “this vaccine is supposed to just not make you die from the disease” there is really no factual measurable proof either way. You may argue that people didn’t die because they got the shot, while it is also possible that they would have gotten over it either way. Same argument applies to all those thousands, who got ill and got over it BEFORE the shots came out and those who went through the disease process yet remain unvaccinated to this day. Correlation does not prove causation.

  8. How else will the uniparty remain in power?
    If they cannot keep the population so terrified that they are afraid to go out, there is less possibility of election fraud.
    Hype it up, COVID! Terror, HORROR!
    (Doctors cannot distinguish COVID from the common cold, but why let facts get in the way of a good mass panic?)
    Everything they can do to put one, or more, layers between the voter and the ballot count benefits those that want to cheat. And, 2020 clearly demonstrated that the public at large will panic if told to do so. Keep them home, vote by mail, etc… And, the powers that are currently F-ing over our once great nation will remain in power.

  9. John Hopkins estimates that Covid deaths in the general population of the United States were 341 out of 100,000 or 0.341 percent. Deaths out of “confirmed” cases are estimated to be 1.1 percent but those numbers are likely wildly exaggerated because there was no differentiation between “died OF Covid” versus “died WITH Covid.” The mortality risk increase with age and infirmity so the risk to the average citizen is extremely low. I’ve read that it is actually lower than the risk of dying from the seasonal flu. So, given all of those facts, you’ve got to wonder what the real agenda is behind the COVID hysteria because it certainly isn’t about saving us from the virus.

    • As a reminder. the Alaska State Department of Health guidelines said that the doctor should determine if the virus killed the patient. It did not matter whether the virus shortened the life by 15 minutes or 15 years, if the doctor wanted to call it a COVID death, it was listed as a COVID death. (Let’s pretend for a second there was no financial incentive to call it a COVID death. Those doctors/hospitals are run by angels who would never do anything underhanded for financial gain.)

      • While it may be a biggie, why are we so focused on #5, but take a casual approach to #s 1-4?
        Oh, and nice use of the climate crisis fallacy. Taking a statistical outlier and using it to justify sweeping government action that will, in the end, do nothing except erode personal freedoms, and build up an All-Powerful-State.
        I should have expected nothing less from a solid leftist like yourself.

      • Heart disease and stroke cause about 700,000 deaths a year, closely followed by cancer. Covid didn’t match those yearly numbers until almost two years had gone by. The only disease btw where case counting continued and did not start over with the new year. So why is no one up in arms about heart disease and cancer? Can you answer that one, Greg?

  10. These tests are worthless, but the ignorant chattlel will trust in them thus reigniting the fear the tyrants so love to manipulate.

    • Combine this:

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

      With this:

      “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

      • Very good, HL!

        And I will add this one as well:

        “The strongest shield and safeguard for all men, especially for the masses against tyrants, is mistrust of those in power.”
        – Demosthenes

  11. Thats one heck of a lot of money to piss away just to let people know they got the “Wuhaa”
    Cant think of anything more important to spend it on …Except research on another bat virus
    Back to the batcave Robin. We got work to do. There is another election coming up.

  12. Looking out for the health of Americans is a good use of public funds. It’s a Covid TEST. You don’t have to use it. It’s not a mask or a vaccine. There is no mandate. If you might have Covid, wouldn’t you want to know?

    • Why should one even test for a now-routine and rarely fatal disease?
      Do we routinely test for colds and the flu? Or do we just treat the symptoms as appropriate?

      Everything, EVERY bit of propaganda about the Wuhan Virus that has been peddled to us by the corporate regime media and the ruling class establishment, has been proven to be a demonstrable lie. What is the point of this testing in the first place? And if the so-called “test” involves the PCR method, then it is not really even a valid diagnostic test for ANY disease, as the inventor of that method himself, Kary Mullis, repeatedly and heatedly argued before his death.

    • We dont need to spend a billion dollars on BS. I am sure everyone in the world has enough common sense to stay home and treat their cold flu headache heartache buttache sore throat sore toes …Except for some that are not smart enough to know whether they are stoned or just plain stupid…..Those people may need a test kit but certainly not a FREE one.
      If you need the government that badly perhaps North Korea is a better place. They even tell you what to think do AND say.
      They are looking out for no one but their retirement portfolios invested in Pharmaceutical companies. At least the “smart” ones are who regulate the mandates.
      Fauci the Farce became VERY wealthy during Covid.
      Maybe he got a bonus for every lie He told or He was heavily invested in Pfizer.

    • It certainly can be helpful to know the cause of one’s viral illness. For example, when a rapid test showed positive for Covid-19, my Anchorage physician promptly prescribed hydroxychloroquine. I took two doses; my symptoms were diminished on the following morning, and were gone by day 3. Oh, and I do not doubt that vitamin D, zinc, etc. were helpful.

      Big Pharma and Dr Fauci, et al. are corrupt to the core with the vax pushing and the gain-of-function debacle at the Wuhan lab, but I should stay with the topic of ‘free’ testing and deficit spending. There will come a day of reckoning with the debt, and that trauma will make the 2020-21 Covid crisis seem like a small bruise on our collective shin.

    • Testing for it. Fine.
      Reporting your health to the government… not so much. Or are you not aware there is a strong request that you report your test results on every test? Granted, there is no requirement, but how many people do because it says so? Too many.

  13. So let me guess, out of the list of pharma’s listed in the united States, how many are outsourced and uh, “Made in China”?

  14. I wonder.

    Does the fact that each and every one of us worldwide has been now exposed unto the Wuhan flu, and would now be positive tested for said same affliction really make any difference at all, within our lives?

    Some may struggle, some may die, but really, what difference, at this point, does it make at this point?

    OK, back unto reality.

    We have all of us, at some time caught a cold, and got over it.

    We have all of us, at some time caught the flu, and got over it.

    And now, we have all of us, at some time, caught Covid-19, within all of its variations, the vast majority of such, are not a deadly variation, no matter how the mainstream media wish to make it so.

    And we have gotten over it.

    Pray the Panickers understand fully what they have wrought.

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