Admiral Brett Giroir is the assistant secretary for health for the Department of Health and Human Services. He recently claimed that the federal government has delivered about 7.3 million Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests to nursing homes across the country. However, these tests have been found to be unreliable in many cases. Trump purchased 150 million of those tests. The Trump administration finally began distributing point-of-care testing devices to nursing homes in September.
“It is critical that we protect the vulnerable, like those in nursing homes, and we are doing that pretty well by widespread testing of their staff, assuring [personal protective equipment] and training and deploying strike teams to all homes that are having outbreaks,” Giroir said.
36.7 million tests of the 150 million purchased have been delivered. More than 2.4 million tests have also been delivered to assisted living facilities. Giroir said “the supply far exceeds the demand from nursing homes, so we feel very good about that.”
Giroir also stressed the need for “smart policies plus smart smart testing” as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, including in nursing homes. Those smart policies include wearing a face mask, social distancing and practicing good hygiene.