Under the leadership of President Trump, the Department of Health and Human Services leveraged the Defense Production Act (DPA) to apply priority rated orders for contracts with Becton Dickinson (BD) and Quidel Corporation through September. These acquisitions will fulfill a large-volume purchase of diagnostic systems and assays for COVID-19 testing and will expedite shipments of these systems and assays to every nursing home certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) with a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver – approximately 14,000 nursing homes – in the United States. The tests can diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection in approximately 15 minutes. In response, Assistant Secretary for Health and COVID-19 Testing Coordinator Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., issued the following statement:
“The federal efforts to supply nursing homes with rapid point-of-care antigen instruments and tests is our highest priority to save lives and the US Government will exert its full authority to complete this mission. We are invoking the priority rating of the Defense Production Act to expedite shipments of instruments and antigen tests to give nursing homes the ability to perform these rapid tests. HHS will continue to explore every possible avenue to get life-saving supplies to the frontlines of this war on the virus.
I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank both BD and Quidel for their excellent work in responding to an urgent need for an expansion of COVID-19 testing.”