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150 million rapid COVID-19 tests kits purchased, White House says

President Trump was expected to highlight it in his RNC acceptance speech Thursday.

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the Trump administration has purchased 150 million new COVID-19 test kits to be distributed across the country.

The White House announced the purchase on Thursday ahead of President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, where he was expected to highlight administration steps to combat the virus.

The 15-minute test from Abbott Laboratories will sell for $5, giving it a competitive edge over similar tests that need to be popped into a small machine. It’s the latest cheaper, simpler test to hit the U.S. market, providing new options to expand testing as schools and businesses struggle to reopen and flu season approaches.

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McEnany says the “major development” will save lives, protect America’s most vulnerable and allow more Americans to go back to work and to school.

The test received emergency use authorization from the FDA this week. The company says it will be able to produce about 50 million of them per month, beginning in September.