Biden Orders Emergency Management Agency to Assist With Coronavirus Testing
© AP Photo / Brooke LansdaleA line stretches down the block as people wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 in New York on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Lines stretch around the block for testing sites, refrigerated morgue trucks are being ordered, infections are soaring so much that they resemble a straight line and not a curve, European countries are imposing new travel restrictions. A sense of dismay about the pandemic and the omicron variant has overtaken the mood as the holiday season approaches.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden has issued an executive order for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with coronavirus testing across the United States, the White House announced in a memorandum.
"The administrator of FEMA shall issue a mission assignment to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), on a fully reimbursable basis, to provide testing sites, launched and operated by HHS in close coordination with State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments," the memorandum said on Monday.
The order was given to enable FEMA to use the emergency and disaster assistance available to it to get testing to the places that need it most, the memorandum said.
"FEMA's mission assignments will require HHS to adjudicate State, Tribal, and territorial requests through the Emergency Support Function Eight Advisory Council," the memorandum added.
FEMA shall fund 100 percent of the cost of activities associated with the mission assignments to HHS to provide COVID‑19 testing sites, according to the memorandum.