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COVID-19: No More Free Testing

Alana Matthew | 101 Magazine        Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash 

News broke recently that the nation will no longer be providing free testing to its citizens as coronavirus heads into another surge. The suspension was put in place at the start of September, due to a lack of funding, as shared by the President’s administration. Many find this concerning considering the pandemic had the American population in a chokehold for twenty-four consecutive months and continues to affect thousands of households. To know that people can still contract COVID-19 with the vaccine, is supporting evidence, as to why the access to free testing is still necessary. 

One of the most culturally relevant questions throughout the United States of America over the past couple of years has to do with whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic would have been  non-existent or more controlled if the government had enacted a mandatory three-week lockdown. While some believe that it is the duty of the government to have Americans’ best interest at heart, the government has shown its true colors in doing what’s best for itself by cutting pandemic funding.

A Howard University student, Gregory Coleman recently tested positive and he shared his experience. “I didn’t know that the government would no longer be providing free testing but it didn’t affect me at the time when I tested on campus. I disagree with them discontinuing free testing because it should be accessible to everyone so that they can know if they have COVID-19 or not.” 

In contrast, STEM major Doaa Thomas knew about the news from updates last year, yet Thomas was still dissatisfied with how the COVID-19 pandemic is being handled in the hands of the nation’s representatives.

“I do not agree with them discontinuing the testing because with an issue as big as COVID-19, people deserve to at least know if they have it so they can pay for the treatment that’s already going to cost them a lot. People shouldn’t pay to find out if they are sick,” said Thomas. 

Research suggests that almost 67.8 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, but is this enough to protect Americans from the merciless, and growing variants of coronavirus predicted to come? The government’s concern does not seem to match up to citizen concerns. This has been reflected several times from the end of the stimulus checks to the blatant downplay as well as the lack of leadership displayed at the beginning of the pandemic. 

As of late, Howard has not changed its free testing protocol and will continue to test its students at no charge, but changes are expected to fall in line with the national government’s new orders.

Mia Westley

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