Was the $73 billion spent on COVID-19 testing money well spent?

New Yorkers recall COVID-19 testing woes following the holidays

NEW YORK CITY – People in New York shared mixed opinions with Fox News on whether the $73 billion allocated for COVID-19 testing was justified.

Leading into the holidays, videos and reports from states across the country showed long lines at testing sites and at-home test kit pickup sites, which left some Americans waiting hours in line. 

Between $47.8 billion allocated from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan “to carry out activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor SARS–CoV–2 and COVID–19 infections” and $25 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program to “research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID–19 tests,” the federal government has allocated roughly $73 billion to ramp up testing. 

People queue for a COVID-19 test as the omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City, Dec. 21, 2021.
(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo)

“It does seem like a lot of money,” Caroline told Fox News. “But I don’t have any other solutions.”

One man who got tested three times before the holidays said: “I think it’s a waste of money if people don’t use it.” 

Tony told Fox News: “They probably could have spent that money doing other things, honestly, probably something more productive as opposed to trying to give out tests and everything.”

Cars line up at a COVID-19 testing site at the South Orange Youth Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.  
(Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

While the rush to get tested quieted after the holidays, people reflected on the wait times and slow test results that plagued the city in December. 

“I had to wait five days for the results,” Caroline said. “My roommate … she had to leave at like 7:30 in the morning and waited in one of those two-hour-long lines.”

Another woman recalled: “It was hard to find a spot. Most of the lines were really long, and I couldn’t find any appointments.” 

One man said: “I was almost waiting two hours and a half.”

A line outside a COVID-19 mobile testing site in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. 
(Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

When asked who was responsible for testing issues, Tony told Fox News: “You can’t really point fingers at just one person. It’s bigger than all of us.”

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