Company Selling Covid Tests Demands Testing Rule For Flights to US Remain In Force

Emed sells proctored Covid-19 tests for travel to the U.S. at 6 for $150 plus shipping. Unsurprisingly, they believe that a requirement for passengers to test prior to flying to the U.S. needs to remain in place.

‘Now is the time to continue these measures’

As the CEO of testing company eMed, Patrice Harris believes strongly that testing along with mitigation measures such as vaccinations and masks will allow people to continue to gather and travel. She said she has highlighted the importance of testing since the beginning of the pandemic, when she was president of the American Medical Association.

Testing will remain useful for diagnostics (if you catch Covid-19, knowing you have it can lead to early treatment with drugs like monoclonal antibodies or small molecule inhibitors, preventing hospitalization). And testing in congregant settings for the elderly and infirm may remain important as well. However testing is unlikely to make sense for the majority of people on an ongoing basis. This would have been a crucial tool before vaccines and current treatments, and before there was widespread immunity in the population from prior infection by the current dominant strain and those similar to it.

But with hospitals no longer overwhelmed and with better treatments available, there’s little reason to test for Covid-19 prior to travel (and, by the way, for few other settings). Pre-travel testing did not stop the introduction of variants into the U.S., and it doesn’t ‘keep the virus out’ since it’s already here and seemingly endemic. Of course the administration rolled out its program to send tests to American homes right as it was on the cusp of no longer being useful.

Eliminating the testing requirement is politically awkward, and fear of foreigners remains more popular than masks in swing districts. That’s why a transportation mask requirement stands a greater chance of being lifted before a testing requirement for international arrivals.

(HT: @KPotterMN)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Maybe they’ll compromise by going back from 1 to 3 days, but it still is pointless, especially since the rule ignores land and sea travelers. I wonder if the feds have any kind of data on how many people this stopped. Probably not, but without that there’s no hard proof it has even worked.

  2. End all this testing nonsense. Quarantine isn’t going to stop the spread. Been saying it for two years now…genie is outta the bottle and it’s not going back in. There’s only two types of people now. Those that have had the Vid and those that are going to get the Vid. And if you’re going to get the Vid don’t you want a weak strain – like the ones going around now? TIME TO MOVE ON. END THE MADNESS.

  3. The most corrupt government in US history cares about its oligarchs and patrons far more than you or a bunch of “dirty” foreigners who will surely bring Covid to our shores if we ever let our guard down, and then . . . .!

  4. Clowns at the cdc and in the white house! Time to move on and sweep them all out of office and get things back to normal.

  5. For those of us who are properly vaccinated and boosted there is little danger at all of bad consequences from Covid. We are back in the “drive to the airport is the riskiest part of flying” mode. The anti-vaxxers are doing all the ICU and morgue stuff now, and even for them the rates are at their lowest point in a long time. Worldwide death rates for COVID are at a level not seen since March 2020. It is logical that the CEO of a company that manufactures testing materials would favor continued testing for all eternity and she is welcome to test herself hourly if she wants. But it is time for those in authority to stop making restrictive rules for everyone. Limit them to the unvaccinated or get rid of them entirely. If the 24-hour rule for testing to come to the U.S. ever made sense, it was when cases, hospitalizations and deaths were all 10 to 100 times as high as they are now. Follow the science.

  6. Follow the Science…………………Oh wait a minute, FOLLOW THE CASH.

  7. Oh my, you found another corporation that puts greed above anything else?
    Say it aint so?

  8. And, a DL international flight attendant told me that crew are NEVER tested. WISH that some reporter would get a rationale for that (plus cruise passengers and crew plus land crossings.) Crickets…

  9. “The anti-vaxxers are doing all the ICU and morgue stuff now…”

    A complete and utter lie from someone who obviously hasn’t read anything outside of CNN, The NY Times, or the Washington Post. It fascinates me that people continue to advance this fallacy.

  10. Meanwhile… thousands of unvaccinated and UNTESTED immigrants are welcomed into the country by the Biden administration every day. All that while triple vaccinated American citizens are required to scramble to get tested in order to enter our own country. Absolutely insane political theater.

  11. Our family traveling party utilized four of those particular tests before flying home from Europe last week.

    What a fiasco for one of us in particular. The pandemic has certainly resulted in some economic winners and losers.

    Follow the science, hell. Follow the money.

  12. Turbotax does the same thing and lobbies against tax simplification.

    Actually, for selfish reasons I hope they keep the requirement. It suppresses international travel to/from the US, so probably keeps a bit of a lid on fares.

  13. I am awaiting 6 tests that I had to order for 2 of us. EMed only sells them in packs of 6 tests for $150, which includes the Proctoring. Tests were supposed to be here last Tuesday. Never showed up. Now they will be here this Tuesday and we are leaving Wednesday. Just adds more stress with them being late, and will probably ever only use 2 of the tests before the policy changes.

  14. You can get the proctored tests in quantities of 2 or 3 from Optum store that work the same as Emed.

  15. Having just gone through eMed testing using a US phone number in order to return to the US, I would like like to comment. All four of the people I worked with were borderline incompetent, reading from a script they didn’t understand in barely recognizable English. I question why we are giving all the money to China (test manufacturer) and India (proctors) for what appears to be a useless exercise.

  16. Continuing COVID test requirements for passengers returning to the United States via commercial air carriers is a colossal “rip-off” which enriches both eMed and Abbott. Testing for air passengers and none for those entering the nation’s southern border by foot makes no sense. It clearly shows the Biden Administration’s continued hypocrisy along with its sycophants in prolonging abuse upon the traveling public!

  17. @CHRIS says:
    April 17, 2022 at 8:13 am
    How much stock does Hunter, Fauci, Pelosi and Obama hold in this company?

    Does your mommy know you are using her computer?

  18. IMHO, pretty much every “player” has their respective position in this issue — and not surprisingly/coincidentally it also is a position that directly benefits them… to that end, i can absolutely believe the test makers would take the “continue it” position… it benefits them.,

    to the same end, the airlines/travel industry would take the “end it now” position.. again, to do so directly benefits them …

    and lastly the public, they’ll probably vote for “end it now” as well — again, it directly benefits them .. less barriers to travel and lower costs..

    and each respective side can present some data, some argument that their position “makes sense” from some other angle OTHER THAN the angle that directly benefits them … that way their narrative can be “we want this because it just makes sense”. which is far more appealing from a public narrative perspective than to say “we best this because we benefit from it”

  19. Almost as newsworthy as “Companies who Brought Deadly Foreign Virus who Killed Almost a Million Americans Demand Testing Rule For Flights to US to Be Scrapped”.

    These, of course, are the airlines.

    🙂 🙂 🙁

  20. View From the Wing comment drinking game: When the headline says mask or covid, drink when you see the words Biden, Brandon, Hunter, Administration or Pelosi. Try it! Super fun. It’s a newer version of the Fox News Benghazi drinking game!!

  21. @ DaveS. I’m posting to ask where you get your facts? I won’t attempt to change your misconceptions. I am posting to support those who know your reality is strictly yours and not one of real science.

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