By Aaron Dorman | Pinal Central
As Pinal County residents begin to receive their at-home COVID test kits from the U.S. government as part of a nationwide testing push, some have noticed the kits have traveled a long way to get to the desert, possibly from across the Pacific Ocean.
“I cannot believe that we, the U.S. government, would be sending Chinese-made test kits to the American public,” said Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland, who received his at-home kits earlier this week. McFarland confirmed the brand he’d received was from the Chinese company iHealth.
“This is unbelievable and beyond astounding,” McFarland said, adding that he’d like to see an investigation into where the kits were coming from and why they weren’t produced in the United States.
Banner Casa Grande Medical Center CEO Brian Kellar said he too was surprised by the number of tests coming in that were made in China, but at the same time noted that China had taken the lead on global test kit manufacturing as they’ve had it as a priority for longer than other countries, including the U.S.
“Would American manufacturing be able to keep up with the demand for billions of tests?” Kellar said. “When despite subsidies we haven’t been able to do it for N95 masks? It seems to make sense the international manufacturing would be necessary.”
Kellar added that “Lord knows if China has established anything over the last 40 years, it is that they produce things very fast and cheap.”