Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media on Wednesday (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Long before the government's failure to source rapid antigen tests, so cruelly exposed over the past six weeks, it was boasting about them.

Greg Hunt called a media conference last September to proudly announce that the Therapeutic Goods Administration "at my request" had approved home testing using RATs from November.

The United States had approved home testing in December 2020; the UK in January 2021. As has been usual throughout the pandemic, the TGA has dragged its feet on approvals. At the time its head, John Skerritt, said that was because the government had prevented it from approving tests any earlier: "We can't formally make an approval decision until we get a signal from the government. It's a decision for the government."