US President Joe
Biden on Wednesday admitted that his administration has been struggling to meet
the nation’s demand for COVID-19 tests. But he defended the federal response to
a surge in cases, driven by the omicron variant of coronavirus.
In an interview
with ABC News, Biden said nothing has been “good enough” since Americans are
struggling to get access to COVID-19 testing ahead of Christmas.
nothing’s been good enough,” Biden responded, before highlighting why the
country is better prepared than it was during previous waves.
think it’s a failure. I think it’s — you could argue that we should have known
a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago,” Biden said.
On Tuesday, Biden
announced that his administration would take a number of measures to deal with
a surge of COVID-19 cases during the festival season. The effort includes the
allocation of 500 million coronavirus tests, with a plan to enable Americans to
request tests online and have them mailed by the labs.
A website to
request tests is expected to launch in January, but the White House has yet to
finalise the number of tests that can be available for families and it is not
clear what the administration will do to reach Americans who don’t have
Biden to celebrate Christmas with family
also said that he and members of his family would test before celebrating
Christmas together in person this weekend. He is expected to stay at the White
House for the holiday weekend and may travel to his home state of Delaware next
week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier Wednesday.
administration has faced questions in recent days about whether it is doing
enough to address the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, given that a surge is
variant, which the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says is now the
dominant variant of coronavirus in the US, has been identified in every US
state, in addition to Washington and Puerto Rico.
administration, meanwhile, has purchased 10 million of the Pfizer courses. The
White House indicated that 250,000 treatment courses will be available starting
in January, with the rest being available by late summer.