Americans across the country have been waiting in line for hours to take COVID-19 tests after the Christmas holidays, as cases rise and rapid tests disappear from store shelves.
President Biden alluded to the alarmingly long queues this week, but said his administration could not have seen the COVID-19 increase come.
“Seeing how hard it was for some people to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do and we are doing it,” Biden said during a conversation with governors. “But it’s not enough. It’s clearly not enough. If I had – we would have known, we would have gone harder, faster if we could.”
In the same speech, Biden told the country’s governors that there is “no federal solution” to the pandemic.
“There is no federal solution. This is being resolved at the state level,” Biden said.
Dr. Jerome Adams, the general surgeon in the Trump administration, said the need for more tests should have been anticipated, citing a report last week that the Biden administration rejected a proposal in October to increase tests ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“It comes down to a lack of federal prioritization. There’s no other way to say it … It’s frustrating to hear President Biden and Vice President Harris say in the mail, ‘We did not see this coming. No one could have seen this coming, “Adams told Fox News Digital.
“Well, we always knew that during the holiday season you would see an increase. We always knew that the delta, after it hit India and the UK, would hit us. So this reflects a failure in the administration to really take this seriously and prioritize the virus as they told us they would. “
USA BREAKS RECORD FOR DAILY COVID-19 CASES; CDC EXPECTES INFECTIONS INCREASING WHEN VARIANTS SPREAD
Biden denied this week that his administration rejected the October proposal to increase test capacity.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration can not deny the reality on the spot, as Americans spend valuable time waiting for tests.
The Biden administration last week announced a plan to buy 500 million quick tests at home and distribute them for free, but White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Wednesday that the first shipments will not go out for days, if not weeks.
“Companies are already submitting information and we expect the contract to be finalized by the end of next week. That means the first deliveries to manufacturers will start in January,” Zients said during a news conference.
“We are actively working to complete the distribution mechanism, which includes a website where people will be able to order tests for free. And we will share more details in the coming weeks – days and weeks to come.”
CDC SHORTENES RECOMMENDED INSULATION, QUARANTINE TIME, WHICH INCREASES OMICRON CASES
But that plan does not ease the test shortage now, as photos and videos of Americans in both small towns and large cities across the country merged during the holiday week.
The lack of testing is further exacerbated by the CDC’s recent change in isolation and quarantine guidelines, which now say that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can complete isolation after five days if they show no symptoms.
“The best science … still points back to the fact that we should test ourselves out of isolation with antigen tests, but we know that the federal government has not been able to deliver these antigen tests,” said Dr. Adams.
“They should have said, ‘If you want to finish isolation after five days, the best recommendation, our strongest and best recommendation to you, is to test out by having a negative antigen test’.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The United States hit a one-day record for new COVID-19 cases on Monday 441,278 confirmed infections, followed by 431,567 new cases on Tuesday, according to CDC data.
The 7-day average is also the highest it has ever been, standing at 277,241 on Tuesday.