Biden grapples with a Covid-19 testing failure that could have been foreseen

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For many Americans, this holiday season may be remembered for hours spent in long testing lines, or fruitlessly searching pharmacy shelves for antigen tests as the Omicron variant took over the previous Delta wave. Already patchy testing has been exposed by the latest highly transmissible variant, and the US is being compared unfavorably to other developed nations where citizens have easy access to rapid tests for free.

Biden told governors in a virtual meeting Monday that his administration should have done more to speed up the availability of rapid testing, before his pledge this month for 500 million kits due to begin distribution in January, which will be too late to help this week’s holiday crunch.

“It’s not enough. It’s clearly not enough. If we’d have known, we’d have gone harder, quicker if we could have,” the President said, referring to the Omicron storm that has quickly…

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