On his first full day in office, President Biden signed an executive order to boost the availability of coronavirus testing. Five days later, standing in the White House with his health advisory team by his side, Biden called the fight against covid-19 a “wartime effort” and pledged that tests would be widely available.
In early September, amid the delta variant surge, Biden reiterated the promise that “every American, no matter their income, can access free and convenient tests.”
Now, nearly a full year into Biden’s term, as the virus has mutated its way through the Greek alphabet to the omicron variant, testing is in short supply in many places, leaving frustrated Americans waiting in long lines for tests — if they can get them at all.
Omicron fuels 38% spike in daily COVID cases from 172,072 to 238,378: Infections rise more than 500% in Florida, DC and Hawaii and hospitalizations climb – but new study says variant causes 70% fewer hospitalizations than Delta
- The United States logged a seven-day average coronavirus case count of 168,981 on Wednesurpassing a summer peak of over 165,000 infections
- That marks the second largest surge in cases since the pandemic began nearly two years ago as the highly contagious Omicron variant has been detected in all 50 states
- Florida, Washington DC and Hawaii all reported an increase of over 500 percent in new cases on Thursday
- The largest surges continue to be in New York, Texas and California
- Hospitalizations have also risen 11 percent from two weeks prior, as officials warn the virus could affect 140 million people between January and March
- In response, Dr. Vin Gupta suggested on MSNBC it is time to begin looking at the bioethics of placing a lower priority on the treatment of unvaccinated people
- Data, though, shows the Omicron variant is relatively mild and is already waning in South Africa