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Biden acknowledges shortages of at-home COVID-19 tests, saying supply right now is ‘clearly not enough’

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in the State Dining Room of the White House on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

  • President Joe Biden acknowledged the shortage of at-home COVID-19 tests in the US. 
  • Biden said his administration could still be doing more to expand at-home testing.
  • “It’s clearly not enough. If we had known, we’d have gone harder and quicker,” Biden said. 

President Joe Biden acknowledged the shortage of at-home COVID-19 tests and said that his administration could be doing more t0 provide testing to Americans. 

In a COVID-19 response team call with the National Governor’s Association, Biden broke down where the country currently stands in terms of at-home COVID-19 tests and the Omicron variant. 

“We went from no over-the-counter tests in January, to 46 million in October, 100 million in November, and almost 200 million in December,” Biden said. “But it’s not enough. It’s clearly not enough. If we had known, we’d have gone harder and quicker if we could have.”

Biden said his administration has purchased 500,000 further at-home tests to send to Americans who request them, and he said he plans to use the Defense Production Act to make more tests. 

“Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do and we’re doing it,” Biden said. 

He added that in-person testing has also increased under his administration.

“We quadrupled the number of pharmacies offering free tests, and there are now more than 20,000 places where you can get tested for free.”

His administration has also ordered FEMA to open pop-up testing sites in busy areas like in New York City, and starting in two weeks, private insurance will reimburse users for at-home COVID-19 tests, or will provide free testing for those without insurance. 

COVID-19 cases are surging as the Omicron variant tears through the US, with the variant now accounting for 73% of cases. 

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