President Joe Biden appears to have given up on fighting COVID-19 despite campaigning on the promise that he had a plan to fight it – leaving Monday for a beach vacation in Delaware after admitting that there was simply no federal solution to the pandemic.
“Thank you very much. Look, there is no federal solution,” Biden said during a video call with U.S. governors. “This gets solved at a state level.”
The president appeared with his coronavirus team on the artificial White House video conferencing set. He indicated that only governors could end the pandemic by leading the charge.
“It ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road,” Biden said, referring to state government. “My message to the governors is simple. If you need something, say something.”
He said the omicron variant of the virus is a “source of concern” but urged Americans not to panic.
The president acknowledged the long lines for people trying to get coronavirus tests before the Christmas holiday. “Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do,” he said.
He claimed that if he had known there would be a shortage he would have acted.
“It’s not enough. It’s clearly not enough,” Biden said. “If we had known, we would have gone harder, quicker if we could have.”
However, reports have indicated that the White House in October turned down a proposal that would have added more than 730 million at-home COVID tests to the market per month.
A plan by top industry experts from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the COVID Collaborative, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other organizations, sought to ramp up manufacturing capabilities “to Prevent Holiday COVID Surge,” first reported Vanity Fair Thursday.
But the White House rejected the Oct. 22 bid and three days later announced it would seek to bolster rapid home testing through the “FDA’s regulatory approval process.”
An administration official present at the October meeting told the publication that the decision was based on the fact that the U.S. “did not have capacity to manufacture over-the-counter tests at that scale.”
During the call Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson also warned that without increased production of coronavirus tests, the federal government’s effort to buy up tests would make it difficult for states to compete.
“That dries up the supply chain for what we might offer as governors,” Hutchinson said.
Biden spoke to reporters briefly as he left the White House for his beach house in Delaware, claiming “there were no complaints” during his call with governors.
“They said they’ve gotten all that they need. They just want to know what we think is gonna happen from here,” he said.
Still, starting in January 2022, the White House will launch a website that will allow Americans to order free at-home testing kits.
“I wish I had thought about ordering a half a billion [tests] two months ago, before COVID hit here,” Biden said during a Wednesday interview with ABC News.
But comments made by White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier this year suggest the administration had prematurely dismissed the idea.
“Should we just send one to every American?” she scoffed from the podium in answer to questions over increased access to testing kits.
“Then what happens if you—if every American has one test? How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?” she added.
But following the president’s announcement, Psaki indicated she regretted her comments.
“I would say there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t leave this podium and wish I would have said something with greater context or more precision or additional information,” she said earlier this week.
“During that briefing, I conveyed a lot of information about our expansion of testing, about the 50 million tests that we were making available, about the 20,000 free testing sites,” she continued. “And should I have included that additional context again in that answer? Yes.”
“Going back, I wish I would have done that,” she added.
The White House has delivered nothing but mixed messages since assuming power and it’s clear they have no idea what they’re doing – so it’s no surprise that Biden has fled to his home state for a vacation amidst a surge in Omicron cases that is being pushed by the Democrats and the mainstream media to reignite fear over COVID-19.
Author: Andrew Waston