National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the Biden administration was addressing the problem of Americans not having enough home COVID tests.
Fauci said, “There’s still some issues now of people having trouble getting tested, but we’re addressing the testing problem, and that very soon that will be corrected.”
Guest-host Jon Karl said, “The president seemed to me to be quite defensive when David Muir asked him about the testing issue. He said, this has not been a failure, but I mean, I have been asking questions about testing, so often with you standing with the others at the podium since, you know, the beginning of the pandemic. Testing was a colossal failure in the early days, and why is it that now nearly two years in, we still don’t have affordable tests widely available to anybody who needs it? I mean, this must frustrate you, I imagine as well.”
Fauci said, “Well, obviously it does, Jon. I mean, even with the amount — I mean, if you look at the beginning of the administration, the beginning of the year, there were essentially no rapid point of care home tests available. Now there are over nine of them and more coming. The production of them has been rapidly upscaled, and yet, because of the demand that we have, which in some respects, Jon, is good that we have a high demand because we should be using testing much more extensively than we have. Even in a situation where you have people who are vaccinated or boosted, but the situation where you have such a high demand, a conflation of events, Omicron is starting to get people appropriately concerned and wanting to get tested as well as the fact of the run-on tests for the holiday season.
He added, “We’ve obviously got to do better. I think things will improve greatly as we get into January, but that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow.”