People are waiting for hours in lines that, in some cases, are backed up for miles to get tested for COVID as the hysteria over the Omicron variant rages and President Joe Biden’s response has been seriously lacking for a man who based his campaign on defeating the virus.
With retail test kits in short supply, panicked Americans have descended on overwhelmed test sites in great numbers across the nation, a glaring sign that for all of Biden’s authoritarian measures and tough talk, his White House is overmatched when it comes to dealing with the reality on the ground.
Biden retreated to his Rehoboth Beach vacation home to frolic on the beach with his new dog Commander after running up the white flag, telling state governors that there is no federal solution to the pandemic, a statement that has led to much criticism after his heavily hyped speech on his winter plan to battle Omicron fell flat.
What Biden neglected to tell Americans during his big pre-Christmas announcement was that there was no government contract to purchase the test kits nor would the website through which they could be requested be up until January, details that were reported by The New York Times in a story that quoted a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist as saying “That’s not a plan — it’s a hope.”
For weeks, the media stoked fears over Omicron after the discovery of the latest strain was announced on Thanksgiving weekend, spooking Americans into getting tested in massive numbers, a development that has been a major problem for Biden with the availability of the free tests likely still weeks away.
The optics are not favorable to Biden and his fellow Democrats.
The Southside Health Center is just about to resume COVID testing/vaccinating after the long holiday weekend. I’ve counted more than 50 cars in line. Most if not all are here for a test. pic.twitter.com/XmFGf8KKAG
— Hannah Hilyard WISN (@Hannah_WISN) December 27, 2021
The line to get into Miami-Dade’s 24 hour COVID testing site is miles long right now. This is the wait before you even get into Tropical Park where you then have to zig zag around cones before the testing area. pic.twitter.com/4VpPzR7glf
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) December 30, 2021
Long lines in Arlington to get a COVID test. @7NewsDC
— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) December 27, 2021
In addition to punting the problem to the states, Biden acknowledged the long lines during his call with governors.
“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,” he said. “But it’s not enough. It’s clearly not enough. If I had — we had known, we would have gone harder, quicker if we could have.”
Perhaps even worse optics for Biden was his leisurely stroll along the water’s edge with Dr. Jill and Commander where, despite being outside and vaxxed to the max, he wore his trademark black face mask, hardly the sort of imagery that instills confidence in the vaccines that he is pushing to mandate.
Twitter reacted to the masked man’s playtime at the beach.
The perfect example of the Biden Presidency…
Walking along the beach with a mask on!
🙄 Good Grief! Make it stop! https://t.co/WXwHYIOWWV
— Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) December 30, 2021
Biden is wearing a mask, outdoors, surrounded by nobody 🧐 pic.twitter.com/ZlxAg0eUM7
— Jake Schneider (@jacobkschneider) December 29, 2021
Why is Joe Biden wearing a mask outside at the beach?
What kind of “science” mandates such lunacy? https://t.co/MAERsQEvZa
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) December 30, 2021
Blows it on COVID, takes a vacation, wears a mask outsode alone on the beach with his wife who is also triple vaccinated.
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) December 29, 2021
@WHCOS @PressSec Why is thrice vaxxed @potus wearing a mask outdoors, on the beach with almost no one around, while @FLOTUS and the man in the red coat are not? Is he sick or have a medical condition? https://t.co/ox9Vt7OXFv
— Bud Merino (@NotARINO_40) December 29, 2021
On Wednesday, Biden proudly announced a $137 million contract with pharmaceutical company MilliporeSigma to build a factory that will produce COVID test strips.
Today, I committed $137 million to expanding the production of COVID-19 at-home tests using our military authority in order to meet demand. https://t.co/eNmA4CCkkR
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 30, 2021
However, it could be awhile before the product becomes widely available with construction of the production facility to take place over a three-year period, according to the company’s press release:
“MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it has been awarded a $136.7M USD contract award for the construction of a lateral flow membrane production facility over a three-year period at the company’s Sheboygan, Wisconsin site. The contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of an effort to ensure secure local supply and production capacity for critical products for pandemic preparedness.”
The timeline is a signal that there is no end in sight for the ongoing state of crisis and no relief for suffering Americans who could soon lose faith in the White House.
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