Report: White House rejected experts’ October plan to roll out millions of COVID tests

A new report from Fox News claims that back in October, the White House rejected a plan proposed by health experts that would have added 730 million at-home COVID-19 tests per month to the marketplace.

According to Fox, the proposal came from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the COVID Collaborative, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other organizations concerned about a potential surge in coronavirus cases around the holidays — but the White House declined to act on it at the time.

The report comes as widespread shortages of rapid tests in stores made it difficult for people to test for the disease before attending or hosting holiday gatherings amid the predictable viral surges across parts of the country.

“I wish I had thought about” it sooner

President Joe Biden, for his part, gave a speech within days of Christmas saying he would make 500 million tests available to people, but those were not going to be available before the holidays. “I wish I had thought about ordering a half a billion [tests] two months ago, before COVID hit here,” he said during a Wednesday ABC News interview, according to Fox.

Biden reportedly rejected the October plan because there were not enough manufacturers of the at-home tests to produce the amount needed. Only a few test manufacturers had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at that point.

The plan by the White House was to increase the number of manufacturers in order to get more tests produced, Vanity Fair reports.

The website for Americans to request tests will not be up until January 2022, too late to meet holiday needs.

“Too little, too late”

Now, many are complaining that Biden waited far too long to ramp up production of rapid testing kits. His latest plan to roll out 500 million tests is “an exemplar of too little, too late,” said Dr. Eric Topol, who Vanity Fair described as “director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.”

In a blog post, Vanity Fair reports, “Topol called the plan to make 500 million free rapid tests available sometime next year ‘totally inadequate.'”

“We need several billion of these,” Topol wrote, “and have needed them for over a year to help prevent spread, as validated and relied upon in many countries throughout the world.”

The new omicron variant is reported to be mild, with lower hospitalization rates for the people that are getting infected. As of Dec. 23, only eight deaths have been attributed to omicron out of hundreds of thousands of cases worldwide, according to reports.

If omicron is indeed as mild as they say, Democrats may have just lost their best chance of continuing to exert control over Americans in unprecedented ways. No wonder Biden waited until now to ramp up testing.

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