…The tests’ arrival epitomized the Biden administration’s shambolic pandemic response. When Biden — who had promised in 2020 to “shut down the virus” — announced on December 21, 2021 that his administration would purchase and distribute 500 million rapid, at-home tests to Americans, it was already too little too late. And when my tests were delivered weeks later, cases of the Omicron variant — which had spread unabated throughout the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations — were already plummeting.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa in mid November 2021 and was designated a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on November 26. Multiple reports confirmed that Omicron was the most transmissible variant yet and appeared to escape vaccines’ protection against infection. The first U.S. case was identified on December 1.
By the time President Biden acknowledged the threat of Omicron and promised free at-home tests, the variant already accounted for over 70 percent of U.S. infections. Biden tried to excuse the scarcity of tests by claiming that no one could have anticipated the arrival and spread of Omicron or the need for testing.