Issues & Insights

Biden Lied About Why COVID Tests Are In Short Supply

When Joe Biden was running for president from the basement of his Delaware home, he issued what he described as a seven-point plan “to beat COVID-19.” More than a year later, Biden announced his latest plan, which basically repeats everything he promised he’d do when running for president.

The big news announced on Tuesday was that the administration would buy and distribute half a billion at-home tests to anyone who asks because, he said, testing is key to getting COVID under control.

But Biden promised the same thing last year. In fact, the very first item on his seven-point plan was to “fix Trump’s testing-and-tracing fiasco to ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing.”

Biden said he’d “double the number of drive-through testing sites … scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude … stand up a Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt’s War Production Board (to) produce and distribute tens of millions of tests.”

Yet the news today is filled with stories of people who can’t get tests.

At his press briefing Tuesday, a reporter asked Biden if the lack of sufficient tests was a failure. “No,” was Biden’s response. “COVID is spreading so rapidly. It just happened almost overnight.” He denied that it took too long to ramp up testing, saying that “the Omicron virus spread more rapidly than anybody thought … All of a sudden it was like everybody rushed to the counter.”

But as with so many things Biden says, that was a big, fat self-serving lie.

The shortage of COVID tests has been a problem for several months. Back in September, in fact, the Centers for Disease Control warned about a “shortage of COVID-19 rapid tests.” That was long before anyone had ever heard of an Omicron variant.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes that “a few days later, the New York Times’ David Leonhardt wrote about the shortage of test supplies. In October, Reuters wrote about the shortage of test supplies. In November, ProPublica wrote about the shortage of test supplies. Do you notice a pattern here?”

So, what’s Biden’s new plan? Boost production of tests, increase the number of government-run testing sites, and give all Americans access to free tests.

His latest proposal will probably be as successful as his first one. The administration is just now trying to figure out how to implement the distribution of these free tests, promising among other things to set up a website where people can order them. The idea that the federal government can accomplish this task in such a short time is dubious. (As anyone who tried to use the Obamacare website when it first launched can attest.)

Even it can pull this off, Biden says the free tests won’t be available until some time in January. But if this year’s winter peak is similar to last year’s, COVID rates will start to decline in early January, which means the tests will start going out after the crisis has already abated.

There’s another potential problem with Biden’s scheme. What happens while manufacturers are producing those half a billion tests for the federal government? Won’t that just create still more shortages of tests in the private market? If you think Biden has anticipated this potential problem, you haven’t been paying attention to his gross incompetence.

Meanwhile, Biden has done little, in anything, to fix the regulatory machinery that is clearly slowing down production of COVID tests.

Here’s what Kaiser Health News reported on Nov. 22 in a story headlined “Why You Can’t Find Cheap At-Home COVID Tests:

“The U.S. produced covid-19 vaccines in record time, but, nearly two years into the pandemic, consumers have few options for cheap tests that quickly screen for infection, though they are widely available in Europe. … Some experts say the FDA’s approach to clearing rapid tests has been onerous and overly focused on exceptional accuracy to detect positive results, rather than on what would really benefit people en masse: speedy results.”

That story appeared two days before South Africa reported detecting the Omicron variant.

It’s worth noting that the “record time” for vaccine development happened under Trump, who did take steps to rein in regulators.

An what did Biden say on Tuesday about knocking down regulatory barriers standing in the way of getting more tests to people? Zip. Zero. Nada,

That’s never been part of his plan.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I was sad to read your editorial. “Tests” aren’t an issue, never should’ve been an issue, and since “tests” mainly mean PCR tests, the “tests” have given up to 90% false positive results, yet have have constantly been used to create scary headlines which in turn have cruelly been used to close schools, extend forced isolation of loved ones in nursing homes and the like. It’s irrelevant that Biden promised to beat Covid. No human or government can “beat” viruses. The PCR test should never have been allowed in the US. It’s shocking that you praise the current so called vaccine, worse that you praise the speed at which it was delivered, and even worse that you praise in any way the man who with a few words in March 2020, suspended the US Constitution indefinitely, and suspended representative government indefinitely, Mr. Trump. In other words, Mr. Trump is guilty of crimes against humanity. I don’t want to hear a single word about Trump ever again unless it’s that he’s demanding the US return to normal government, announcing that he’s removing himself, Jared, Ivanka, and the extended family from the Trump/Kushner partnership with WinRed and the RNC, and retiring from public life entirely.

    • It is most relevant that Biden promised to beat Covid. He led the people of America to believe that he was going to defeat Covid in short order. He gave them false hope which has caused lives to be lost. The fact is that Joe BIden is, and always has been, a blowhard that deals in bravado that can be heard in any barroom in America. Your defense of him puts you in the same class as Biden.

    • ” Mr. Trump is guilty of crimes against humanity.”

      Oh, do tell. I keep seeing liberals sail accusations but never any proof. You know, typical criteria for impeachment. Put up or shut up. Right now, you look like a fool. Prove us all wrong.

    • “Mister Trump” is not in the White House right now. Please call again. Although a valid point would be why Trump gets a free pass on these horrible vaccines, while we attack Biden for promoting the same poison? This whole thing seems more like professional wrestling than honest people concerned about our well-being.

  • There is no test.
    There is no cure
    The clot shot means you euthanized yourself
    Thank you for making the roads less crowded

  • Stop testing asymptomatic people! Testing yourself constantly for disease when you have no symptoms is a form of mental illness. Wait, but, then covid would be over. I guess we wouldn’t want that.

  • Testing and contact tracing to limit viral spread works under specific circumstances in the early stages of an outbreak. It is ineffective when the virus is already widespread. But the science-challenged Biden administration isn’t interested in results as much as appearing to be “doing something” even if it’s completely useless.

  • I heard that our local pharmacy had home tests, so when I was there, I priced them. They’re $25.00 a pop — and from what I have heard, not all that reliable. Neither is the PCR test, but as long as people keep testing, testing, testing, the plandemic will go on and on and on. People are making money off this to be sure. It’s not about health — why test asymptomatic people — and it’s not about safety — why use a test with such a high false positive rate — it’s about the money and power.

  • How is that ostensibly intelligent people can fall for something so stupid as testing for a virus as any form of anti-viral policy?

    One can get tested and then get infected within the next 5 minutes so being tested provides an utterly false sense of security, when not only are the testing methods defective, they are meaningless.

    The only testing that should be being done is anti-body testing. We may be surprised at the number of people both jabbed and un-jabbed that have significant numbers of anti-bodies and are very resistant to a lethal form of the CCP corona virus.

  • Those ‘tests’ have been reported as adulterated and doctored by the (Chinese) manufacturers, giving a false-positive to increase panic n’ profit. Same goes for those CVS-Walgreens-Walmart- Rite Aid-Duane Reade et al ‘home tests’ and numerous other unrelated ‘home test kits’, Do not believe a word of the longtime scammer and supremacist-molester Biden says about…well…anything at all.

  • George Gammon of the Rebel Capitalist show made the comment (yesterday?) that there’s only one thing these tests are about – increasing the number of “cases” to keep the Plandemic going. The Plandemic is the only thing the so-called “Democrats”/RINOs (really Marxists & corporate sell-outs) got to keep us under control, under their thumb. Well, that and continuing to flog us re. Jan. 6, while simultaneously refusing to look at who is really to blame for that – Nazi Pelosi.

  • Chances are the test kits will be manufactured in China, and maybe the shortage of test kits is due to the ships lined up waiting to unload at West Coast harbor terminals.
    I think the test kits are significantly cheaper in Europe, and the article I read indicated test kits were available at supermarket checkout counters for a dollar or so.
    I don’t recall the exact amount.
    I did purchase a local test kit for about 25 dollars at a local chain drug store, one store being sold out.
    It did work, although took some time to understand and follow the detailed directions.
    One of first issues, see the blue line on the control. Make sure it’s blue before starting, then put exactly six drops of test solution in hole in card, swab nose on both sides, insert swab in card, wait 15 minutes to see if positive or negative. The control turns pink from blue and if negative, no line shows up on the test card.
    Straightforward, but like following a detailed recipe and it has to be done exactly right. Still, probably better than going to a test site and then waiting for hours, sometimes waiting all day.
    What’s hard to understand is local health authorities set policy based on the percent positive test results.
    They must think people are showing up asymptomatic and getting the tests.
    People with symptoms would show up and likely be 100%.
    Higher percent positives would indicate people actually aware of symptoms and acting accordingly.
    Apparently asymptomatic people doing tests, sometimes showing up positive, and then running to emergency room.
    People probably shouldn’t go to emergency room if they don’t have symptoms.
    With a pill coming out for treatment, the amount of testing is likely to go up.
    Certainly the cost and availability should go down and test kits be more available.
    Depending on internet seems a cumbersome way to do it.
    Local availability of test kits would be vastly more efficient.
    Are they planning to send out test kits when people have symptoms, put in request for kit and then delivered?
    If they had next day delivery, it might work.

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