Even members of President Joe Biden’s own party aren’t happy with his response to COVID-19.
According to the New York Post, a group of five Democrat senators has sent a letter to Biden’s pandemic response coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, criticizing the White House for a series of recent missteps — particularly with regard to coronavirus tests.
The letter, signed by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), was sent to Zients on Thursday.
In it, the Democrats inquired as to “why the [Biden] Administration failed to take more significant steps earlier to increase access to at-home tests.”
“Across America, there are lines for city blocks long to get COVID testing, signs in pharmacies saying they are out of rapid tests, hospitals operating under crisis standards of care, health care staff and first responders falling ill, and millions of people who are exhausted from the toll this pandemic has had,” the senators wrote.
“While we fully recognize the productive steps this Administration has taken to encourage vaccination, ensure ready access to vaccines, and increase options to treat the virus, far too many measures — such as increasing access to home-based testing — have been reactive, rather than proactive,” they added.
Pointing to nationwide testing shortages, the senators went on:
This Administration either knew or should have known that testing shortages were occurring across the country over the past several months, and with the full expectation that the virus would likely mutate into a new variant steps to increase testing access should have happened before the current wave hit, not several weeks into the surge, with resources still not available until later this month or beyond.
“Prepare the country”
In their letter, the Democrats implored Zients to “address the steps you have taken to prepare the country for the increase in cases” and explain “how you plan to mitigate the impact of the current and future variants moving forward.”
The message comes roughly a month after President Biden first announced that the federal government had acquired some 500 million rapid coronavirus tests that are set to be distributed to American households in response to a surge in cases of the omicron variant of the disease. Biden also vowed to provide an additional 500 million.
But he’s been slow to deliver, with the White House announcing only last week that Americans could begin ordering the at-home tests. Worse still, the administration indicates the first orders won’t be delivered for seven to 12 days.
It all seems too little, too late as cases spiked around the holidays. Some critics have even suggested it would have been better if the government hadn’t purchased the tests, a move that created shortages and prevented those tests from being available to Americans on store shelves.
It looks like we can add his response to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases to Biden’s long list of failures as president. What happened to his promises from the campaign trail?