Are Biden’s Omicron measures too little, too late?

PSAKI: “We have no concern about the contract being finalized. We are working to finalize the contracts.”

With more at-home COVID test kits on the horizon, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said the administration is working to finalize contracts for orders of the tests, but said she has no doubt deals will be struck.

That’s after President Joe Biden this week said 500 million free at-home rapid tests will be available to Americans starting in January.

PSAKI: “What I know here is that we expect to get the early, the first set of the 500 million in early January, and we expect that the rest will come in the weeks to follow.”

But with the Omicron variant raging across the country, some health experts say Biden’s efforts to distribute the test kits are too little too late.

The number of tests promised by the White House equate to just one or two per U.S. resident – with some health experts saying far more are needed for Americans to make daily decisions about their lives.

Asked about the shortage of tests in an interview with ABC this week, Biden said he wished he had thought of ordering 500 million at-home tests ‘two months ago.’

But on Thursday, Psaki defended the administration’s track record on COVID testing, saying it took steps to build up the market:

"What the president did with the Defense Production Act is to do exactly that. Investing three billion dollars several months ago to make sure we were building up the market to make sure we had the capacity. We wouldn't have had, there wouldn't have been five hundred billion tests to order several months ago.”

State and local leaders in New York, where Omicron is surging, said they supported Biden's approach.

On Thursday, hundreds of New Yorkers waited in line at pop-up locations to snag coveted at-home tests before the holidays.

“I’ve been waiting for almost three hours, actually no, two hours in this line. You know it's great. I got my test."

And more will be handed out to eager residents in the coming days.

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