In a rare Q and A exchange, President Biden was asked if he was partly responsible for the rise of the COVID-19 Omicron virus currently sweeping the nation.
That pointed question was asked by CNN reporter Phil Mattingly, after Biden’s scheduled address to the nation on Tuesday attempting to explain-away the recent surge of the virus across the country.
Mattingly questioned whether this would qualify as a “failure” on the administration’s part to adequately prepare for the latest variant.
“On testing, you said we have to do better, but public health officials have been saying for months you need to surge rapid tests for just this moment. Is it a failure that you don’t have an adequate amount of tests for everyone to be able to get one, if they need one, right now?” asked Mattingly.
At first, Biden seemed confused by the question, then softly attempted to explain why the administration was late to respond to the virus.
“No it’s not,” Biden responded. “Because COVID is spreading so rapidly if you notice. It just happened almost overnight just in the last month. And so, it’s not a failure, but an alarm bell went off. I don’t think anybody anticipated that this was going to be as rapidly spreading as it did. And so the question is, we had a lot of people who had access to tests who can order them, could have their insurance pay for it, etc.”