- With omicron cases on the rise, the White House is finally moving to make free antigen tests available to all.
- However, Vanity Fair has learned that it rejected a bold plan to ramp up rapid testing ahead of the holidays this fall.
Frustrated experts explain how confusion, doubt, and a single-minded focus on vaccinating Americans pushed testing to the sidelines for so long.
On October 22, a company of COVID-19 testing specialists participated in a Zoom call with Biden administration officials and presented a strategy for overhauling America’s approach to testing.
The 10-page plan, obtained by Vanity Fair, would allow the United States to do what many other countries have done finally: put rapid at-home COVID-19 testing in the hands of ordinary citizens, allowing them to screen themselves in real-time, thus helping reduce transmission.
The plan called for an around 732 million tests per month, necessitating a significant increase in manufacturing capacity. It also recommended a nationwide “Testing Surge to Prevent Holiday COVID Surge” the first page.
The antigen tests at the heart of the strategy can detect the virus when patients are most contagious.
Though less sensitive than PCR laboratory tests. Which can detect the virus’s genetic fabric at any stage of infection, antigen tests deliver a quick snapshot in time for those looking for assurance that they are safe to travel or will not inadvertently infect vulnerable people.
The plan, in essence, was a blueprint for how to avoid what is happening right now endless lines of desperate Americans clamoring for tests to protect holiday gatherings, just as COVID-19 is exploding once more. President Biden told ABC News’ David Muir yesterday, “I wish I had thought about ordering” 500 million at-home tests “two months ago.”
However, the proposal presented at the October meeting, which was made public for the first time here, included a “Bold Plan for Impact” and a provision for “Every American Household to Receive Free Rapid Tests for the Holidays/New Year.”
Source: vanity fair