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Harris Speaks Out of Turn on COVID Test Availability, White House Scrambles

AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

The way the Biden administration has handled the onset of the omicron variant has told us more than we cared to know about how capable the administration is. From continuing to harangue the unvaccinated to changing recommendations on masks and quarantines, Biden, his team, and their cadre of healthcare experts aren’t coming across as people who know what they’re talking about.

The unavailability of COVID-19 tests after President Joe Biden promised 500 million of them for Americans doesn’t help the administration’s credibility, and Vice President Kamala Harris found herself having to answer questions on the Today Show about when tests will be available.

NBC News reports:

“They’ve been ordered. They’ve been ordered,” Harris told Craig Melvin in an exclusive interview Thursday on TODAY. “I have to look at the current information. I think it’s going to be by next week. But soon. Absolutely soon. And it is a matter of urgency for us.”

When pressed about whether the move should have come sooner, the vice president reiterated that the tests were on their way.

“We are doing it,” she said.

Melvin and other reporters crowed about this admission from the vice president.

The only problem with Harris’ statement is that it wasn’t quite true. Tests weren’t ready to go out next week, and the real answer is much more vague than Harris let on.

Related: Here’s What Biden’s Failure to Order Enough COVID Tests Could Mean for You

CBS News reporter Tim Perry initially noted in a tweet, which he later deleted, that the White House was “walking back” the vice president’s remarks. Then he rephrased his statement, probably to avoid making Harris look bad.

NBC also gave more detail about the clarification from the White House:

After Harris’ interview aired, a White House official clarified the timetable to TODAY, saying the 500 million at-home COVID-19 tests would be sent out to the country later this month, and the contracts to create the tests were expected to be awarded over the next two weeks.

Additional details about the tests would be provided on Friday, the official said.

Kamala Harris said “next week,” even though the contracts haven’t been awarded yet and they won’t be for about two more weeks. Two weeks also doesn’t give much time to get the tests distributed by the end of the month.

So it’s not looking good, no matter how much the White House and the media try to spin it.

What should Americans do while they’re waiting for tests to become available? Harris has a suggestion, but it’s yet another groove in the administration’s broken record.

Harris reiterated the need for people to get vaccinated.

“Every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down,” she said. “We are in the midst of a surge. That’s where we are right now. And so right now, we know we still have a number of people that, that is in the millions of Americans who have not been vaccinated, and could be vaccinated, and we are urging them to get vaccinated because it will save their life.”

At the end of the day, the Biden administration fails to live up to their promises and continues to parrot the same lines about the pandemic while offering no innovative solutions. Is it any wonder that the American people don’t have any confidence in this administration?