Joe Biden’s COVID strategy was to deemphasize testing in favor of COVID shots. Now there is a nationwide shortage of tests. This appears to have been by design.
Testing labs that previously had an antigen test back in 20 minutes were overrun with people during the holidays. One man waiting in line at a lab in Washington state commented on the company’s website in late December that “the wait time was legendary, approximately 2 and a half hours. I’ve been here before and have moonwalked my way through with ease with nothing longer than a 20-minute wait. But the day I arrived, I was not prepared for what was literally a conga line of cars, 30 cars deep to be precise, which wrapped around the corner of the test site.”
I needed a test to go to my niece’s birthday party at a kiddie spot. Here I was on a Sunday at 10 a.m. looking for a test, so I scratched that lab off my list. Nearby, my usual go-to spot for the tests I take to go to the radio station was out. It was the third time this small pharmacy had been out when I’d inquired. The clerk told me that when they get tests it’s usually “about a hundred tests and they’re gone in an hour.”
That’s certainly one way for people to be forced into shots — make it impossible to do anything less.
It was the White House plan.
Biden’s promise when he took office a year ago–to make make sure there would be even more tests available–was abandoned after he said the words. On the Thursday evening before Christmas Eve, the Washington Post gave up the game when it spoke to a Biden transition team member–at the beginning of his presidency–who spilled, “They [Biden Team] were like, ‘Great. We can vaccine our way out of this thing, so we don’t need so many tests.’”
The word went out.
This seems key:
“They were like, ‘Great. We can vaccine our way out of this thing, so we don’t need so many tests,’ ” said a former transition official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private conversations.
— Julie Bykowicz (@bykowicz) December 23, 2021
When Abbott Labs got the word that the testing business would be piddling out last summer and demand plummeted amid vaccine edicts, lockdowns, and threats, the company “destroyed millions of rapid tests and laid off workers amid a lull in demand. Biden officials said they were not aware that Abbott planned to take that step.”
The Columbus Dispatch reported that Abbott Labs “told its employees to take apart millions of tests and throw them into garbage bags that were to be thrown away. Shortly afterward, Abbott also announced layoffs, shuttered the only other plant making the test in Illinois and dismissed a workforce of 2,000.” Abbott Labs says it didn’t destroy completed tests; those are still in inventory, but just unfinished ones.
Abbott says it will ll spool up the test-making machinery again. Joe says he’s double-timing the production of tests after his man-made disaster. Who knows when the billions–yes, billions–of tests we’ll need will hit the market.
All the news media are couching this story as “gee, whiz–bummer about not having any tests, huh?”
CNN said in a headline that “Biden is dogged by a testing shortage he had vowed to fix.”
No. He’s dogged by a testing shortage he allowed–indeed, expected–to happen.
But with Omicron or, as the president calls it, “Omnicron,” the panic peddlers are in high dudgeon again, though the variant results in far fewer hospitalizations and deaths and the variant for most is not much worse than a cold. The resulting panic–Omicron! Oh My God! –at the White House has Biden promising more tests but the supply is only trickling in.
Abbott’s test, BinaxNOW, is among the most popular and they’re routinely sold out everywhere. They’re generally not stocked on shelves. You have to ask for them.
So on Sunday morning, I visited my second pharmacy to see if it had any tests. I stood in line at a large national chain pharmacy inside the local grocery store. A young guy asked about tests. The clerk said they were out. I leaned closer to eavesdrop. After all, I was looking for the same thing.
They were out.
Oh, well, no birthday party. She’ll never notice I was there, anyway.
But I struck up a conversation with the guy as we walked out. I told him I was hoping to go to my niece’s 2nd birthday party, but it was in Seattle, King County, home of masks, vaccine passports, and “show me your papers.” He was heading to Seattle for a concert and was under the impression he needed a PCR test and zee papah work to show the comrades. I’d been to the same venue days before, and we concluded his other test would get him in.
He said, “Well, look, I have a test in my car. I’ll just give it to you. I’d hate to have you miss your niece’s birthday.”
Of course, I demurred and said I wouldn’t think of it, but he insisted. In reply, I insisted I’d pay him.
The photo above shows the exchange.
In every corrupt tyrannical country, you will find a hearty black market. In China, before communist-controlled “markets,” there was the black market–the “back door” they called it. At the back door, everything “fell off the back of a truck.”
When government is too big and too onerous, people find a way around it.
Here we are as a country.
And here I was buying a COVID test out of the back of a car in freezing rain in January.
I opened the back door.