Jan 19, 2022 - Health

Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing

President Biden acknowledged Wednesday that the U.S. should have done more COVID-19 testing earlier on during his first year in office.

Why it matters: The administration has faced criticism for the timing of the free tests that it distributed. A widespread shortage impacted millions across the country during the holidays as Omicron cases surged.

What he's saying: "Should we have done more testing earlier? Yes," he said during a news briefing from the White House.

  • "But we're doing more now," he added. "We've gone from zero at-home tests a year ago to 375 million tests on the market in just this month."

The big picture: Biden has launched an initiative that allows each household to obtain up to four free tests.

  • The administration has also required health insurers to reimburse people for tests.
  • The average cost of a single at-home rapid COVID test is about $12 in the U.S., more than twice the cost of a test in France, and more than three times as much as in India.
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