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Biden meets with the White House COVID-19 response team and the National Governors Association on Dec. 27. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden said during a meeting with the nation's governors and his COVID-19 response team Monday that the administration has not yet done enough to scale up the nation's COVID-19 testing capacity.

Why it matters: As the nation faces a surge in COVID cases driven by the Omicron variant, Biden conceded that the administration's efforts to scale up rapid testing were "clearly not enough."

  • His comments diverged from his stance last week, when he pushed back against suggestions that he had acted too slowly on testing.

What he's saying: "It's clearly not enough. If we'd have known, we'd have gone harder, quicker if we could have," he added. "Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do."

The backdrop: The high transmissibility of the Omicron variant has underscored the necessity of making rapid at-home COVID tests more accessible.

  • Biden emphasized his administration's critical role in making over-the-counter rapid tests available, though the U.S. has been slower to embrace rapid at-home COVID testing than Europe.

The big picture: Earlier this month, the administration announced plans to open new testing sites. The U.S. will also purchase 500 million rapid tests this winter, which will be free for Americans, with the first shipment set to arrive in January.

Go deeper: The ongoing U.S. failure on rapid COVID tests

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Minneapolis and St. Paul to require vaccine or test for indoor dining

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

New vaccine-or-test requirements for indoor dining and drinking in Minneapolis and St. Paul take effect Wednesday.

The big picture: A growing number of major cities, including Boston, Chicago and New York, have instituted similar requirements in an effort to protect public health.

Yes, but: Questions about enforcement, logistics and effectiveness of the temporary measures here remain.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

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