An Obama-era Health and Human Services secretary says President Joe Biden needs to tell the truth about the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During an interview with NBC News, Kathleen Sebelius told the outlet, “Biden was elected president, in large part, based on a message of ‘I’m competent, I’m capable, I will tell you the truth and I will get a handle on Covid in a way my predecessor could not and refused to do,’ and that continues to be the No. 1 issue for most people.”
Even with the administration’s success in making the vaccines widely available, Sebelius argued Americans’ “lives are still pretty chaotic and kind of messy and when they thought they were getting out of this they are back in it.”
She continued, “I do think it’s about competence and capability and telling the truth and using all of the tools that are at the president’s disposal.”
Commenting on the administration’s approach to testing, Sebelius explained, “There has to be an admission at the federal level [about] what is not going well now and frankly, we have a testing mess.”
She added, “While I think the president stepped up in the beginning to purchase the test kits and get them to people, even mail them to people, we’re late to this game for a whole variety of reasons. The United States has not done well on testing since March of 2020. That’s a problem and I think it needs to be said out loud that it’s a problem because that’s what a lot of people are experiencing every day.”
“There has been a massive surge in cases … and there’s been an unprecedented demand for tests,” Psaki said.
She went on, “So, what we have done over the course of the last few weeks, even before that, is the president quadrupled our testing capacity since the summer. We opened 20,000 sites across the country, and we’ve also opened additional federal sites, including one in D.C. only recently.”
Psaki told reporters the administration is in the process of sending 50 million tests out to community health centers and rural health centers, adding, “And now we are in the process of finalizing contracts for 500 million tests.”
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