Health and Human Services Department Assistant Secretary Dawn O’Connell revealed on Tuesday that 50 million COVID tests are sitting in warehouses.
In January, the Biden administration purchased $190 million worth of testing kits. During a Senate committee hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) questioned O’Connell whether she could assure him that the president’s purchase of testing kits are not coming from Communist China.
To this, the HHS assistant secretary responded that her department has millions of unused tests that are sitting in warehouses. These tests don’t include the outstanding tests that are en route to the warehouses.”
“So is what you’re telling me they’ve got 50 million tests in warehouses in the United States and all we did was access the inventory?” Burr asked to clarify.
“That is my understanding,” O’Connell answered.
“Well, will you confirm your understanding?” the senator asked. “This is a very, very important piece when you’ve got companies that don’t manufacture tests and all of a sudden we’re giving them a $190 million contract for about 14 million home tests and their expertise is importation of vodka.”
Even though HHS acknowledged that it has yet to ship 50 million tests, Pres. Joe Biden promised that there will be enough testing kits available for every American. However, after the omicron variant reached the country, the said testing kits seem to be in short supply.
“It’s clearly not enough. If I had — we had — known, we would have gone harder, quicker, if we could have,” Biden said in December, admitting that he broke his promise. “We have to do more. We have to do better, and we will.”