US President Joe Biden said on Thursday the government would double its purchases of Covid-19 tests with 500 million additional kits, bringing the total to one billion.
As the United States battles the Omicron variant sweeping the world, Biden urged Americans to wear good quality masks as part of “your patriotic duty.”
However, the White House faces pressure over the lack of readily available Covid tests, hampering efforts to keep schools open and get people to work when Omicron infections rise.
Biden defended the response, saying about 15 million tests are being administered every day, up from two million when he took office a year ago.
“Today I’m asking my team to get an additional 500 million tests to distribute for free,” he said. The tests will be available through a soon-to-be-launched government website, he said.
Concluding his remarks at the White House, Biden made “a special appeal to social media.”
“Misinformation and misinformation. It’s on your shows — it’s got to stop,” he said.
“It’s been a long road, but what’s clear is that the way we’re going through this is everyone doing their part…regardless of your political party,” he said.
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