The Biden administration is currently facing massive COVID-19 testing shortages, despite White House chief of staff Ron Klain saying during the 2020 campaign that President Biden would be “fixing Trump’s testing fiasco” and using his “power” to “demand that more tests be made.”
Klain, who served as a top adviser to Biden during the 2020 campaign, slammed Trump several times in 2020 over the shortage of tests, even going as far as criticizing the former commander-in-chief for not using his presidential power to demand the U.S. economy make more tests.
“Again President Trump talks a good game about his absolute power, but the power he really has—the power to take control of the supply chain, to demand that more tests be made, to demand that more gear be made, to get that gear out,” Klain said in a 2020 ABC interview. “That’s the power President Trump’s refused to use.”
White House chief of staff Ron Klain attends an event with governors of western states and members of the Biden administration cabinet June 30, 2021, in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
“That’s a power Joe Biden would use as president if this is still going on when he becomes president to make sure that we are testing the American people — we are making our healthcare workers safe when they treat us,” he continued.
Klain also took similar shots at Trump in a 2020 campaign video, saying, “The Biden plan starts with fixing Trump’s testing fiasco. He’d make sure that all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing.” During the campaign, he posted several times on his Twitter account about the COVID-19 test shortage.
“Testing still isn’t fixed. Testing still isn’t fixed. Testing still isn’t fixed. We are the richest country on Earth, and we don’t have enough SWABS,” Klain dramatically tweeted in June 2020. “Testing still isn’t fixed. Testing still isn’t fixed.”
“The WH has testing DAILY for all who meet the President.But they have no plan for testing for hundreds of millions of Americans who don’t — and less 2% of the country gets tested each week,” the now-chief of staff wrote the same month.
The Biden administration has faced mounting criticism over the testing shortage, with Brown University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Ashish K. Jha telling CNN last week that the administration “dropped the ball” on the testing shortage.
Biden’s own criticism of Trump during the testing shortage in 2020 came under scrutiny earlier this week, such as when the president called it a “travesty” that there was still a lack of testing.
The president also told governors that the COVID-19 pandemic has “no federal solution” and that it gets solved at the state level.
The Biden administration announced a plan to purchase 500 million at-home rapid tests for COVID-19 and distribute them for free, but health experts said the number is far below what is needed to address the omicron surge.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain listens as President Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital that because “of the historic national response to the pandemic the President has mobilized, turning around the uncoordinated effort he inherited, which left states to fend for themselves, the federal government is now the strong partner states need — which governors from both parties have praised him for.”
“More than 80% of American adults have received a vaccine dose, and over 200 million tests are on the market with more on the way as we fight an unprecedently contagious variant that has caused worldwide shortages,” Bates said in a Tuesday email. “President Biden tapped the Defense Production Act to surge testing capacity, which his predecessor refused to do – instead literally ordering staff to ‘slow the testing down please’ and adding, ‘I don’t kid.'”
“This national response is why last year broke the record for new jobs created in a President’s first year, and why, despite the most contagious version of covid yet, we’re able to avoid lockdowns, keep our schools open, and keep our economy growing at the fastest pace in almost 40 years,” he continued.
Additionally, a White House staffer told Fox News Digital that the Biden administration is using the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase the production of tests and that the Trump administration did not use this legislation to do so.
The staffer also noted that the federal government cannot solve the pandemic on its own and that it needs to lead the federal response to the pandemic and work in tandem with state and local governments.
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