In Florida, Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried believes she is making political hay while the sun shines by criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis over a mountain of COVID-19 tests that were outdated as of the end of the year.

Senate Hearing Confirms 50 Million COVID Tests Stored In Federal Warehouses

In Florida, Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried believes she is making political hay while the sun shines by criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis over a mountain of COVID-19 tests that were outdated as of the end of the year.

Fried, also a gubernatorial candidate, claimed the issue was evidence of the Republican governor’s “failed leadership,” and argued that Floridians needed someone better.

DeSantis and his top emergency management aide have a simple defense: the tests went bad, so to speak, because no one wanted them. Demand for testing plummeted as the Sunshine State boasted the lowest infection numbers in the country after the delta wave passed.

On Friday, the 1 million tests that Florida had warehoused will be used as the FDA extended the expiration date on those tests for distribution.

On Friday, the 1 million tests that Florida had warehoused will be used as the FDA extended the expiration date on those tests for distribution.

But if having 1 million tests expire when no one wanted them is evidence of “failed” leadership, what are we to make of the Biden administration keeping 50 million tests warehoused as people wait for hours in lines at virus-testing sites across the country?

The admission occurred Tuesday during a Senate hearing.

It also cropped up as the Biden administration struggles to fulfill a promise to commit 500 million tests to Americans – which came after revelations that President Joe Biden passed on a plan from the early fall to have more than 700 million tests ready by the end of 2021.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dawn O’Connell admitted 50 million coronavirus tests are sitting in warehouses. She did so in response to questioning by GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who sought assurances that the administration was not buying testing kits from China.

“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 in seeking to make sure he understood her comment – especially as positive COVID cases continue to hit record peaks.

“That is my understanding,” O’Connell responded.

“Well, will you confirm your understanding?” Burr continued. “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.”

Burr was referring to a contract the administration signed with Medea, a company that, according to the Daily Mail, made vodka before the pandemic. Another contract went to Goldbelt Security LLC, which is a self-described distribution and logistics company.

O’Connell also surprisingly explained that “you’re seeing contracts with warehouses and not with testing manufacturers” because the federal government is now dealing with companies that had the tests stocked up, and is not seeking to push manufacturers to make new ones.

Accordingly, the Biden administration will procure only 10 percent of the tests promised by Biden last month, and still won’t begin distributing them until the end of January.

Meanwhile, the federal government on Tuesday extended the expiration deadline for those tests in Florida by 90 days.

Visit Tampafp.com for PoliticsTampa Area Local NewsSports, and National Headlines. Support journalism by clicking here to our GoFundMe or sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. It’s Free And Coming To Apple Users Soon

Advertisement

Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.