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I need a test, but where do I get it?

By May Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-30 07:52

Two hours later I finally got to the front of the line and had my swab kit.

Empty shelves and long lines at test sites are a common occurrence across the United States. It seems that the country has never been well-prepared when it comes to tests since the pandemic began.

When vaccines proved to be effective, rapid testing again took a backseat. As a result, Abbott, one of the major COVID-19 antigen rapid test makers in the US, laid off 400 workers in the summer. A couple of months later, Abbott rushed to rehire workers and frantically shored up resources to make test kits amid the surge of the Delta variant.

The administration of President Joe Biden got it right when it allocated more than $2 billion to accelerate the production of rapid tests and an additional $1 billion in procuring at-home tests.

However, it failed to act quickly. It should have known what was coming. The world was alerted of Omicron about a month ago. It was known that the new variant is a much more infectious strain.

The writer is a reporter of China Daily based in Houston.

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