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A Covid Testing Crisis, Again

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 22 December 2021

⏱️ 32 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


By the end of last year, if you needed a coronavirus test, you could get one. But when vaccines arrived, focus shifted. Many of the vaccinated felt like they didn’t need tests and demand took a nosedive. Testing sites were closed or converted into vaccination sites. And Abbott Laboratories, a major test manufacturer, wound up destroying millions. However, with the surge of the new Omicron variant, which is less susceptible to vaccines, demand for testing is back — and it is outstripping supply. Guest: Sheryl Gay Stolberg, a Washington correspondent, covering health policy for The New York Times.

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Crimin York Times, I'm Michael Wabaro. This is a Daily.


Today, as demand for COVID testing surges and vastly outstrips the supply of available


tests, we look at why shortages still remain two years into the pandemic and what President


Biden can do about it. I spoke with my colleague Cheryl Gastolberg.


It's Wednesday, December 22nd.


So, the way this day really begins is with me giving Michael Simon Johnson a better mask


than the light blue surgical one he had. Ooh, that is a fine fitting K and 95.


Yeah, you can tell this is the real deal. Okay.


Okay, so it is around 840 AM and we are standing outside of a care cube COVID testing


clinic on Courts Street and Wycoff Street in Brooklyn. And the line is quite long. It's


about 40 something people on this line. And you can tell that people know they are going


to be here for a really long time because they are prepared. They have their coffee and


their snacks as a woman in the front doing jumping jacks, jumping up and down to stay


warm. There's a mother reading a board book to a not very happy child. This is a really


long line. I mean, this is a dishearteningly long line. It's going to suck.


Can we talk to people from the near times? Sure. Do you have a minute or some of the


near times? I just want to talk to people about long lines and COVID testing.


This is stupid. Okay, tell me. This is stupid. The test takes literally


less than 60 seconds. I don't understand why I'm sitting on it for two hours.


I mean, look at it. The line is going to be a Starbucks in a minute. Hi, my name is Eliza


Reinhardt. Corridor Eione. And...


Hi, I'm Eione. Sam. Sam. I am 26 years old. I'm a law student. Sam from the neighborhood.


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