INDIANAPOLIS — COVID tests are in short supply throughout the United States. So much so that many stores are placing limits on how many at-home COVID tests that people can buy.
Former U.S. Surgeon General and Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams says the blame for the shortage falls at the feet of government leaders in Washington for not being more prepared for a testing shortage.
“It is a failure,” Adams told WISH-TV. “I’m literally talking to people on an hour-by-hour basis, who are telling me ‘hey doc, I’ve got symptoms. What do I do?’. They can’t find a test.”
The White House has bought up thousands of at-home tests which President Biden says will be distributed to areas most impacted by the shortage. Adams stresses that tests need to be available now more than ever with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 still surging.
Adams applauds companies like Pfizer and Merck for coming up with pills to treat patients who have tested positive for any of the variants. but Adams adds that it still comes back to testing.
“You can’t get a pill if you can’t get a test,” said Adams. “Right now we can’t get a test. The truth is, we are probably going to be beyond this Omicron surge by the time we get enough tests and enough pills for (the pills) to have a meaningful difference.”
The latest COVID surge is starting to level off in Indiana with the state’s overall positivity rate holding at around 13-percent. The number of people in the hospital with COVID in Indiana is also holding just under 3,000.