Biden discussed his future political plans and what he planned to do to address the coronavirus pandemic in an interview with ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir, especially as the omicron variant fuels yet another spike in COVID-19 cases.
Biden stated that he would seek reelection in 2024 as long as his health was held up – the president celebrated his 79th birthday last month and is the oldest person to have held office.
When asked if a possible rematch against his felled 2020 opponent, Trump, would affect his decision, Biden said with a laugh: “You’re trying to tempt me now.”
“Sure. Why would I not run against Donald Trump for the nominee? That’ll increase the prospect of running,” he said.
The ABC interview came at a time when COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise, fueled primarily by the virus’s omicron variant.
Biden outlined his plan to deal with the growing threat on Tuesday, including more financial support for hospitals and federal government purchase of half a billion at-home tests to be distributed to households that request them, with shipments beginning in January.
Biden admitted to ABC that “nothing’s been good enough” in the nation’s response to virus testing, but praised his administration’s efforts to get as many Americans as possible fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
“Last Christmas, we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated, emergency rooms were filled,” he said. “You had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties. We’re in a situation now where we have 200 million people fully vaccinated. Two hundred million people are fully vaccinated. And we have more than that who have had one shot — at least one shot. And they’re getting these booster shots as well.”
Biden stated that he did not consider the long lines for testing and empty shelves for at-home tests to be failures, but he did express regret for not ordering the distribution of at-home tests early.
“You could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago,” he told ABC.
He said he wished he “had thought about ordering” the 500 million tests for distribution two months ago.
The White House has come under fire for refusing to do so.
When asked earlier this month by an NPR reporter why the United States hadn’t followed the lead of other developed nations and made testing free and easy to obtain, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki retorted wryly, “Should we just send one to every American?”
That is, in essence, what the new Biden strategy will achieve.