President Joe Biden blamed states on Wednesday for experiencing coronavirus testing shortages in schools.
“That money went out to the states and the states and the school districts have spent this money well — many of them,” Biden said, referring to $10 billion provided to the states to acquire testing for schools. “But, unfortunately, some haven’t.”
The president spoke about the explosion of new coronavirus cases during a video conference call with federal health officials from the Executive Office Building
Biden’s comment was the latest example of the president blaming states for coronavirus problems, despite repeated efforts to take charge of the pandemic at the federal level and “shut down the virus.”
It’s unclear which states Biden was criticizing, as several states began the new year by announcing that schools would remain closed.
Principal Alice Hom (R) talks with a faculty member at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 on September 02, 2021 in New York City. Surveillance testing will be conducted every other week and will randomly test 10 percent of all students whose parents have consented. (Michael Loccisano/Getty)
School districts in major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, and Newark, New Jersey cited testing shortages as a reason for closing schools and returning to virtual learning.
Biden argued that schools should remain open.
“I encourage the states and school districts to use the funding that you still have to protect your children and keep the schools open,” he said.
In December, Biden admitted there was “no federal solution” to the coronavirus pandemic during a video conference call with governors.
“It ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road,” the president said, referring to state government. “My message to the governors is simple. If you need something, say something.”