CBS/NBC Gawk at Lack of Covid Tests, Ignore Biden Grilled on Failures


Two days before Christmas, and CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News spent part of their Thursday newscasts gawking at the long lines in major cities as people scrambled to get tested for Covid before gathering with family for the holiday. But what they failed to share with viewers was ABC World News Tonight grilling President Biden the previous evening on his ‘failure’ to secure tests ahead of time and the administration’s lack of forward-vision to anticipate the need.

According to CBS’s framing of the rush, it was just a freak absence of tests amid the surge in Omicron cases. “Americans are shattering records at pop-up testing sites with long lines stretching around blocks from New York to Los Angeles,” announced fill-in anchor Jamie Yuccas.

Adding: “And if you’re looking for an at-home Covid test, that’s going to be tough. Demand is so high that more retailers, including CVS and Walgreens, are limiting the number of kits customers can buy.”

CBS correspondent Nancy Chen quipped that the tests were “the most popular gift” that “may be the toughest to find.” She also spoke with people standing in line in New York, freezing in the cold while they waited for tests that were being handed out:

CHEN: How hard is it to get a test these days?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Really hard. I’ve tried a couple of times, and I came on Wednesday, and after putting my name down, it was a six and half-hour wait.

(…)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Took a PCR test with guaranteed results supposedly in 24 hours. It took five days to get those results, which, at this point, are meaningless.

 

 

Over on NBC, correspondent Miguel Almaguer noted that those New Yorkers were receiving one of the “10,000 at-home test kits handed out for free in a city of more than eight million.”

Talk about a drop in the bucket.

“It’s a very tiny amount for all the people that want to test before the holidays. And it’s really sad. And the system is a little broken,” one frustrated woman told him.

But she was on to something. Not only was the system broken, but it also didn’t have the foresight to look ahead despite the warnings. That’s according to what came out in ABC’s interview with Biden Wednesday night.

While their second and third-place competitors were ignoring the interview, ABC provided a fuller context for the lack of tests with a re-airing anchor David Muir’s grilling:

MUIR: We’re nearly two years into this pandemic, you’re a year into the presidency, empty shelves and no test kits in some places three days before Christmas, when it’s so important. Is that good enough?

BIDEN: No, nothing’s been good enough.

“In the face of this unprecedented demand, Americans sometimes waiting in line for hours. Pharmacies running out of at-home tests,” reported ABC’s Trevor Ault. “And there’s concern the Biden administration’s promised half a billion tests won’t arrive until well after the holidays.”

The omission of President Biden getting grilled on his Covid test supply failures was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Vicks on CBS and Febreze on NBC. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
December 23, 2021
6:41:49 p.m. Eastern

(…)

TREVOR AULT: That’s also the problem with testing. In the face of this unprecedented demand, Americans sometimes waiting in line for hours. Pharmacies running out of at-home tests.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We have not been able to find rapid tests, or any tests really, anywhere.

AULT: And there’s concern the Biden administration’s promised half a billion tests won’t arrive until well after the holidays. David pressing the President.

DAVID MUIR: We’re nearly two years into this pandemic, you’re a year into the presidency, empty shelves and no test kits in some places three days before Christmas, when it’s so important. Is that good enough?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: No, nothing’s been good enough. But look, look where we are. When — last Christmas, we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated. Emergency rooms for filled. 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.

AULT: Today, ABC questioning the Press Secretary about the President’s answer.

PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: I think what the President was acknowledging, which he said in his speech a couple days ago, as well, is we’re not where we need to be on testing. No one is saying we are.

(…)

CBS Evening News
December 23, 2021
6:32:05 p.m. Eastern

(…)

JAMIE YUCCAS: Meanwhile, Americans are shattering records at pop-up testing sites with long lines stretching around blocks from New York to Los Angeles. And if you’re looking for an at-home Covid test, that’s going to be tough. Demand is so high that more retailers, including CVS and Walgreens, are limiting the number of kits customers can buy.

(…)

NANCY CHEN: In the last-minute scramble to get home safely for the holidays, the most popular gift may be the toughest to find. Hundreds of people waited today at this site in New York City for test kits to take home.

How hard is it to get a test these days?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Really hard. I’ve tried a couple of times, and I came on Wednesday, and after putting my name down, it was a six and half-hour wait.

CHEN: It’s not just getting the test. Labs are overwhelmed and frustration is growing.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Took a PCR test with guaranteed results supposedly in 24 hours. It took five days to get those results, which, at this point, are meaningless.

(…)

NBC Nightly News
December 23, 2021
7:05:04 p.m. Eastern

(…)

MIGUEL ALMAGUER: Two days before Christmas, these are not the traditional lines Americans are used to waiting in. Holiday cheer turning to frustration as the anxious wait for testing.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: I did one yesterday where I waited for two hours.

ALMAGUER: With testing sites overwhelmed, today New York City with a gift for the few. Some 10,000 at home test kits handed out for free in a city of more than eight million.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: It’s a very tiny amount for all the people that want to test before the holidays. And it’s really sad. And the system is a little broken.

(…)



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