White House Taps Inglesby to be COVID Testing Coordinator
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has tapped Dr. Tom Inglesby, the former director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to lead the COVID-19 testing initiative of the government, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
The announcement, made by Psaki in a Twitter post it comes as the federal government tries to ramp up testing amid the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
A White House official said to Reuters that Dr. Inglesby is “one of the top infectious disease experts in the world” and was recognized internationally in the fields of public health preparedness as well as emerging and pandemic infectious diseases, as well as prevention and responses to biological threats.
The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, breaking the record of daily cases in any country. Omicron is now estimated to account for 98.3 percent of all new cases that are circulating throughout the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declares.
Critics complain that President Joe Biden, amid increasing reports of severe shortages of test kit supplies in the United States, of not focusing enough attention on testing to combat the rising Omicron hospitalizations and cases.
The White House and top officials in health have defended the response, including announcing that 500 million tests that are quick and easy would be free for all Americans in January.