A CNN corresponded said Wednesday that Joe Biden ‘seemed confused’ in his ABC News interview earlier this week, when the president appeared to mix up COVID-19 at-home tests and antiviral pills.

Biden, 79, spoke to ABC’s David Muir for 20 minutes in an interview that aired on Wednesday and defended his administration against criticism of its handling of the pandemic and readiness for the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, but also admitting that there were certain mistakes made.

Biden stated that 500,000,000 at-home COVID-19 tests were ordered after complaints of excessive waiting times. 

But several times he referred to the tests as ‘pills’ – potentially thinking of the Pfizer antiviral pills, which were federally approved on the same day.

“Repeatedly throughout the interview, President Biden seemed confused and was confusing half a million tests that they ordered with half a trillion pills,” said Jeff Zeleny (CNN’s Chief National Affairs Correspondent).

CNN's Jeff Zeleny - pictured on a panel on Wednesday night alongside Gloria Borger and John Kasich, in a discussion with Wolf Blitzer (left) - said Biden 'seemed confused' in his Wednesday night interview

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny (pictured with Gloria Borger, John Kasich and Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday night) said that Biden seemed confused in Wednesday’s interview

President Joe Biden said in an interview that aired on ABC News Wednesday evening that his administration's response to the pandemic has not 'been good enough'

In an interview broadcast on ABC News Wednesday night, President Joe Biden stated that the administration’s response has not been satisfactory to the pandemic.

“Officially, pill approval by Pfizer of an antiviral was in the news today, so he corrected his mistake, but that is one thing that really stuck out to him.”

Zeleny was on Wolf Blitzer’s radio show Wednesday afternoon and said that Biden’really didn’t accept any responsibility for the failure to test’.

Biden answered the question of whether Omicron should have been seen coming by the administration and was prepared accordingly.

The president, however, was adamant that they had done their best.

Zeleny claimed that this was insufficient.

Zeleny explained that’simply this administration, with the president leading it here, really are not accepting any responsibility whatsoever for this failure to test’.

“We’ve seen this across the country. Long lines. Inability to take tests.

“And, yes, Omicron arrived very quickly, but they have been waiting almost a whole month since Thanksgiving when they realized this was happening.

“So, he stated that he wishes he could’ve acted quicker and then explained why he didn’t.

Zeleny stated that he still hasn’t received any information on the Biden-promised 500 million tests. 

Zeleny stated, “But, the question is also: What about the at-home January tests – it is not clear from the administration that these will be sent in January early as suggested by the president in this interview.”

In the interview on Wednesday, Biden was asked how the administration had failed to see Omicron coming, and laughed.

Lines of people wait for their COVID tests in Queens, New York City, on Thursday

Waiting in line for COVID test results at Queens (New York City) on Thursday are lines of people

Biden sat down with ABC's David Muir at the White House in an interview that aired three days before Christmas to discuss a range of issues – including the lack of testing kits around the country as COVID surges and American travel for the holidays

Biden sat down with ABC’s David Muir at the White House in an interview that aired three days before Christmas to discuss a range of issues – including the lack of testing kits around the country as COVID surges and American travel for the holidays

Massive lines have formed around the country for Americans to receive free at-home rapid COVID testing kits ahead of the holidays. Pictured: City residents wait in line in Philadelphia for their kits on Monday

There are huge lines everywhere in the US to obtain their kits before the holiday season. Pictured: Philadelphia City residents line up for Monday’s kits

People line up to await the opening of a CityMD health clinic as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City on Saturday

On Saturday, the Omicron Coronavirus variant spreads in Manhattan. People queue up for the CityMD opening.

A huge line forms at the Barclays Center Saturday as demand for COVID testing soars in New York City

As demand for COVID testing in New York City soars, a huge line formed at the Barclays Center on Saturday

“How can we do it wrong?” The president replied. “Nobody expected it to happen,” the president replied. No one in all of the world saw it coming. Is it possible?

David Muir responded: “Did not the administration expect that there could possibly be moments like this where you would have a highly transmissible variation around the corner?”

Biden declared: “It was possible. It’s possible that there might be other variations.

‘That’s possible.

“But for what purpose do you intend to plan?” The best plan is what you see as possible.

You respond to that threat as it is most likely. This is exactly what we have done.

“And that’s” – Omicron spreads rapidly but death rates are lower than ever.

“This isn’t March 2020. We are in a completely different time now.

Omicron was first discovered in Botswana. It then quickly spread through South Africa, before it became widespread in Europe, mainly the U.K. & the Netherlands.

This new variant, which is the most recent to be deemed by the World Health Organization as an official variant or concern, is making its way through America and could soon overtake Delta. 

Omicron contains 30 mutations. It appears significantly more transmissible that Delta, which is already extremely virulent. It is unknown if Omicron is actually more dangerous. 

Omicron was introduced to the market just before Thanksgiving. Biden stated that Omicron was not something we were talking about six months prior.

“But it’s only recent.

“And so we chase Omicron. 

“But the reality is you’re just chasing after whatever’s new. 

Muir asked Biden if the government had failed America’s people. 

“We’re almost two years into this epidemic, and you’re only a year into your presidency. Empty shelves and no test kits in some places – three days before Christmas when it’s so important. Does that make it enough? Muir questioned the president in an interview on Wednesday night.

Biden responded, “Nothing’s good enough.”

“But look, where are we?” he said of the progress. 

“Last Christmas, our situation was very difficult. We had fewer people getting vaccinated and more emergency room visits. There were also serious backlogs at hospitals, which caused great problems. 

“We now have more than 200 million fully vaccinated. And we have more than that who have had at least one shot – and we’re getting these booster shots, as well.’  

Biden responded that he didn’t consider it a failure in his presidency. 

Why are the Omicron versions so terrifying?

 Is there anything so alarming about this variant?

It is said to be the worst variant of the genome they’ve ever seen and experts are concerned by its many mutations.

The variant — which the World Health Organization has named Omicron — has 32 mutations on the spike protein — the most ever recorded and twice as many as the currently dominant Delta strain. 

Experts worry that vaccines may be 40 percent less effective under the worst-case scenario.

It is due to the fact that so many changes in B.1.1.529 depend on spike protein.

The body recognizes the current vaccines as the original spike in the virus.

The Botswana variant has around 50 mutations and more than 30 of them are on the spike protein. The current crop of vaccines trigger the body to recognize the version of the spike protein from older versions of the virus. But the mutations may make the spike protein look so different that the body's immune system struggles to recognize it and fight it off. And three of the spike mutations (H665Y, N679K, P681H) help it enter the body's cells more easily. Meanwhile, it is missing a membrane protein (NSP6) which was seen in earlier iterations of the virus, which experts think could make it more infectious. And it has two mutations (R203K and G204R) that have been present in all variants of concern so far and have been linked with infectiousness

Botswana’s variant contains around 50 mutations, and over 30 are spike proteins. The body can recognize older strains of the virus with current vaccines. The mutations could make spike proteins look different, which may cause the immune system to struggle to identify it and defeat it. Three of its spike mutations, H665Y and N679K (P681H), allow it to enter cells faster. Experts believe it could be more contagious because it lacks a membrane protein (NSP6), as was the case in previous iterations. It also has two mutations, R203K (or G204R), that were present in every variant of the virus and have been associated with infectiousness. 

The new spike protein may look different, so the immune system might have trouble recognizing it and fighting it.

You can also find mutations on the Delta version that make it more spreadable.

Experts caution that they may not discover how infective the virus really is until after at least two weeks. 

Which mutations can the variant be subject to? 

Botswana has over 50 mutations, with more than 30 on the spike protein.

The mutations N679K and P681H are rarely found together and may make the organism more resistant to jabs.

The virus may be able to slip into your cells by using these mutations and H655Y.

The mutation N501Y could make this strain more transmissible. It was seen previously on Beta and the Kent Alpha ‘Alpha’ varieties.

R203K and G204R are two other possible mutations that could make this virus more dangerous. However, a missing mutation from the NSP6 variant could lead to an increase in its transmission.  

Additionally, it has mutations K417N & E484A similar to South African variants of the ‘Beta’ variety. These made it easier to resist vaccines.

But it also has the N440K, found on Delta, and S477N, on the New York variant — which was linked with a surge of cases in the state in March — that has been linked to antibody escape. 

The mutations that it also contains are Q476S, T478K. Q493K. Q496S. Q498R. Y505H. Their significance, however, is unclear. 

Do you think it is a concern variant?

The World Health Organization has classified the virus as a ‘variant of concern’, the label given to the highest-risk strains.

Experts at WHO have determined that its mutations can spread more quickly, cause severe illnesses and hinder vaccine protection. 

Is this where B.1.1.529 was first discovered?

Hong Kong posted the first case on November 23 to its international variant databank GISAID. Person carrying this variant traveled to Hong Kong from South Africa.

The UK was the first nation to detect the threat of the virus and alert other countries.  

Experts think the strain could have been originated in Botswana. However, there are not many positive samples from continental Africa so we may never know where it came from.

Francois Balloux is a University College London geneticist who told MailOnline that the virus probably emerged as a lingering infected patient with immunocompromised, or undiagnosed AIDS.

Because the immune system is weak, infections can persist for many months in patients who have weakened immunity. The virus has time to develop mutations to make it more difficult to fight.

Can I feel protected by a booster?

Scientists warn that this new strain may make Covid vaccines less effective in fighting infection by 40%. But the potential impact on serious illness remains unknown.

However, they stated that the mutations make it all the more critical to have a booster jab as soon people can be eligible.

These antibodies can be activated by vaccinations. This is the best form of protection for the new strain. Experts say that more antibodies are better.

Britain’s Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: ‘The booster jab was already important before we knew about this variant – but now, it could not be more important.’ 

What will be the next step in learning more information about this variant?

Weeks remain before we have data about how transmissible this variant is, and the impact it has on hospitalizations or deaths.

South Africa is the most affected country in South Africa’s cases. The UK offered to help them gather information. They believe that they can learn more about transmissibility within two or three weeks.

It could take them up to six weeks before they learn more about deaths and hospitalizations.

Is this the name of the variant?

One day after its discovery in Hong Kong, the strain was named scientifically as B.1.1.529.

Alpha, Beta (Delta), Gamma and Delta have so far been officially given a name.

The variant Omicron was named by experts at the World Health Organization (November 26). 

The president faced angry scenes from people who waited up to six hours in line to be tested for COVID-19. New York City test centers have had to suspend testing several times due to a lack of available tests. 

Other branches, like the City MD clinics have been forced close because they don’t have the staff necessary to meet demand. 

The governors of the nation appear to be caught unaware and now need to scramble to prevent more chaos. 

Biden regretted not having ordered the at-home rapid tests earlier.

Muir said that he wished he had ordered 500 million tests at home ‘two years ago’. 

However, he defended his positive message from earlier this year. 

Biden stated to the nation that the battle against COVID had reached a new level in July.

He stated that he didn’t regret making the remarks and reiterated that this was an ongoing battle. 

How are we going do this? Can we really overcome the Delta virus, or COVID-19,?

“The expected answer to this question is no, we have some of the most talented scientists anywhere in the globe.

“We are so fast compared with other countries.

“But we don’t know. We don’t know for sure, so this is why.