CNN reporter mocked for gifting himself at-home rapid coronavirus tests for Christmas

Country grappling with test shortage as the omicron variant spreads

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CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza was mocked by critics Tuesday after revealing he purchased what appeared to be a large quantity of at-home rapid coronavirus tests for himself as a "post-Christmas gift." 

"Post-Christmas gift to myself," Cillizza wrote in the tweet, including a photo of a box containing two smaller boxes of multiple BinaxNOW self antigen tests. 

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Cillizza's boasting about buying the tests comes amid a massive nationwide shortage of tests as the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread at a rapid rate. According to the CDC, daily average coronavirus cases have ticked up to just over 122,000. 

CNN’s frequently mocked editor-at-large Chris Cillizza (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

CNN’s frequently mocked editor-at-large Chris Cillizza (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Critics quickly took to social media to mock Cillizza, with some describing him as "fear-based," and others suggesting he was making Big Pharma happy by spending his money on expensive testing. 

Once critic pointed out that there was a test shortage, especially in areas of higher demand like New York City and Washington, D.C., where people have lined up and waited for hours at testing sites. 

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Another critic jokingly compared Cillizza to "Seinfeld" character Elaine Benes, who in one episode decided to hoard "contraceptive sponges" that had been taken off the market and bought an excess amount from a pharmacy amid the fictional shortage.

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President Biden admitted in a call with state governors on Monday that his administration had not done enough when it came to ensuring there would be enough tests to cover a winter surge of the virus, telling them that he would have "gone harder, quicker" if they had anticipated the omicron variant's rapid rise.

Cillizza also drew derision when he tweeted a request to the "doctors of Twitter" to advise him whether he should go bowling where there would be masks "most of the time."

Amid a broader media realization of the endemic nature of the coronavirus, Cillizza tweeted earlier this month that he was crestfallen over another surge of the virus, even among those who are vaccinated, saying he had been "fooling" himself for the past 18 months. The available vaccines have remained effective in preventing severe cases that cause hospitalizations and deaths, however.