After President Biden laid out his administration’s new plan Tuesday to take on the Omicron variant, The New York Times’s DealBook team spoke with medical and policy professionals about what he got right — and where he could have gone farther.

And then, inspired by a post by Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute and drawing on insights from Dr. Joseph Allen of Harvard University and Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University, DealBook calculated the cost of what health experts think might be necessary to help end the pandemic.

Rapid tests. While experts welcomed Mr. Biden’s plan to distribute 500 million free tests, many think far more are needed. The cost of producing the tests is less than $1, but scarcity has driven up their retail price. (Mr. Biden said he would invoke the Defense Production Act to augment the manufacturing of tests to help address supply issues.)

  • Let’s assume the White House can meet demand, and that the U.S. can buy the tests at $1 each. Paying for all 330 million Americans to have one rapid test a day for the next six months would cost about $60 billion, though that includes tests for infants and the like who don’t necessarily need them.

Antiviral treatments. The Times’s case tracker estimates that the U.S. is currently averaging about 155,000 cases a day, or roughly a million a week. If that pace stays constant, that would bring the nation to roughly 26 million cases over the next six months.