A quick test to determine if a person is infected with coronavirus that was hyped by President Donald Trump at the White House not long ago is producing false negatives even though the person being tested does indeed have COVID-19, Stat News reports:
“The 13-minute test, developed by Abbott Laboratories, a major U.S. health care and medical device company, usually still works properly, the company and clinicians say. But Abbott’s initial guidance on how to administer the test — guidance approved by the Food and Drug Administration — could lead to an unspecified number of false negative results. Abbott says changing how samples are collected should fix the problem.”
According to The Washington Post, the Abbott test is the same one used by the Trump administration to screen White House staffers and visitors in an effort to assure that neither the president or Vice President Mike Pence contract the disease:
“A number of senior White House staffers have received emails directing them to schedule tests in the EEOB because of their ‘proximity’ to the vice president and president, according to an email reviewed by The Washington Post. Dozens of aides have been tested so far.”
Additionally, it appears that the rapid test for the novel coroanvirus that has so far killed 39,000 Americans is especially ineffective if the infected person only has what is known as a “low load” of the disease. Those infected with moderate to high loads of COVID-19 were generally diagnosed properly by the rapid test.
The Abbott test for the virus was rushed to market after pressure from the Trump administration so that more tests could be done rapidly in an effort to reopen the U.S. economy and help allay widespread fears that millions of Americans may have contracted the disease and are spreading it even though they remain asymptomatic.
Trump said earlier this week that it is his intent to begin a phased reopening of the country, but also said the final decision would be left to the governors, with guidance of federal authorities. Texas is set to be the first state that will seek a return to normalcy when it begins a tentative easing of the lockdown as soon as next week.
Featured Image Via NBC News