Coronavirus Report

Trump team confident in Abbott test despite new study

The Trump administration is still confident in a COVID-19 test used to test President Trump and staff despite a new study showing it may be missing nearly 50 percent of infections. 

“We still have confidence in the test or we wouldn’t have it on the market,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday on Fox Business.

In a new study from New York University, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, the Abbott ID NOW test missed 48 percent of positive cases when using dry nasal swabs. 

Abbott has pushed back on the study, saying it’s unclear if the samples were tested correctly. Azar also said Friday the results could have been caused by “user error.” 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice Thursday alerting the public about potential inaccurate results. The FDA is working with Abbott to analyze the information and said negative test results that are not consistent with a patient’s symptoms should be confirmed with another test. 

The FDA is also looking into whether the missed positives could be due to the types of swabs and materials used. 

“What we’re saying is that there are some data to suggest that there may be inaccuracies, false negatives, with the Abbott test. However, there are many users who have contacted us and have not had this problem, so FDA is digging into it, and we’re working with Abbott to actually look at what data are available to get the most up to date and accurate information about the test performance,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on “CBS This Morning” Friday.

“That being said, the test is on the market. We continue to recommend its use or to have it available for use,” he added.

Tags Abbott Alex Azar Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump

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