Coronavirus Test Used By Donald Trump And White House Staff Is Unreliable, According To New Study

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during daily briefing of the coronavirus task force at the White House on April 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

An NYU Langone Health study suggests that the Abbott Laboratories rapid coronavirus test used by President Donald Trump and his White House staff is unreliable and creates false negatives in almost half of all cases, Raw Story reported.

According to the study, the test created false negatives approximately one-third of the time when using a nasal swab transported in a liquid solution and 48 percent of the time when using a dry swab — the procedure recommended by the company.

As noted by Raw Story, the study is not yet peer-reviewed, and Abbott Laboratories shed doubt on the results by suggesting that it’s not clear if the samples were properly gathered. Scott Stoffel, a spokesman for the company, claimed that the reported rate of false negatives for the test is 0.02 percent and said that a University of Detroit study found that test to be 98 percent accurate.

As reported by Forbes, “point-of-care” tests such as the one provided by Abbott Laboratories — which offers results in fewer than 13 minutes — are being used to increase testing in the United States as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, countries that have successfully flattened their coronavirus curve have utilized mass testing to track and isolate infected individuals.

“The fact that it misses positive samples on patients being admitted to the hospital with clinical picture of COVID19 makes this technology unacceptable in our clinical setting,” the study reads.

The news comes after in the wake of a new White House policy that requires Trump and staffers to wear masks. The plan was implemented after staffers close to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for COVID-19.

As reported by the Chicago Business Journal, Abbott Laboratories recently received an emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new “Alinity m” test, which can reportedly process 1,080 coronavirus tests in 24 hours.

Robert Ford, president and chief executive officer of Abbott, released a statement on the new test’s rollout and its importance amid the pandemic.

“Molecular lab tests play a critical role in detecting the virus for Covid-19. As a leader in diagnostics, we are pushing forward to develop high-performing tests across our platforms to help combat this pandemic.”

The company is reportedly working to install the instrument in hospitals and health systems across the country.

According to a study from Harvard University, 41 states currently fall short of sufficient testing required to safely reopen their economies.