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The White House Bet on Abbotts Rapid Tests. It Didnt Work Out. – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/06/health/covid-white-house-testing.html

Individuals without Covid-19 signs have actually been among those taking the test on White House grounds, where individuals who got unfavorable results were given speedy access to the president and his advisers.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the previous commissioner of the F.D.A., described these treatments as a misguided effort at a “zero-fail testing protocol” in an interview on CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday, stating that officials “werent taking any safety measures beyond testing people who are going to be in contact with the president.”
Nevertheless, according to the items packaging, both Abbott rapid tests are planned for people with Covid-19 signs, early on in their disease. When Abbott sent the tests for emergency authorization from the F.D.A., the business offered information only for individuals with signs. When used appropriately, the company has stated, both tests carry out about 95 percent in addition to P.C.R. But how well the items carry out in asymptomatic individuals stays murky.
In a declaration, Darcy Ross, Abbotts senior director of external communications, stated the instructions that featured both items offered doctors the power to administer tests at their discretion, no matter whether the receivers had signs. “As with all tests that have received an E.U.A., a healthcare supplier will identify if an individual requires a Covid-19 test,” she said.
Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, a contagious illness physician based in South Carolina, stated she would not feel comfortable administering such tests to healthy patients: “We dont have data to demonstrate how this test is going to perform in that population.”
When applying for emergency situation approval from the F.D.A, Abbott was not needed to send information examining either tests efficiency in asymptomatic populations. Ms. Ross validated that such research studies are underway, and the company has informed specialists that it believes asymptomatic testing is most likely to pan out.
On Saturday evening, Andrea Wainer, Abbotts executive vice president of quick and molecular diagnostics, emailed a document entitled “Perspectives on Testing” to several public health professionals, including Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, containing preliminary outcomes detailing the ID NOWs efficiency in individuals without symptoms. Amongst an unspecified variety of people, the test got about 88 percent of the infections found by lab P.C.R. tests, the company declaration said. Numbers were not reported for the BinaxNOW.