Coronavirus test touted by Trump produces false negatives almost half the time, study claims

A study has claimed that the rapid coronavirus test touted by president Donald Trump, produces false negatives almost half the time.

The study by researchers at New York University Langone Health, revealed that the coronavirus tests, supplied by Abbott Laboratories, produce inconsistent results.

The study found that the tests, that take a maximum of 13 minutes to reveal results, produced false negatives almost a third of the time when the nasal swab was transported using a liquid solution, and 48 per cent of the time when it was dry.

Transporting the nasal swab without a liquid solution is the method that Abbott Laboratories recommend, but the authors of the study found it to be unreliable, and called the test unacceptable.

“The fact that it misses positive samples on patients being admitted to the hospital with clinical picture of Covid-19 makes this technology unacceptable in our clinical setting,” they wrote.

They said that the high number of false negatives found in their study, raised concerns about “its suitability as a diagnostic tool for symptomatic patients.”

A spokesman for Abbott Laboratories, Scott Stoffel, told AFP that their results differ dramatically from the NYU study, which is yet to be peer-reveiwed.

Mr Stoffel also told the outlet that a study undertaken at the University of Detroit, found the tests to be 98 per cent accurate.

“Abbott has distributed more than 1.8 million ID NOW tests and the reported rate of false negatives to Abbott is at 0.02 percent,” he told the outlet.

The president has spoken positively about the Abbott tests on multiple occasions, and earlier this week praised them in his daily White House press conference.

“This is a five- to 15-minute test, as an example — the Abbott Laboratories’ test. These tests are highly sophisticated — very quick, very good,” Mr Trump said.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 1.3 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 84,313.

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