A new study suggests that the Covid-19 test being used by the White House frequently misses cases of the virus.
The Abbott ID NOW test, which has been touted by President Trump on several occasions, is faster than other tests, showing results within 15 minutes.
Researchers at New York University Langone School of Medicine decided to compare it to other tests. They looked at nasal swabs from 101 patients who came in for coronavirus testing, comparing the Abbott test to a test made by a company called Cepheid.
The test from Cepheid found that 31 of the 101 patients were positive. The researchers ran those same positive swabs through the Abbott test and found it got a negative result on 48% of them.
“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,” Maria Aguero-Rosenfeld and colleagues at NYU wrote.
The Abbott test was better for the negative samples, with a 98.5% accuracy rate, according to the NYU research.
The research was posted on the pre-print server biorxiv.org. It was not reviewed by outside scientists or published in a medical journal.
Abbott said it was reviewing the NYU research.
“It’s unclear if the samples were tested correctly and we’re further evaluating these results,” the company said in a statement. “The outcomes in this paper are inconsistent with any experience that we’ve had with this instrument.”