A New Era of Coronavirus Testing Is About to Begin


A newly authorized test promises to double America’s monthly testing capacity, thanks in part to a huge purchase by the Trump administration. Can the test deliver?

In 24 hours, the testing landscape of the United States has transformed.

Yesterday morning, all of the tests for COVID-19—traditional or rapid—that had received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration required an expensive machine and cost around $40 or more. In the afternoon, the pharmaceutical company Abbott announced that it had received FDA authorization to distribute a new type of test. This test requires only a coated-paper card and a small swab, and the scale of its production is stunning: Abbott says it will begin manufacturing 50 million of these tests a month in October. The tests will cost just $5 apiece.

That wasn’t the only news. This morning, the Trump administration announced that it would be purchasing 150 million of these tests from the company. For comparison, states have reported fewer than 75 million tests total over the past six months, according to the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic.

Many experts have hailed Abbott’s new test as a huge milestone, and a rapid acceleration toward a plan that could give Americans back some sense of normalcy. Deployed widely and often enough, tests like Abbott’s might allow for kids to return to school, office workers to head back to cubicles, and essential employees who have been working throughout the pandemic to have a greater degree of safety. At a time when so many people are desperate to escape the pandemic, this kind of testing holds the tantalizing promise of a pre-vaccine way out of the quagmire.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/08/abbott-covid-19-rapid-tests-trump/615826/HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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