Federal review confirms CDC coronavirus test kits were faulty because of ‘likely’ contamination

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A federal review by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that the early version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) coronavirus test kits failed because of “likely” contamination.

The review, which was first reported by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, found that there was “time pressure’’ at the CDC to launch testing, and “lab practices that may have been insufficient to prevent the risk of contamination.”

Their review also found they did not check the kits despite “anomalies” during manufacturing.

The review does not appear to assign blame directly to the CDC, The Washington Post reported. Their findings could mean that coronavirus statistics, particularly from the beginning of the year, could be skewed. 

The Post has previously reported that the test kits have produced false-positive results caused by the CDC’s contamination. An examination by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that the tests failed because of substandard manufacturing practices and that the CDC violated its own laboratory protocol in making the kits.

The HHS attorneys interviewed nearly a dozen officials, scientists, and consultants at CDC and the FDA who participated in the early development of coronavirus test kits.

The review has reportedly floated around Capitol Hill, where CDC officials are likely to face questioning from Congress. 

HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.


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