Coronavirus

A Cruel and Irresponsible April Fools' Day Hoax

No, the FDA has not approved a 2-minute serologic test for Covid-19 antibodies

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There have been some heartening developments in the race to develop faster, better Covid-19 tests, treatments and protective measures, but not every positive story is true. As the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein reports, one such story was a cruel hoax:

On Tuesday, it was widely reported that the FDA had approved a serological test to detect the coronavirus. This was potentially significant because having a quick test for the appearance of antibodies could show that somebody has already recovered and developed an immunity to the virus, thus allowing that person to reenter society. This is one of many tools that some public health experts have pointed to as something that could be used to ease up on social distancing restrictions gradually.

The news was reported in a Reuters story that was reprinted by the New York TimesAxios, and many other outlets. The Washington Examiner also reported on the supposed development.

However, when I thought about writing about this breakthrough this morning, a few things struck me as odd. . . .

I contacted the FDA to ask if any EUA for BODYSPHERE had been issued and received an email back explaining, "No serology tests have received an authorization to test for coronavirus." . . .

Tar. Feathers.

NEXT: No foolin' today

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  1. Ummm, Abbott Labs in Scarborough, Maine IS now producing a test for the Wuhan Virus that will give results in 5-9 minutes. Yes, the Portland Press Herald is very much fake news, but I don’t think they are fabricating this, and they are saying that the FDA approved the test last Friday.

    See: https://www.pressherald.com/2020/03/30/coronavirus-tests-produced-in-maine-give-results-within-minutes/

    NB: This isn’t the same as an antibody test to determine immunity, but it *is* good news…

    1. Anything that can lessen the impact of the Trump Virus is a good thing. Hoping the new test(s) pans out.

      1. Is the “Trump Virus” the one that the ChiComs deliberately released in an attempt to cost Trump the election? Two can play this game…

        And what I long suspected has come out — the lab animals at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were being sold for food — they’ve already got one guy in prison for doing it. So yes, sell the research bats for food, and don’t tell anyone what they are infected with….

        1. Dude, it’s not an engineered bioweapon. Quit it.

  2. I contacted the FDA to ask if any EUA for BODYSPHERE had been issued

    A feat that apparently required such extraordinary time, effort and expertise that it was beyond the capabilities of “journalists” at Reuters, the NYT, Axios, et al. The lion’s share of tar and feathers should be reserved for them…and not just for this.

  3. It’s not clear who’s correct here. The linked stories reference a test by Abbot National Labs. The FDA did indeed approve a test by a company called Abbot Diagnostics, but the approval doesn’t say anything about “two minutes”

    1. Abbot tests for disease [in today’s parlance, on a pass/fail basis]. The test which was being touted purportedly tested for antibodies, which would indicate exposure to the disease, and at least some level of immunity to reinfection.

      1. Yeah, on further research it looks like these major news sites bought into a scam. No retractions tho…

  4. If this deserves tar and feathers, what do the CDC and FDA deserve for (a) a defective test that took too long to develop (b) while forcing private industry to not develop actual working tests?

    1. Indeed. Tar and feathers, but to whom should they be applied?

    2. Sounds like you fault the current executive authorities in the United States. Where does that buck stop these days?

      1. “Where does that buck stop these days?”

        I dunno. I remember significant push-back to the notion that Obama was responsible for the botched investigation of the Trump campaign.

        1. Have no doubt, if Obama were still president, Fox News would find some way or other to make it his fault. I’m a little surprised they’re not anyway.

          I do think Trump is responsible for spending the first month of the pandemic saying it was nothing to worry about. I don’t see how that *isn’t* his fault.

          1. Don’t worry. By the end of this Fox News and Rush will be blaming Hillary. And Biden also. Oh yeah; Nancy Pelosi as well.

      2. Since they enacted civil service protections, I assume it stops in the bureaucracy, since you can’t really effectively order around bureaucrats you can’t fire.

      3. So you blame Trump for not firing enough of the CDC and FDA bureaucrats to correct the preference of one agency for gun control propaganda and other left-wing political causes over their actual job, and of the other agency for routinely delaying the introduction of all new drugs and medical equipment by years?

        I don’t think so… If Trump had done something about the problems in these agencies, you’d have joined the chorus condemning him for it.

        1. You also have to blame Nancy Pelosi — she’s the one who put “gun research” into the CDC’s budget last fall.

          1. Gun research is a legitimate use of the CDC’s time — anything that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year is a public health issue. You just don’t want the research to uncover what it almost certainly would uncover.

            1. Humm… Center for Disease Control… Sounds like mission creep to me. Kind of like NASA pointing their sights at the earth instead of space and climate instead of aeronautics… Or the CIA focusing on any and all downstream communications of Americans that might cross paths with a foreigner.

        2. I condemn him for spending the first month of the crisis acting as if it were nothing to worry about.

  5. My personal favorite is a Boston TV station that reported on the “Blue Hill Volcano” — New England has a lot of long-extinct volcanoes and this was one outside of Boston. This was in 1991 when there was a lot of footage from the Mt St Helen’s Volcano which had erupted the prior April, and they used footage from that…

    This led to an elderly woman opening up her stable and releasing all the horses so they could escape the volcano. The horses proceeded to run out onto a busy 8-lane divided highway that is now part of I-95 — fortunately neither horses nor people were killed.

    Needless to say, the FCC was not pleased….

    1. CBS recently used film clips from British hospitals with a story about New York hospitals being overrun with COVID-19 patients.

      Or you could go back to WWII and the photograph of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima. The news photographers had been held back from going with the leading units, for obvious reasons. So when they finally got there, they had the troops take down the flag, and raise it again. I suspect that was with added drama. (Not that there wasn’t plenty of drama when they raised it the first time under Japanese fire, but I doubt it would have shown in a picture.)

      1. You got the flag-raising story wrong. Go look it up. Stop spreading nonsense.

      2. The version Ollie North tells is that the first flag wasn’t big enough to be seen by the US ships offshore, so that they put up a second, larger one on a piece of Japanese water pipe. It was a signal for the ships to cease firing as the US now held the hill.

        1. Wait. Convicted felon and perjurer Ollie North? Why on earth should people believe anything said by someone convicted for cheerfully and repeatedly lying under oath about deadly-serious matters?

  6. It was apparently not a joke, but premature: here is information from the only reliable newspaper in New York: https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/fda-approves-first-serology-test-for-coronavirus/

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