Trump to Announce $750M Deal for Rapid Virus Tests

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories

CNBC reported Trump will debut the deal in a speech Thursday accepting his party's nomination for a second term on the final night of the Republican National Convention.

"This is a major development that will help our country to remain open, get Americans back to work and kids back to school", White House communications director Alyssa Farah said. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted late Thursday afternoon.

By providing near-real-time answers on whether someone is infected, the test could kick start global travel be eliminating the 14-day quarantine requirements.

The portable test from Abbott is about the size of a credit card, requires no additional equipment to operate, and can be conducted using a less invasive nasal swab than traditional lab tests.

"We want as much rapid testing as we can get", said Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington and an infectious-disease expert.

The maker of a recently approved rapid test for the virus that causes COVID-19 says it is planning to hire 1,200 people at a new manufacturing plant in Westbrook, Maine as it ramps up production of the new product. The test, BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card, could be used to check that people participating in larger gatherings, such as those returning to schools or workplaces, do not have COVID-19 and could help aid the reopening of the USA, the executives said. "Negative results from an antigen test should be considered in the context of clinical observations, patient history and epidemiological information".

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The United States has so far conducted 74 million coronavirus tests, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer organization launched from the Atlantic magazine that is dedicated to collecting data about the us outbreak. Currently, the United States has the capacity for about 25 million tests monthly, according to the COVID-19 Tracking Project website.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Abbott Technologies emergency use authorization for its $5 COVID-19 antigen test Wednesday saying it's an "important addition to available tests". Using antigens, they will work something like a pregnancy test. After 15 minutes, health-care providers will read the card. After 15 minutes, results can be read directly from the testing card with one line indicating a negative result and two lines indicating a positive result. Like most older coronavirus tests, the rapid test still requires a nasal swab by a health worker, and can be less accurate than slower tests.

Abbott created a downloadable app that people who have taken the test could present before entering venues to show that they are COVID-19 free, they said.

About has said it will be able to produce 50 million tests every month by October.

White House officials did not immediately elaborate on how the tests will be distributed or offer details on other logistics.

Abbott did not respond to a request for comment.

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