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The White House Bet on Abbott’s Rapid Tests. It Didn’t Work Out.

People without Covid-19 symptoms have been among those taking the test on White House grounds, where individuals who received negative results were granted swift access to the president and his advisers.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the F.D.A., described these procedures as a misguided attempt at a “zero-fail testing protocol” in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, saying that officials “weren’t taking any precautions beyond testing people who are going to be in contact with the president.”

However, according to the products’ packaging, both Abbott rapid tests are intended for people with Covid-19 symptoms, early on in their illness. When Abbott submitted the tests for emergency authorization from the F.D.A., the company provided data only for people with symptoms. When used appropriately, the company has said, both tests perform about 95 percent as well as P.C.R. But how well the products do in asymptomatic individuals

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