Report: CDC shipped flawed COVID-19 kits despite knowing problems

2020 02 08 00 11 9942 Virus Coronavirus 400

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent flawed test kits for the novel coronavirus out to public laboratories in February despite CDC officials knowing the kits were faulty, according to National Public Radio (NPR).

An internal CDC review reveals an Atlanta scientist learned the final quality control of the COVID-19 kit could fail 33% of the time, but the CDC decided to release the kit anyway. The test kits were sent to 100 or so public labs, including the New York City Public Health Laboratory.

In addition to releasing faulty kits, the CDC's Respiratory Viruses Diagnostic Laboratory had numerous problems, such as process failures, a lack of appropriate recognized laboratory quality standards, and organizational issues related to the support and management of a laboratory supporting an outbreak response.

The problems with the Respiratory Viruses Diagnostic Laboratory were reported last month by ProPublica. However, NPR's story is the first time the CDC internal review's findings have been made public.

The CDC declined to discuss the review and instead told NPR the agency "acknowledged and corrected mistakes along the way."

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