The president said the tests can produce results in just 15 minutes.
“When we just started this, you remember we’d go out and we’d have to find these massive laboratories with tremendously expensive equipment,” he said of early testing efforts. “Now, we’re down to something that you’ll see that is really from a different planet,” Trump said in a White House announcement.
Those new, rapid tests will be rolled out in the “coming weeks” ahead, Trump added. Elaborating further, Trump said 100 million of the tests will go to states and territories to support efforts to allow schools to reopen, and another 50 million will be distributed to hospices, nursing homes, and similar institutions.
Those test kits will go to states and territories to “support efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately and as fast as they can,” the president said, adding: “The support my administration is providing would allow every state on a very regular basis test every teacher who needs it.”
In late August, the White House announced it had purchased tens of millions of tests from Abbott Laboratories, striking a $750 million deal with the firm. It came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed an emergency-use authorization order for Abbott’s tests.
This week, about 6.5 million of the tests will be sent out, Trump added on Monday.
“This will be more than double the number of tests already performed,” he said in the update.
The rapid tests are considered less accurate and need the confirmation of the more time-consuming PCR swab tests, which can take several days to deliver results.
The Trump administration’s testing coordinator, Adm. Brett Giroir, announced that the United States has “performed over 111 million tests for the virus causing COVID,” which is the highest anywhere in the world. “On 13 separate days, we have achieved tests of over 1 million per day, and our average test numbers are now approximately 920,000 per day,” he noted.
“We are now at an inflection point for testing. We now have available on average 3 million tests per day, not counting pool testing which could multiply that number several-fold,” Gainor noted. “Nearly half of our current tests are rapid point-of-care.”
Trump, as he is seeking reelection, will likely highlight the new testing measures during his debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday night. Fox News’ Chris Wallace will host the event, and the CCP virus will be a topic of discussion.