DONALD Trump unveiled a new rapid COVID-19 test kit on Monday but mistakenly placed it upside down while boasting about the “historic milestone” the US has reached in testing for the virus.
The president appeared to fumble with the kit as he examined the point-of-care test, which is supposed to detect the virus in a patient within five minutes.
“Today we reached a historic milestone in our war against the coronavirus,” Trump said.
“Over one million Americans have been tested – more than any other country by far. Not even close.”
The test announcement was revealed days after the US Food and Drug Administration gave Abbott Labs emergency clearance to produce its cartridge-based test.
Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 test can deliver positive results in as quickly as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes, according to the company’s website.
Starting Monday, the Illinois-based company said it will ramp up production to provide select healthcare facilities with 50,000 ID NOW coronavirus test kits per day.
Trump held the six-pound box upside down as he displayed the new rapid test to reporters in the White House Rose Garden.
Health experts say the US should be testing 100,000 to 150,000 people per day to track and slow the spread of the virus, according to Fox News.
Trump said late Monday afternoon that more than one million COVID-19 samples have been tested in the US, with about 100,000 samples tested daily.
He also stressed the importance of social distancing hours after he was pushed by coronavirus task force health experts to extended federal guidelines to April 30.
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The president claimed social distancing could save up to a million Americans from dying from the outbreak, which has killed more than 3,000 in the US.
The US currently leads the world in the number of infections with more than 153,000 confirmed cases nationwide.
New York City, the US epicenter of the virus, has at least 500 coronavirus-related deaths, according to CNN.
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