As the U.S. was scrambling to get its hands on enough Covid-19 rapid antigen tests, it gave a $10.3 million grant to a South Korean biotech company to help develop a new test. Now, the state of Utah has stopped using the test because of how inaccurate it is.
According to an investigation by Judicial Watch, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave the funding to South Korean biotech company GenBody.
Utah started using it in its state-run testing sites in December 2021. Then, in February 2022, Utah paused its use after finding out that its false negative rate was about 60 percent. While rapid tests are typically less accurate than PCR — polymerase chain reaction — tests, the high inaccuracy rate made the tests useless.
Whenever money is given for research and development, there’s a chance the new product won’t work. But why did a test with a 40 percent accuracy rate receive FDA approval?
It’s also worth questioning why this money went to a South Korean firm. The U.S. has some of the most brilliant scientists and most advanced biotech companies in the world. Why did that money have to leave the U.S.?
With all the misinformation, mixed signals, and confusion around the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the American people deserve clear and transparent information from their government.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com. This article originally appeared on RealClearPolicy.
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