Aug 9, 2020 - Health

Ohio governor urges Americans not to lose faith in testing after false positive

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Americans shouldn't think testing for the coronavirus is "not reliable or doesn't work," after he received a false positive result from an antigen test last week.

Why it matters: DeWine is one of six governors who have agreed to pool their resources, along with the Rockefeller Foundation, in order to acquire 3 million antigen tests amid severe delays and the lack of a national testing strategy.

  • Antigen tests deliver results quickly, but they are less accurate than the standard PCR tests used most often.
  • DeWine noted that the governors working together on the testing initiative are "taking this one step at a time," and that the goal is to put their purchasing power together to obtain not just antigen tests, but other important coronavirus supplies.

What he's saying: "People should not take away from my experience that testing is not reliable or doesn't work. What I took, was as you pointed out, an antigen test, which really should be looked at as a screening test," DeWine said.

  • "1.3 million Ohioans have taken a PCR test. That test is very, very, very reliable. ... The antigen tests are fairly new and the companies that are coming out with them quite frankly have the burden of showing how good they are."
  • "Could they be used in some situations? Yeah, they could be, but you have to understand going in that you can get the false positives, like what happened in my case, or you can get the false negatives. It can be used in a screening way."
  • "If anyone needed a wake-up call about antigens, how careful you have to be, we certainly saw that in my test," he added.
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