Bill Gates: Most coronavirus tests in the US are ‘completely garbage’

Most coronavirus tests being used in the United States are trash, according to Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Gates told Wired that the coronavirus tests being used in the U.S. either take too long to deliver results or they do not have a high enough sensitivity to ensure accuracy. He said that the companies making the tests have not been financially incentivized to make a better product.

“The majority of all US tests are completely garbage, wasted. If you don’t care how late the date is and you reimburse at the same level, of course they’re going to take every customer. Because they are making ridiculous money, and it’s mostly rich people that are getting access to that,” Gates said.

“You have to have the reimbursement system pay a little bit extra for 24 hours, pay the normal fee for 48 hours, and pay nothing [if it isn’t done by then]. And they will fix it overnight,” he added.

The accuracy and efficiency of the COVID-19 tests in the U.S. have been a point of concern for many public health officials. On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine missed a meeting with President Trump because of a false positive on a rapid-response coronavirus test he took prior to the event.

Gates said that he has been encouraging the federal government to change the payment system for coronavirus tests, but the changes haven’t been made because officials are “tired of listening to” him.

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