Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he’s “entirely confident” in a rapid-response COVID-19 test the city has used heavily, despite some doubts raised about its accuracy.
Several small studies found the Abbott Labs 15-minute tests produce a significant number of false negative results. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert about the tests, saying it’s still evaluating whether the tests produce too many false negatives.
But Duggan said he’s “very confident of Abbott because of our own experience.”
“We’re going to continue to review every bit of science on every test, but based on our own experience, if I had to choose to get tested tomorrow, which I may, I would go in for the Abbott 15-minute test myself,” Duggan said.
“Our experience has been that the Abbott tests are catching the sick people, and that they’re not having any significant false negative rates.”
Duggan said the city has tested more than 4,000 first responders and bus drivers with the Abbott test, and there’s no evidence it’s “missing a lot of sick people.”
“With all of our employees who went back to work, if in fact the Abbott test was missing a lot of sick people, we would have known that by now,” Duggan said.
On Friday, Duggan also named top Detroit Medical Center administrator and former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Conrad Mallett as the city’s Deputy Mayor. Mallett will be in charge of the city’s long-term COVID-19 response.
Duggan said he also hoped to partner with churches and other organizations around the city to create a network of community testing sites for COVID-19.