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Separate Look Needed

Tom Frieden, who served as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama Administration, tells Business Insider there should be an investigation into the agency's handling of testing kits for SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In early February, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for CDC's SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test, but a number of public health labs in the US that received those testing kits reported they gave inconclusive results during quality control testing. CDC had to re-manufacture a reagent for the kits. It announced toward the end of February that the problem with the testing kits had been rectified, but testing for the virus in the US was delayed.

"I don't know what went wrong," Frieden tells Business Insider. "I do think that there needs to be an independent assessment of that."

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Justin Kinney adds that the SARS-CoV-2 is RT-PCR-based, as are numerous other tests and making supplies for it should not have been difficult. "This is an amateur mistake," Kinney tells it. "It's just tragic that there's no sense of urgency."

Frieden pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last June following allegations of sexual abuse and harassment.

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