Science

A rapid COVID-19 test manufacturer trashed millions of products early this summer because it thought the pandemic was wrapping up

Summary List PlacementA manufacturer making one of America's most popular COVID-19 rapid tests dismantled millions of products at a Maine factory earlier this summer because the company thought the pandemic was coming to an end, according to a New York Times report.   Workers at Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer, were told in June and July to put the products in garbage bags after virus test sales dropped in the spring due to diminishing virus cases in the US, The Times reported.   A site manager reportedly told workers at the Maine facility: "The numbers are going down. This is all about money." But now,...

A pair of gloved hands hold a COVID-19 test kit

Summary List Placement

A manufacturer making one of America’s most popular COVID-19 rapid tests dismantled millions of products at a Maine factory earlier this summer because the company thought the pandemic was coming to an end, according to a New York Times report.  

Workers at Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer, were told in June and July to put the products in garbage bags after virus test sales dropped in the spring due to diminishing virus cases in the US, The Times reported. 

 A site manager reportedly told workers at the Maine facility: “The numbers are going down. This is all about money.”

But now, demand for the 15-minute rapid antigen test, BinaxNOW, is surging as the Delta variant spreads across the US, the report said.

In an interview with the New York Times, an Abbott executive said the destroyed materials were “test cards.”

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.   

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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