(USA Features) The Trump administration has dialed back a Food and Drug Administration rule implemented by President Barack Obama that has led to a testing stall for coronavirus at the state level.
The rule in particular previously required state-run laboratories to only do medical tests that were pre-approved by the FDA.
Commissioner Stephen Hahn initially addressed the testing problem on Saturday, issuing new guidance that would let state labs conduct coronavirus testing that had yet to be approved for patients in response to a public health emergency.
In return for reversing the Obama-era rule, state labs must apply for an FDA review of their new test, provide documentation of the test’s accuracy, and then notify the agency of the validity of the tests before the FDA complete the approval process, The Daily Caller reported.
“We believe this policy strikes the right balance during this public health emergency,” said Hahn of the rule change.
“We will continue to help to ensure sound science prior to clinical testing and follow-up with the critical independent review from the FDA, while quickly expanding testing capabilities in the U.S.”
“This action today reflects our public health commitment to addressing critical public health needs and rapidly responding and adapting to this dynamic and evolving situation,” Hahn added.
Vice President Mike Pence confirmed to reporters Wednesday that the rule in question had in fact been reversed, and President Donald Trump addressed it during a Wednesday meeting with airline officials at the White House.
“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place at a much more accurate and rapid fashion,” Trump stated.
“That was a decision we disagreed with. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason it was made. But we’ve undone that decision.”