Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday warned people against seeing coronavirus tests as unreliable just days after he received a false positive test result before he was scheduled to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at a Cleveland airport.
DeWine was interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” saying that he doesn’t think people should take away from his experience that testing is not reliable or doesn’t work.
On Thursday morning in Cleveland, following the testing protocol established to be able to greet the President, Gov. DeWine took a rapid antigen test and the results reported back for that test were a false positive.
The governor and First Lady Fran DeWine were tested again on Thursday with a PCR test, and those results came back negative. They were also tested again Saturday in a PCR test administered and run by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and those tests also came back negative.
DeWine said the antigen test he took that yielded the false positive “should be looked at as a screening test” and that the PCR test, which he said over 1,300,000 Ohioans have taken, “is very, very, very reliable.”
“The antigen tests are fairly new. And the companies that are coming out with them, quite frankly, have the burden of showing, you know, how good they are,” he said. “Could they be used in some situations? Yeah, they could be, but you have to understand going in that you can get the false positives, like happened in my case, or you can get the false negatives.”
The PCR test looks for the specific RNA for the SARS CoV-2 — in other words, the genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19. This test is known to be extremely sensitive, as well as specific, for the virus.
“We feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center. This is the same PCR test that has been used over 1.6 million times in Ohio by hospitals and labs all over the state,” a news release from the governor’s office states.