Some state governors are fuming that rapid coronavirus testing machines they were given are sitting idle because they weren’t given enough supplies to use them, according to a report.
The Abbot Laboratories machines were part of a bulk purchase by the federal governments and promised to complete tests in 15 minutes, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The kits were delivered to the states by the feds — but only with enough cartridges to test about 100 patients.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said, the Journal reported. “There was a lot of hype on this nationally. To have 13 of these devices and no way to use them — I’m banging my head against the wall.”
Federal officials delivered 15 of the testing machines to all of the states except Alaska — regardless of the population — to help alleviate the shortage of testing equipment as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country.
But with only 120 cartridges included with the deliveries, the machines are generally sitting idle while state health officials figure out how to make use of them, the paper reports.
In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker said he thought he had a deal with Abbott, which is headquartered in his state, for testing about 3,000 tests per day and 88,000 per month. Instead, the state received 15 testing machines and 120 cartridges.
“That’s eight tests per machine for all of Illinois,” Pritzker said.
A spokesperson for Health and Human Services told the Journal that the feds had purchased limited quantities of the machines for state labs because officials waned to allow local hospitals to buy the devices as well.
Mia Heck, the spokesperson, said the states could order additional supplies through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.