Former Food and Drug Administration Scott Gottlieb said Monday that if he took a coronavirus antibody test to see if he had built up any protection against the virus, he'd receive his result and then take the test again two more times.
Gottlieb, during an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box, said people shouldn't "put any stock" in a single antibody result, because the current tests on the market are churning out a high rate of false positives, which could lead people who don't have immunity to think they're safe. If those people repeat the tests, though, their chances of getting an accurate result increase.
Antibody tests aren't useless from Gottlieb's perspective, though. He believes they can help paint a clearer picture of the scale of the pandemic — that is, while they may not help dictate what an individual should do going forward, they can help scientists and doctors understand the larger trend. Gottlieb has said he believes the number of coronavirus cases in the United States is likely 10 to 20 times higher than what's been recorded, and that would likely include folks who have already recovered.
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He also said he's fairly confident antibodies do point to some immunity, meaning it's unlikely people would get re-infected, or, if they do, they probably would experience a mild case since the body is more experienced at fighting the virus. The question, of course, is how long that immunity lasts.
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