Trump Announces Test To Determine Whether People Have Had COVID-19, Have Immunity

(Screenshot/YouTube/White House)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump announced that Abbott Laboratories has developed an antibodies test that can determine whether someone has previously been infected with the coronavirus and potentially developed immunity.

Trump made the announcement at the coronavirus task force press briefing Wednesday, saying the U.S. will provide the test to up to 20 million Americans “in a matter of weeks.” Antibodies are how the human body fights off viruses such as the coronavirus, and unique antibodies are often present in a person’s immune system long after they have recovered from a flu or other common virus.

TOPSHOT - Laboratory technicians work on testing samples from people to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a laboratory in Shenyang in China's northeastern Liaoning province on February 12, 2020. - The death toll from China's deadly COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic climbed past 1,100 on February 12 but the number of new cases fell for a second straight day, as the World Health Organization urged global unity to combat the "grave threat". (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Laboratory technicians work on testing samples from people to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a laboratory in Shenyang in China’s northeastern Liaoning province on February 12, 2020. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The news comes one day after Trump temporarily cut off funding for the World Health Organization on Tuesday. Trump announced the U.S. will be conducting a review of the WHO’s handling of the virus, which he says has been too “China-centric.” The U.S. donates up to $500 million to the WHO annually, compared to China’s roughly $40 million.

“The WHO’s reliance on China’s disclosures likely caused a twenty-fold increase in cases worldwide, and it may be much more than that,” Trump said Tuesday. “The WHO has not addressed a single one of these concerns nor provided a serious explanation that acknowledges its own mistakes, of which there are many.” (RELATED: Elite American Institutions Keep Bowing To Communist China… Over And Over Again)

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ criticized Trump earlier regarding a potential funding freeze. He advised Trump to stop “politicizing” the crisis if he wanted to avoid “more body-bags.”

China’s official statistics — which the WHO has endorsed — have significantly downplayed both deaths and cases of the coronavirus in the country, according to both media and the U.S. intelligence community.

The U.S. intelligence community had reportedly concluded by mid-March that China was actively falsifying its coronavirus cases and death numbers during and after the outbreak in Wuhan. The official statistics say just over 2,500 people died of the virus in the city of 11 million, but new reports suggest the true number is over 40,000. (RELATED: US Ramps Up Crackdown On China’s Spying Efforts During Coronavirus)

The number rose based on the output of burial urns from the city’s eight mortuaries, which sent out roughly 3,500 total per day between March 23 and April 4.