This Twitter gained 1,700 RT as of Aug 13, and similar claims have been spread by Total News World, BonaFidr (unknown news sites), and Epoch Times (Chinese media). The YouTube video attached to the Tweet was removed by YouTube as a violation of their guidelines.
These claims say they are based on the Lab Alert released by CDC on July 21.
However, this does not actually raise concerns about the accuracy of the PCR test. The test that CDC has recommended so far can only detect Novel Coronaviruses, but the new method can detect both Novel Coronaviruses and Influenza Viruses at the same time. The release does not mention any problems with the accuracy of the current methods, and the newly recommended methods include the PCR method.
CDC also issued a supplemental Q&A document on August 2, in which the effectiveness of PCR testing is repeatedly stated.
Foreign fact-checking media such as FactCheck.org and Health Feedback clearly denied the claims that the PCR test would no longer be used because of its inaccuracy through interviews with CDC and FDA officials.
CDC recommends new methods that can detect novel coronaviruses and influenza viruses simultaneously, but this new methods includes PCR testing, and there is no evidence that CDC has decided to discontinue PCR testing. CDC has clearly emphasized that PCR tests are also effective in detecting Novel Coronaviruses and are not less accurate. So, we rate the claim “false”.
InFact is a member of the Fact-Checking Initiative (FIJ) media partners. This article is based on InFact’s basic fact-checking policy and FIJ’s rating criteria.