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Florida’s Governor DeSantis Bragged About Deal With Lab Firm Now At Center Of COVID-19 Testing Scandal

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Gov. Ron DeSantis touted an $11-million COVID-19 testing deal with a Texas-based lab now embroiled in controversy and facing questions about the reliability of its tests.

DeSantis, under pressure to ramp up testing while pushing to reopen Florida, boasted at an April 22 press conference that, “we have two contracts in place with two new labs that will increase our lab capacity by 18,000 samples per day.”

One of those firms was Southwest Regional PCR, of Lubbock, TX, which does business as MicroGenDX, headquartered in Orlando. The Executive Office of the Governor had signed an $11-million contract the day before with the firm for “COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing ($99 per test 8000 tests per day for 14 days).”

Less than a month later, however, the governor’s office quietly canceled the contract amid  questions about MicroGenDX’s dependability.

The firm made headlines after Altamonte Springs-based Advent Health raised concerns on May 16 about the reliability of tens of thousands of lab tests and canceled its contract with the firm. On Thursday, Florida Today reported that MicroGenDX is now under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MicroGenDX has disputed Advent’s claims and adamantly defended the reliability of its testing.

Daniel Ducassi,  FloridaBulldog.org, Special to SouthFloridaReporter.comMay 23, 2019