U of Illinois falsely claimed it received FDA authorization for COVID test

The University of Illinois wrongly claimed that it developed an FDA-approved COVID test.

The FDA clarified that the test was not approved. Rather, it received emergency use authorization.

The University of Illinois falsely claimed that it received FDA approval for its COVID-19 test.

In mid-August, the university stated that it had started utilizing a saliva-based test “under the umbrella of an approved FDA Emergency Use Authorization.”

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker lauded the university’s efforts, saying, “today’s news puts the University of Illinois and the entire state of Illinois on the cutting edge of testing innovation on a national level. And let me just say to President Killeen, the State of Illinois looks forward to being your biggest customer.”

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones added that “we’re proud to be the university that is home to a huge team of amazingly dedicated and talented researchers who came together so quickly to move this test from concept to use approval in just a matter of months.”

Illinois Newsroom reached out to the FDA, which stated that “the University of Illinois is not authorized under an umbrella EUA, and they have not had an EUA.”

University of Illinois spokesperson Robin Kaler told Illinois Newsroom that the university had relied on an earlier email from the FDA, which stated that the school could conduct a “bridging study” between its test and one developed by Yale University, which had already received emergency use approval.

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The FDA reportedly asked the University of Illinois to stop using the terms “bridging study” and “umbrella,” at which point the school updated the language in its official announcements.

An FDA spokesperson confirmed to Campus Reform that the University of Illinois never received an emergency use authorization. The FDA sought to clarify that there are no COVID-19 diagnostic tests currently approved by the FDA and that most tests available are being run under an emergency use authorization.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Illinois but did not receive a response.

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