Crucial antibody tests destined for New York City caught in red tape in China

The first 100,000 coronavirus antibody tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and headed to New York City could have been deployed days ago, but they’ve been stuck in red-tape limbo in China, officials with the U.S. government and with the antibody test company told ABC News.

“I’ve been working in government for 15 years almost, at this point, so bureaucratic stuff is never that surprising,” said New York City Councilman Stephen Levin, a Brooklyn Democrat who chairs the city’s General Welfare Committee. “I see it as a hurdle to overcome.”

The FDA issued the first emergency-use authorization for an antibody test for coronavirus on April 1. That much sought-after nod went to the kit produced by Cellex, a medical-diagnostics company based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Soon after the announcement, Levin contacted Cellex and helped broker an order of 100,000 test kits for New York City’s Health & Hospitals, to be earmarked for first responders.

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