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COVID-19 Antibody Tests Are Being Sold on Craigslist Despite Lack of FDA Approval

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While scientists work for a COVID-19 treatment and cure, testing is a critical component in battling the virus.

Inside Edition discovered that some people may be trying to make a profit off the situation by advertising rapid response tests for sale online that are supposed to tell you if you have been exposed to COVID-19 within minutes after the prick of a finger.

The tests may sound promising, but so far the Federal Drug Administration says they're not approved or available for at-home use by the public.

"If you see them on the internet, do not buy them until we can give a test that's reliable for all Americans," said U.S. coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx in a press conference. 

Despite lack of approval, alleged test kits allegedly from China are being advertised for sale on Craigslist for $40 a piece. 

Inside Edition producers responded to an ad pretending to be interested buyers and planned to make the transaction in a New Jersey parking lot. 

When the seller, a man named Steve, arrived, he told producer Charlie McLravy, who acted as the buyer, that the bag of tests were authentic.

When McLravy agreed to buy ten of them for $400, Steve made it clear he had more to sell.

After Steve took the money, reporter Les Trent identified himself. 

"Nothing is approved by the FDA for sale," Trent told Steve. "Aren't you sort of taking advantage of this pandemic right now?"

"Taking advantage?" Steve answered. "I'm not in the business of ripping off people. Sure I make a little money off this, but I'm not selling garbage." 

As for the test kits we got, there wasn’t any manufacturer's name on the packaging or the tests themselves.

"When you're buying a test from China on Craigslist, I think that tells you everything you need to know about whether you should trust it," said infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Offit.

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