Reuters retracts Coronavirus FDA test story. Was it April Fools' hoax? - iMediaEthics

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(Credit: Reuters)

Reuters published a story today claiming that a company called Bodysphere had received FDA authorization for a test for coronavirus.

But, that wasn’t true.

The news service removed its story and issued a retraction. The retraction reads:

“The March 31 story on Bodysphere receiving FDA authorization for a rapid antibody test for coronavirus has been withdrawn. In a statement to Reuters, Bodysphere said it has not received this authorization. There will be no replacement story.”

The story was still available republished on the New York Times website when iMediaEthics looked this afternoon.

Reuters told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “The original story was based on a press release issued on Business Wire from a company called Bodysphere. Subsequently, the company said their press release was inaccurate so we withdrew our story. We are continuing to review the matter.”

The Washington Examiner questioned if the article was a “cruel hoax timed to coincide with April Fools’ Day,” noting a press release linked to the claims has been removed and the FDA told it it hasn’t authorized any serology tests like the one touted in the Reuters article.

The New York Times confirmed that the FDA didn’t authorize the test and noted: “California state business filings do not show any record of Bodysphere Inc. A phone number listed on Bodysphere’s website was disconnected and later removed from the site by Wednesday afternoon. A publicist for Bodysphere did not return repeated requests for comment.”

iMediaEthics has written to the FDA and Bodysphere.

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Reuters retracts Coronavirus FDA test story. Was it April Fools’ hoax?

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