(TruthandLiberty.com) – In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we used testing as the primary means of combating the highly contagious virus. Companies that provided the service received tens of millions of dollars in non-bid contracts to provide the necessary needed service. However, one company in Utah came under intense scrutiny for its COVID-19 test results.
Nomi Health received millions in taxpayer dollars from five states. After questions arose about the accuracy of the testing reports, lawmakers in a Nebraska court filed a multi-state lawsuit claiming, “manipulative and deceptive practices.” The goal of the states is to force Nomi to provide answers about the initial response to the pandemic and to help the public decide if it was indeed the most qualified company to address the public health crisis. Unfortunately, the situation is complex, and it may not be easy to pry the information loose.
Nomi Health Fights Lawsuits
Nomi health alleges that providing the information requested would expose trade secrets to its competitors that could harm the company. Attorneys for the company claim the lawsuits represent entities with “interests averse to those of Nomi Health.” Additionally, the lawyers have stated that the lawsuit’s primary purpose is “solely to serve these private interests, not for any cognizable public purpose.”
In 2020, Nomi pitched its service as a collaboration for tech-driven relationships between business and government to increase testing. It appears that part of the collaboration included a sub-contract between Nomi and Co-Diagnostics, another Utah-based company. While Nomi Health acquired the state contracts, Co-Diagnostics conducted the actual COVID tests. It wasn’t long before Iowa, Tennessee and Nebraska purchased a testing program through Nomi. Soon after questions arose in Tennessee, the state canceled its contract with Nomi over concerns the reports weren’t accurate.
Here’s how it worked. The states paid Nomi Health directly instead of billing insurance companies. In theory, cutting out the middleman would increase efficiency and reduce prices. Nomi sub-contracted with Co-Diagnostics to conduct the tests and report responses.
In April 2020, Utah state data revealed negative test rates through Nomi were much higher than other state-run tests. Perhaps the reason was that half of the results came from people who didn’t have any symptoms of COVID, despite state guidelines requiring only individuals with symptoms be tested. That’s only part of the problem. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t give an emergency use authorization to Co-Diagnostics because the tests were manufactured in China.
Regardless, the company told reporters it could handle 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day and possibly more with help from a facility in India.
Co-Diagnostics apparently misled Nomi about its test practices and, consequently, the state and public as well. The problem is, no one knows how bad the company misrepresented itself or if it placed anyone in harm’s way.
A court will decide if, what, and how much information to release in the coming months.
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