Langone: Coronavirus rapid testing 'gateway to solve our problem'

Home Depot co-founder says knowing who has the disease and who doesn't is key

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The key to solving the U.S. coronavirus pandemic is rapid testing, according to the chairman of one of the nation's leading medical centers.

"We are gaining rapidly, rapidly on testing Americans," Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone told Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday. "This is the gateway to solve our problem, to know who has the disease and who doesn't."

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As of Tuesday morning, health officials have identified more than 164,000 cases in the U.S. and 3,170 people have died.

But many companies have realized from the beginning the dire need to address the rapidly spreading crisis.

A nurse at a drive-up COVID-19 coronavirus testing station, set up by the University of Washington Medical Center, talks to a person arriving to be tested as they sit in their car March 13 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorksy on Tuesday told Bartiromo that testing for a vaccine on humans could expand up to nearly a billion doses by the end of 2021 if proven effective.

"This would ordinarily take about five years, but as we all know these are very different times," Gorsky said. "We've got a team of scientists literally working around the clock since January."

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Langone, chair of the board of trustees of the NYU Langone Medical Center, added that in addition to working with Gorsky he has also spoken to David Ricks of Eli Lilly by email, Mike Roman of 3M and Tom Joyce of Danaher. He believes they are all doing a great job.

"They're all pitching in big time," he said. "And they getting things done."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON144.56+0.19+0.13%
LLYELI LILLY & COMPANY147.96-3.20-2.12%
MMM3M COMPANY152.08+5.64+3.85%
ABTABBOTT LABORATORIES89.48-1.99-2.18%
DHRDANAHER CORPORATION158.58+0.32+0.20%

Abbott Laboratories said Friday it received emergency approval from the FDA for a test that can provide results within five minutes.

Meanwhile, Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks told Bartiromo last week that it is developing a potential antibody treatment that could begin clinical trials as early as summer.

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FOX Business’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.