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The first sentence is taken from CNN breaking news. And I am curious about what difference does it make when the sentence would've said "has been tested"

"White house national security adviser Robert O'Brien has tested positive for Covid-1, a senior administration official says."

AND

"White house national security adviser Robert O'Brien has been tested positive for Covid-1, a senior administration official says."

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    Unless this is a new usage forcing its way into idiomaticity, 'O'Brien has been tested positive' is ungrammatical. Rules demand 'O'Brien has been tested, with a positive result', which would be grammatical but would sound far less natural. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 27 at 14:31
  • I'd say the "passive" version is "reduced" from O'Brien has been tested [and has been classified as "positive"] for Covid-1 or similar. Which is "more or less" grammatical, but pointlessly verbose, and unlikely to become idiomatically established. – FumbleFingers Jul 27 at 14:39
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The second sentence is grammatically incorrect.

Per Merriam-Webster:

test (verb)
tested; testing; tests

transitive verb

  1: to put to test or proof : TRY —often used with out
  2: to require a doctrinal oath of 

intransitive verb

  1:
    a: to undergo a test
    b: to be assigned a standing or evaluation on the basis of tests 
         tested positive for cocaine
         the cake tested done

  2: to apply a test as a means of analysis or diagnosis —used with for
      test for mechanical aptitude

In the first sentence, it's definition 1b of the intransitive verb that applies. This is because O'Brien is not testing a direction object; the verb test is being used intransitively to say that he has been "assigned an evaluation, on the basis of tests, of being positive for coronavirus"

The second sentence is in the passive voice. In this instance, O'Brien is the direct object of the verb test. However, there are no versions of test as a transitive verb that would then make sense.

If you constructed the sentence yourself, then you can dismiss it as just incorrect. If you, in fact, read it in some reporting, then it's either an error, or it could possibly be a contraction of a valid sentence, such as:

White house national security adviser Robert O'Brien has been tested [and found to be] positive for Covid-1, a senior administration official says.

Some outlets take liberties with English grammar to save column inches.

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