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Problems With PCR Testing For COVID-19

blob69

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I'm collecting articles describing problems with PCR testing for COVID-19. Here I will share the best information that I found so that others can benefit too. If anyone else knows of any good sources, please share them here too.

Biologist and "myth buster" David Crowe collected excellent information on covid-19 PCR tests here: Issues with the RT-PCR Coronavirus Test

Some interesting bits:

"The PCR algorithm is cyclical. At each cycle it generates approximately double the amount of DNA (which, in RT-PCR, corresponding to the RNA that the process started with). When used as a test you don’t know the amount of starting material, but the amount of DNA at the end of each cycle will be shown indirectly by fluorescent molecules that are attached to the probes. The amount of light produced after every step will then approximately double, and when it reaches a certain intensity the process is halted and the sample is declared positive (implying infected). If, after a certain number of cycles, there is still not sufficient DNA, then the sample is declared negative (implying not infected). This cycle number (Ct) used to separate positive from negative is arbitrary, and is not the same for every organization doing testing. For example, there is a paper published that reported using 36 as the cutoff for positive, 37-39 as indeterminate, requiring more testing, and above 39 as negative. Another paper used 37 as the cutoff, with no intermediate zone. In a list of test kits approved by the US FDA one manufacturer each recommended 30 cycles, 31, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39. 40 cycles was most popular, chosen by 12 manufacturers, and one each recommended 43 and 45."

"Implicit in using a Ct number is the assumption that approximately the same amount of original RNA (within a multiple of two) will produce the same Ct number. However, there are many possibilities for error in RT-PCR. There are inefficiencies in extracting the RNA, even larger inefficiencies in converting the RNA to complementary DNA (Bustin noted that efficiency is rarely over 50% and can easily vary by a factor of 10), and inefficiencies in the PCR process itself. Bustin, in the podcast, described reliance on an arbitrary Ct number as “absolute nonsense, it makes no sense whatsoever”. It certainly cannot be assumed that the same Ct number on tests done at different laboratories indicates the same original quantity of RNA."

"Professor Bustin stated that cycling more than 35 times was unwise, but it appears that nobody is limiting cycles to 35 or less (the MIQE guidelines recommend less than 40). Cycling too much could result in false positives as background fluorescence builds up in the PCR reaction."

"The Ct cycle number will significantly influence the number of positive tests. If the Ct was changed from 37 to 35 there would be fewer positive tests, and if changed to 39 there would more positive tests. Even if the Ct number was standardized, it would still have different meaning depending on the specific machines, chemicals and procedures used by different labs, and even within the same lab changes could still be found between different runs of samples. Without simultaneously amplifying a known quantity of ‘spiked’ RNA, it cannot be assumed that with consistent Ct numbers can be used to consistently provide a boundary between positive and negative."
 

blob69

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An older article (2017) by world expert on PCR professor Stephen Bustin: Talking the talk, but not walking the walk: RT‐qPCR as a paradigm for the lack of reproducibility in molecular research

"Despite the impact of the minimum information for the publication of quantitative PCR experiments (MIQE) guidelines, which aim to improve the robustness and the transparency of reporting of RT‐qPCR data, we demonstrate that elementary protocol errors, inappropriate data analysis and inadequate reporting continue to be rife and conclude that the majority of published RT‐qPCR data are likely to represent technical noise."

"The ostensible simplicity of RT‐qPCR conceals a complexity that extends to every step of the workflow and there is a long history of publications analysing, untangling and clarifying the issues that must be confronted to ensure the appropriateness of assay design, robustness of the protocol and finally the suitability of analysis methods. On the other hand, there are numerous publications that have been highlighting serious concerns with the relevance, reproducibility and practicability of biomedical research. Considering the key enabling roles of the RT and PCR steps in other molecular technologies, it is reasonable to put the two issues together and conclude that there is a link between the two. It is shocking that despite the easy availability of this information, the quality of execution of a technique that has been in use for 24 years remains at such a low standard. Either its users are ignorant of the complications involved in ensuring reproducibility or they deliberately ignore the wealth of advice and knowingly publish inadequate results. It is also clear that the availability of guidelines has done very little to improve the quality of published data based on the use of RT‐qPCR and begs the question that if a technique where inadequacies are easily detected is as badly executed as this, what must the situation be like for the much more complex technologies based on it. The effects of this negligence by the research community to heed the many warnings that have been issued over the years is enhanced by the failure shown by the editors of most journals to implement their own instructions for authors, despite publishing editorials and seemingly supporting initiatives aimed at improving this situation. This unwillingness to take remedial action in general and for RT‐qPCR in particular means that much taxpayers' money and donors' generosity continue to be wasted."
 
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blob69

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David Crowe also made a summary of various PCR tests: The Incredible and Scary Truth about COVID-19 Tests

And an amazing report about covid-19, including lots of information about testing: Flaws in Coronavirus Pandemic Theory

This podcast summarizes his knowledge on PCR testing for covid-19: The Infectious Myth - Simplifying RT-PCR

He shares a lot of reports of illogical test results such as this one:

“A 68-year-old man was admitted due to fever, muscle pain, and fatigue. He was initially diagnosed with COVID-19 according to two consecutive positive results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA plus clinical symptoms and chest CT findings, and was discharged from hospital when meeting the discharge criteria, including two consecutive negative results. He was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA twice during the quarantine and was hospitalized again. He was asymptomatic then, but IgG and IgM [antibodies, with IgG indicating immunity] were both positive. He was discharged in the context of four consecutive negative test results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA after antiviral treatment. However, he was tested positive once again on the 3rd and 4th day after the second discharge, although still asymptomatic. IgG and IgM were still positive. After antiviral treatment, the results of SARS-CoV-2 RNA were negative in three consecutive retests, and he was finally discharged and quarantined for further surveillance.The most disturbing thing about this article is that, at no point, did the authors raise the possibility of false positive test results.

Perhaps the unnamed 68-year-old man would disagree, arguing that his life being turned upside down, being forced to take drugs while healthy, and being isolated from his family was more disturbing.”
 
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blob69

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Mainstream article in New York Times discussing serious problems with cycle number:

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.

“Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.”

“Officials at the Wadsworth Center, New York’s state lab, have access to C.T. values from tests they have processed, and analyzed their numbers at The Times’s request. In July, the lab identified 872 positive tests, based on a threshold of 40 cycles.

With a cutoff of 35, about 43 percent of those tests would no longer qualify as positive. About 63 percent would no longer be judged positive if the cycles were limited to 30.

In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been deemed negative if the threshold were 30 cycles, Dr. Mina said. “I would say that none of those people should be contact-traced, not one,” he said.

Other experts informed of these numbers were stunned.

“I’m really shocked that it could be that high — the proportion of people with high C.T. value results,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “Boy, does it really change the way we need to be thinking about testing.””

Which means that around 43% of people who test positive (and are diagnosed with covid-19) in my country that uses mostly 40 cycles as the limit, would test negative in Taiwan where they use 35 cycles: Japanese student with COVID-19 a 'weak positive,' likely not contagious - Focus Taiwan
 
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blob69

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How covid-19 is diagnosed solely on the basis of a positive PCR test, which is unlike previous epidemics, and why this is not a good idea:

Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection: the danger of over-reliance on positive test results

Note that only China requires other criteria besides positive PCR for a diagnosis of covid-19: "The Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires clinical manifestations and usually exposure history in addition to a positive PCR result to confirm a case.”

David Crowe wrote about when China changed diagnostic criteria here: "The Chinese eventually woke up and, around February 16th required confirmed cases to meet the requirements for a suspected case, as well as a positive test. They may have put this new definition into practice earlier because after a massive addition of almost 16,000 confirmed cases on February 12th, the number fell dramatically each day and, by February 18th was under 500 cases, and continued to stay low."

Here you can see the amazing drop that occurred in China after the change in diagnostic criteria:

china-covid.png

It seems that David was right - China will not suffer a big increase in cases because their definition of confirmed case requires both a reasonable possibility of contact with a previous case, and symptoms, and that allowed the epidemic to burn out. Once everyone is quarantined, contact with an existing case is highly unlikely, testing stops and doctors can declare victory.

On the other hand, covid-19 epidemic in most other countries is allowed to grow and never end due to exclusive reliance on faulty PCR tests.
 
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boris

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Thanks, this is useful! :thumbup:



Dr. Drosten (COVID fearmongerer and developer of the current Sars-Cov2 PCR test funded by Bill Gates) in 2014:

Wie hoch ist die Gefahr einer Ausbreitung der Seuche Mers
Drosten [on PCR testing in the MERS epidemic]: Yes, but the method is so sensitive that it can detect a single genetic molecule. If for example such a pathogen slides along the nasal mucosa of a nurse for just one day without her getting sick or even noticing it, she will suddenly be a MERS-case. Usually only terminally ill people get reported, and now suddenly mild cases and people that are completely healthy are counted in the statistics. That's also one explanation for the explosion of cases in Saudi-Arabia. In addition to that the local media stirred this topic up incredibly.
 
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blob69

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Dr. Drosten (COVID fearmongerer and developer of the current Sars-Cov2 PCR test funded by Bill Gates) in 2014:

Wie hoch ist die Gefahr einer Ausbreitung der Seuche Mers
Drosten [on PCR testing in the MERS epidemic]: Yes, but the method is so sensitive that it can detect a single genetic molecule. If for example such a pathogen slides along the nasal mucosa of a nurse for just one day without her getting sick or even noticing it, she will suddenly be a MERS-case. Usually only terminally ill people get reported, and now suddenly mild cases and people that are completely healthy are counted in the statistics. That's also one explanation for the explosion of cases in Saudi-Arabia. In addition to that the local media stirred this topic up incredibly.

Ha, this is a good one. I found a post about this in English with additional translation of Drosten's words:

"Yes, but the method is so sensitive that it can detect a single hereditary molecule of this virus. For example, if such a pathogen scurries across the nasal mucosa of a nurse for a day without her getting sick or noticing anything else, then she is suddenly a MERS case. Where previously terminally ill people were reported, now suddenly mild cases and people who are actually in perfect health are included in the reporting statistics. This could also explain the explosion in the number of cases in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the local media have been cooking up the matter to unbelievable heights. […] In the region there is hardly any other topic in the TV news or daily newspapers. And doctors in hospitals are also consumers of this news. They also consider that they should keep an eye on this disease, which is very rare in Saudi Arabia. Medicine is not free of fashion trends."

"It would be very helpful if the authorities in Saudi Arabia were to revert to the previous definitions of the disease. After all, what interests them first are the real cases. Whether symptomless or mildly infected hospital employees are really carriers of the virus is questionable in my opinion. Even more questionable is whether they can pass the virus on to others. The team of advisors to the new Minister of Health should distinguish more clearly between medically necessary diagnostics and scientific interest."
 

blob69

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@blob69 @boris

Stellungnahme zu Antrag der FDP "Praxistaugliche und intelligente COVID-19-Teststrategie"

It's an expert opinion about the PCR tests in Germany. The expert was asked to discuss the proposal of an opposition party in parliament. It basically says that what we are doing has nothing to do with science.

Thanks for this! I auto-translated a few bits to English:

"The statement supplements the FDP concept for the design of a practical and intelligent test strategy for Covid -19 with five essential requirements so that serious deficiencies in the previous test strategy can be eliminated. Otherwise the goal of an effective and efficient test strategy for deriving appropriate measures will be missed:
  1. Immediate standardization of the PCR test procedure, otherwise there is no temporal or spatial comparability of the data.
  2. Continuous monitoring of the specificity and sensitivity of the test for each laboratory involved and consideration of the false positive rate in the statistical analysis at the municipal, state and federal level, otherwise misleading trends arise.
  3. The key figure "Cases in the last 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants" is not a valid measurement parameter, but a number that depends directly on the number of tests. Remedy by taking into account the number of tests in 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants at the municipal level.
  4. The ongoing evaluation of the risk must be based on the key figures "cases" (= positive tests), hospitalization and deaths according to a comprehensible, transparent and standardized system. Such a system is currently not recognizable, the "one-dimensional" fixation that can currently be determined on the key figure cases in the risk assessment will certainly lead to incorrect management.
  5. The scientific processing of the infection process can only be recognized in rudimentary form; this also expressly applies to the still pending scientifically sound validation of the PCR test. Without an ongoing evaluation of all relevant facts for the development of a well-founded evidence-based model, the control of countermeasures in the best case remains piecemeal, in the worst case a serious miscalculation with avoidable collateral damage results.
Without consistent and rapid implementation of measures 1) - 5) there are no really meaningful and reliable figures on the occurrence of infections and no appropriate government measures are possible. The implementation of 4) and 5) requires the use of "interdisciplinary teams" in which all relevant competencies are represented.

At the moment, the test strategy in no way corresponds to the quality requirements of technology or the state of science."

"Conclusions:

Even taking into account the suggestions of the FDP parliamentary group, the current test concept has such serious shortcomings that it in no way corresponds to the quality requirements of technology or the state of science:
  • The PCR tests are neither standardized nor are there reliable data on sensitivity and specificity, from which reliable data on the false positive rate can be derived in order to be able to subtract them from the raw data for a scientifically sound statistical analysis.
  • The central key figures “Cases in 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants” and the R-value (as it is currently determined) are not valid measured values.
  • The tunnel vision-like focus of the risk assessment on the basis of the PCR test numbers is incomprehensible, and adequate consideration of the much more relevant parameters of the hospitalized and the deceased is not discernible.
  • It is incomprehensible that there is apparently no systematic further development of the basis for the PCR test in the direction of validation (still pending) and recording of the conceivable cross-reactions, for example with the coronaviruses endemic in Germany. Regular modeling of the infection process is also not recognizable.
As a consequence, it is obvious:

Suspension of the evaluation of the PCR test results until the mentioned weaknesses have been eliminated and instead, until then, assessment of the infection process exclusively on the basis of the number of sick and deceased."
 
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blob69

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Recent article in New York Times on PCR testing and Donald Trump's "covid": What Does ‘Negative’ on a Coronavirus Test Really Mean?

SUMMARY:

1. No test exists that can tell if someone is contagious/infectious
2. Not all "Coronavirus" tests look for the same part of the "virus" nor will give the same positive/negative result
3. Each test looks for something different
4. Ct Values (which determine positive/negative) are inconsistent among tests and laboratories even using the SAME test
5. Ct Values are not universal
6. PCR can not tell if the "virus" is active
7. Neither PCR nor antigen tests measure actual "live virus" but debris said to belong to one
8. "Viral" cultures try to COAX a "virus" to infect cells
9. Subgenomic RNA is being considered as yet another surrogate marker to detect hints of a "virus" rather than actually detecting said "virus"
10. "Viral" cultures do not mean a "virus" is transmittable, essentially making the practice meaningless
11. CDC states SYMPTOMS should be the gauge of whether someone is sick - not test results - thus destroying "asymptomatics" and "case" counts that rely on them.

HIGHLIGHTS:

"THERE EXISTS NO TEST THAT CAN DEFINITIVELY DETERMINE WHETHER SOMEONE WHO CAUGHT THE CORONAVIRUS IS STILL CONTAGIOUS. “We do not have a test for cure, and WE DO NOT HAVE A TEST FOR INFECTIOUSNESS,” said Omai Garner, a clinical microbiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles."
"NOT ALL CORONAVIRUS TESTS ARE DESIGNED TO DETECT THE SAME PARTS OF THE VIRUS. AND A NEGATIVE ON ONE TEST DOES NOT NECESSARILY GUARANTEE A NEGATIVE ON ANOTHER.
“We don’t just look at these tests in the context of ‘Coronavirus, yes or no,’” said Karissa Culbreath, a clinical microbiologist at TriCore Reference Laboratories in New Mexico. “EACH TEST LOOKS FOR A DIFFERENT ASPECT OF THE VIRUS.”
"Some PCR-based tests can also give an indication of how much virus is lingering in the body — a number called the cycle threshold, or CT, which increases as the virus becomes more scarce.
A recent PCR test taken by Trump yielded a CT of 34.3, after steadily increasing for several days. Researchers have had trouble growing the virus out of samples taken from people whose PCR tests crest above the low 30s. But exceptions to this trend do exist, and CYCLE-THRESHOLD READINGS ARE OFTEN INCONSISTENT AMONG DIFFERENT TYPES OF PCR-BASED TESTS, AND EVEN AMONG LABORATORIES USING THE SAME TEST.
“We cannot say, ‘A CT value of 34 does not make someone infectious’ across the board,” Culbreath said. “IT'S NOT A UNIVERSAL ANSWER.”
"Both PCR and antigen tests have another limitation: THEY LOOK FOR HUNKS OF THE VIRUS’ ANATOMY — DEBRIS FROM THE PATHOGEN — AND CANNOT DETERMINE WHETHER THE VIRUS IS STILL ACTIVE. Some people who have been infected by the coronavirus may register as PCR positive for weeks, even months, after they are no longer contagious or ill, simply because tests are picking up on harmless souvenirs of an infection long past.
“NEITHER IS A MEASURE OF ACTUAL, LIVE VIRUS,” Garner said, of PCR and antigen tests."
"That’s where viral culture comes in. Scientists can take a sample from a person’s airway and then TRY TO COAX THE CORONAVIRUS INTO INFECTING CELLS IN A LAB. But these procedures are not widely available to the public, because they have to be performed in a high-containment facility by people specifically trained to work with deadly pathogens.
These restrictions have led several scientists to experiment with PCR-based tests that search specifically for SUBGENOMIC RNA AS A POSSIBLE PROXY FOR ACTIVE VIRUSES. Subgenomic RNA is a type of GENETIC MATERIAL that is produced only after the coronavirus has infected a human cell. The compound can thus ACT AS A SORT OF MOLECULAR BEACON that can alert researchers to a virus that has started to reproduce itself, WITHOUT THE NEED TO GROW THE DANGEROUS PATHOGEN."
"VIRUS THAT CAN BE CULTURED IS NOT NECESSARILY TRANSMITTABLE, or vice versa."
"Guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stipulate that SYMPTOMS — NOT TEST RESULTS — should be the primary motivator for ending a person’s isolation."
 

blob69

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An excellent article by Mike Hearn on false positives and how they are able to generate pseudo-epidemics: Pseudo-epidemics

"The whooping cough ripped through the hospital like wildfire.

It started with an internist and spread from there, with a severe cough quickly developing in other healthcare workers. Whilst not deadly for healthy adults the disease can be fatal for the elderly, the frail and very young children, so the health system moved quickly. There was no time to lose — within weeks over 1,000 staff were furloughed and quarantined. 142 people tested positive for the disease, thousands of people were given antibiotics and ICU beds were closed. It was a swift and effective response by highly trained public health professionals, armed with the best tools modern medicine could provide.

Only one thing went wrong.

None of it was real.

Gina Kolata’s story in the New York Times about what happened in 2006 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center makes for astonishing reading. I can’t recount it better than she did — you should really just go and read it right now. But if you’d rather not, I’ll quote some of the most important parts (emphasis mine):

Not a single case of whooping cough was confirmed with the definitive test, growing the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, in the laboratory. Instead, it appears the health care workers probably were afflicted with ordinary respiratory diseases like the common cold.

… specialists say the problem was that they placed too much faith in a quick and highly sensitive molecular test that led them astray … At Dartmouth the decision was to use a test, P.C.R., for polymerase chain reaction … their sensitivity makes false positives likely, and when hundreds or thousands of people are tested, as occurred at Dartmouth, false positives can make it seem like there is an epidemic.

There are no national data on pseudo-epidemics caused by an overreliance on such molecular tests, said Dr. Trish M. Perl … but, she said, pseudo-epidemics happen all the time. The Dartmouth case may have been one the largest, but it was by no means an exception, she said. There was a similar whooping cough scare at Children’s Hospital in Boston last fall that involved 36 adults and 2 children. Definitive tests, though, did not find pertussis.

“Because we had cases we thought were pertussis and because we had vulnerable patients at the hospital, we lowered our threshold,” she said.

“If we had stopped there, I think we all would have agreed that we had had an outbreak of whooping cough and that we had controlled it,” Dr. Kirkland said.

“It’s a problem; we know it’s a problem,” Dr. Perl said. “My guess is that what happened at Dartmouth is going to become more common.”"

"But with COVID-19 there is no other test. And it’s a “new” virus, whose exact effects are unknown, so it was decided that the obvious choice of using symptoms as the ground truth would be taking too much risk.

In this situation something new and very nasty has happened. The PCR test has itself become the ground truth. Despite having had an error rate of 100% in the past, it now by definition has an error rate of zero.

Test positive? You’ve got the virus, end of story. Feel fine? Irrelevant, it’s an asymptomatic infection. No antibodies? Doesn’t matter, surely you’ll have them soon. Never develop antibodies but start testing negative anyway? How mysterious, perhaps you have a new form of immunity previously unknown to science. Test positive, then negative, then positive? Terrifying: the body must not develop immunity like it does for other viruses. How about negative, positive, negative, positive, negative? Well, we’ll call that a positive just to be safe. Symptoms stopped months ago but the positive tests keep coming? It can’t be the test, you’ll just have to stay confined indefinitely. And so on.

Many of the explanations being put forward for COVID PCR timeseries require new medical theories to be invented on the spot, some of which are absurd. This is exactly what would be expected to happen in an environment where a noisy test has been mandated to be interpreted as error free. There’s a large and growing amount of evidence that COVID testing may be unreliable, just like it was at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and other places. But stripped of their ability to say “that’s a false positive” by the monopoly of a test for which no other ground truth exists, public health bodies have become increasingly erratic. In 2006 the only thing that saved them from believing they’d controlled a non-existent epidemic was an accurate ground truth test. Without that the medical experts would have come to resemble schizophrenics, believing they were fighting an invisible undefeatable enemy that they saw signs of everywhere even though it wasn’t real. And the longer it went on for, and the more disruptive their actions became, the harder it’d have become to accept the truth — that they’d shut down the hospital and endangered patients for nothing."

"Yet in the end, despite recognising that calibrating a test against itself is “challenging” (read: meaningless), the alternative would be to not have a test and that is unthinkable. Now mass-scale RT-PCR exists it must be used, whether it makes sense or not.

One way to determine an FP rate is to submit for testing samples you know can’t possibly be infected. The president of Tanzania memorably did this by submitting samples from goats and fruit to a lab, which proceeded to come back positive. He then fired his chief medical officer. Although he was ridiculed, scientists have done this sort of test before. Prior to COVID the most recent serious new coronavirus was MERS-CoV, which was propagating around 5–7 years ago. Researchers submitted a large variety of blinded samples to labs, some of which contained just regular coronaviruses instead of MERS-CoV. 8.1% percent of labs generated false positivesbecause they couldn’t distinguish MERS-CoV from other harmless viruses (of the type that cause a common cold)."

"The true FP rate for COVID must be lower than that because in some countries where the epidemic is over the proportion of positive tests is more like 1%-2%, so that sets up upper limit on what any FP rate can be. But an 8% error rate would have been unusable for mass testing: the fact that this was happening just five years ago must raise the question of how many FPs the COVID testing regimes are yielding. Yet nobody knows the answer and some medical “experts” are pretending the tests have an FP rate of zero. This is delusional and should worry everyone. Left unchecked it would mean that mitigations never end."

"COVID times have crushed my faith in government and academic health expertise, probably forever. So many problems have occurred, like modellers driving government policy despite being unable to actually program computers or predict epidemics. But one of the most depressing problems is the apparently universal assumption that false positives aren’t important and lockdowns are free.

Given current definitions COVID-19 will never end. People will be dying of it forever, even if the virus disappears completely. Worse still, the system is locked in a series of feedback loops — if something causes test numbers to rise then so will case numbers, which in turn will cause a further increase in testing, causing the rise to continue, triggering local lockdowns and pointless evidence free rituals, until people get depressed and stop trying to do things causing numbers being tested to fall again.

Health is run by people who suffer no consequences from policy over-reactions. Lockdown induced job losses won’t affect them, as they work for the government. A larger-scale case of “one rule for them and another for us” can’t be imagined. It’s thus no surprise when we read things like Public Health England defining a COVID death as anyone who has ever tested positive and then died, for any reason, at any time i.e. the UK being supposedly “one of the worst hit countries in the world” is a statistical fantasy. PHE officials defined it this way because they didn’t want to be accused of being a nasty libertarians who were underplaying the problem just to help capitalist workers. The idea that they’d create other, bigger problems simply didn’t occur to them — or worse, it did but they didn’t care."
 

Giraffe

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Given current definitions COVID-19 will never end. People will be dying of it forever, even if the virus disappears completely. Worse still, the system is locked in a series of feedback loops — if something causes test numbers to rise then so will case numbers, which in turn will cause a further increase in testing, causing the rise to continue, triggering local lockdowns and pointless evidence free rituals, until people get depressed and stop trying to do things causing numbers being tested to fall again.
Followers of the covid cult, if you ask them how the get out of that loop, they answer you, "But we need to do something." -- Let's do something irregardless of whether it's useful or not. Just for the sake of doing something.
 

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"PCR detection of viruses is helpful so long as its accuracy can be understood: it offers the capacity to detect RNA in minute quantities, but whether that RNA represents infectious virus may not be clear.

During our Open Evidence Review of oral-fecal transmission of Covid-19, we noticed how few studies had attempted or reported culturing live SARS-CoV-2 virus from human samples.

This surprised us, as viral culture is regarded as a gold standard or reference test against which any diagnostic index test for viruses must be measured and calibrated, to understand the predictive properties of that test."

"What did we find?

We searched for studies that reported culture or isolation of SARS-CoV-2 using samples from Covid-19 patients.

We identified fourteen studies that succeeded in culturing or observing tissue invasion by SARS-CoV from various samples from patients diagnosed with Covid-19. The quality of these studies was moderate with a lack of protocols, standardized methods and reporting.

Data are sparse on how the PCR results relate to viral culture results. There is some evidence of a relationship between the time from collection of a specimen to test, symptom severity and the chances that someone is infectious."

“It was not possible to make a precise quantitative assessment of the association between RT-PCR results and the success rate of viral culture within these studies. These studies were not adequately sized nor performed in a sufficiently standardized manner and may be subject to reporting bias."

"PCR detection of viruses is helpful so long as its limitations are understood; while it detects RNA in minute quantities, caution needs to be applied to the results as it often does not detect infectious virus.

What can we conclude?

These studies provided limited data of variable quality that PCR results per se are unlikely to predict viral culture from humans samples. Insufficient attention may have been paid how PCR results relate to disease. The relation with infectiousness is unclear and more data are needed on this.

If this is not understood, PCR results may lead to restrictions for large groups of people who do not present an infection risk."

Source: Are you infectious if you have a positive PCR test result for COVID-19? - The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine
 

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Dr Lee: "The Medical Industry is running the country."

Here they talk about serious problems with the PCR test in the US. Dr. Sin Hang Lee, a scientist who runs a lab, found out that negative controls were contaminated and positive samples were not always positive. They also mention that controls are not required for covid-19 in the US, and cycle tresholds (Cts) are way too high as compared to what was normal practice before. In New York they used Cts of 40-45.

Dr. Lee wrote a paper about this and some journals refused to publish it because his information threatens the whole covid-19 story: http://www.int-soc-clin-geriat.com/.../Dr.-Lees-paper-on-testing-for-SARS-CoV-2.pdf

"Using this protocol to re-test 20 reference samples prepared by the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, the author found 2 positives among 10 samples classified as negative by RT-qPCR assays. One of these two positive samples contained a mutant with a novel single nucleotide insertion in the N gene and a wild-type parental SARS-CoV-2. Of the 10 samples classified as positive by RT-qPCR assays, only 7 (7/10) were confirmed to contain SARS-CoV-2 by heminested PCR and DNA sequencing of a 398-bp amplicon of the N gene. One of the latter 7 positive SARS-CoV-2 isolates belongs to a newly discovered mutant first isolated from a specimen collected in the State of New York on March 17, 2020, according to information retrieved from the GenBank database. Routine sequencing of a 398-bp PCR amplicon can categorize any isolate into one of 6 clades of SARS-CoV-2 strains known to circulate in the United States. The author proposes that extremely accurate routine laboratory tests for SARS-CoV-2 be implemented as businesses attempt to return to normal operation in order to avoid raising false alarms of a re-emerging outbreak. False-positive laboratory test reports can easily create unnecessary panic resulting in negative impacts on local economies"
 

blob69

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An appeals court in Portugal has ruled that the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2, and therefore any enforced quarantine based on those test results is unlawful.

Further, the ruling suggested that any forced quarantine applied to healthy people could be a violation of their fundamental right to liberty.

Most importantly, the judges ruled that a single positive PCR test cannot be used as an effective diagnosis of infection.

The specifics of the case concern four tourists entering the country from Germany – all of whom are anonymous in the transcript of the case – who were quarantined by the regional health authority. Of the four, only one had tested positive for the virus, whilst the other three were deemed simply of “high infection risk” based on proximity to the positive individual. All four had, in the previous 72 hours, tested negative for the virus before departing from Germany.

In their ruling, judges Margarida Ramos de Almeida and Ana Paramés referred to several scientific studies. Most notably this study by Jaafar et al., which found that – when running PCR tests with 35 cycles or more – the accuracy dropped to 3%, meaning up to 97% of positive results could be false positives.

The ruling goes on to conclude that, based on the science they read, any PCR test using over 25 cycles is totally unreliable. Governments and private labs have been very tight-lipped about the exact number of cycles they run when PCR testing, but it is known to sometimes be as high as 45. Even fearmonger-in-chief Anthony Fauci has publicly stated anything over 35 is totally unusable.

You can read the complete ruling in the original Portuguese here, and translated into English here. There’s also a good write up on it on Great Game India, plus a Portuguese professor sent a long email about the case to Lockdown Sceptics.

*

The media reaction to this case has been entirely predictable – they have not mentioned it. At all. Anywhere. Ever.

The ruling was published on November 11th, and has been referenced by many alt-news sites since…but the mainstream outlets are maintaining a complete blackout on it.

The reddit Covid19 board actually removed the post, because it was “not a reliable source”, despite relying on the official court documents:



Lookout for a forced and disingenuous “fact-check” on this issue from HealthFeedback or some other “non-partisan” outlet in the near future. But until they find some poor shlub to lend their name to it, the media blackout will continue.

Whatever they say, this is a victory for common sense over authoritarianism and hysteria.

Portuguese Court Rules PCR Tests “Unreliable” & Quarantines “Unlawful”
 

boris

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@blob69

¡Português Rules PCR Unreliable!
@MatheusPN , the two judges of Tribunal da Relação are being subject to disciplinary action by their seniors at the Supreme Court. This goes to show how strong a narrative is being pushed. In Portugal, doctors are turning against doctors and judges are turning against judges. This level of conflict within our most powerful corporations is unprecedented, as far as I know.


Do you know what came out of this @ivy @MatheusPN ?
 

Giraffe

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Retraction request letter to Eurosurveillance editorial board – CORMAN-DROSTEN REVIEW REPORT

Subject: External Review and request to retract the paper of Corman et al, published in Eurosurveillance January 23, 2020.

Dear editorial board Eurosurveillance,

We, an international consortium of life-science scientists, write this letter in response to the article “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” published in Eurosurveillance (January 23rd, 2020) and co-authored by Victor M Corman , Olfert Landt , Marco Kaiser , Richard Molenkamp, Adam Meijer, Daniel KW Chu, Tobias Bleicker , Sebastian Brünink, Julia Schneider , Marie Luisa Schmidt , Daphne GJC Mulders , Bart L Haagmans , Bas van der Veer , Sharon van den Brink, Lisa Wijsman, Gabriel Goderski, Jean-Louis Romette, Joanna Ellis, Maria Zambon, Malik Peiris, Herman Goossens, Chantal Reusken, Marion PG Koopmans, and Christian Drosten.

This paper (hereafter referred to as “Corman-Drosten paper”), published by “Eurosurveillance” on 23 January 2020, describes an RT-PCR method to detect the novel Corona virus (also known as SARS-CoV2). After careful consideration, our international consortium of Life Science scientists found the Corman-Drosten paper is severely flawed with respect to its biomolecular and methodological design. A detailed scientific argumentations can be found in our review “External peer review of the RTPCR test to detect SARS-CoV2 reveals 10 major scientific flaws at the molecular and methodological level: consequences for false positive results”, which we herewith submit for publication in Eurosurveillance.
Further, the submission date and acceptance date of this paper are January 21st and January 22nd, respectively. Considering the severe errors in design and methodology of the RT-PCR test published by “Eurosurveillance”, this raises the concern whether the paper was subjected to peer-review at all.

A previous request from our side (Dr. P. Borger; email 26/10/2020) to the editors of “Eurosurveillance” to provide the peer review report of the Corman-Drosten paper has not been complied with. We have enclosed your email reply (dated 18/11/2020) indicating that you do not wish to disclose important information to solve this conundrum.

We are confident that you will take our scientific objections seriously and recognize that there is no alternative but to accept our request to retract the Corman-Drosten paper.

Sincerely,
Dr. Pieter Borger (MSc, PhD), Molecular Genetics, W+W Research Associate, Lörrach, Germany

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Kämmerer, specialist in Virology / Immunology / Human Biology / Cell Biology, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Klaus Steger, Department of Urology, Pediatric Urology and Andrology, Molecular Andrology, Biomedical Research Center of the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Makoto Ohashi, Professor emeritus, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, Tokushima University, Japan

Prof. Dr. med. Henrik Ullrich, specialist Diagnostic Radiology, Chief Medical Doctor at the Center for Radiology of Collm Oschatz-Hospital, Germany

Rajesh K. Malhotra (Artist Alias: Bobby Rajesh Malhotra), Former 3D Artist / Scientific Visualizations at CeMM – Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2019-2020), University for Applied Arts – Department for Digital Arts Vienna, Austria

Dr. Michael Yeadon BSs(Hons) Biochem Tox U Surrey, PhD Pharmacology U Surrey. Managing Director, Yeadon Consulting Ltd, former Pfizer Chief Scientist, United Kingdom

Dr. Kevin P. Corbett, MSc Nursing (Kings College London) PhD (London South Bank) Social Sciences (Science & Technology Studies) London, England, UK

Dr. Clare Craig MA, (Cantab) BM, BCh (Oxon), FRCPath, United Kingdom

Kevin McKernan, BS Emory University, Chief Scientific Officer, founder Medical Genomics, engineered the sequencing pipeline at WIBR/MIT for the Human Genome Project, Invented and developed the SOLiD sequencer, awarded patents related to PCR, DNA Isolation and Sequencing, USA

Dr. Lidiya Angelova, MSc in Biology, PhD in Microbiology, Former researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Maryland, USA

Dr. Fabio Franchi, Former Dirigente Medico (M.D) in an Infectious Disease Ward, specialized in “Infectious Diseases” and “Hygiene and Preventive Medicine”, Società Scientifica per il Principio di Precauzione (SSPP), Italy

Dr. med. Thomas Binder, Internist and Cardiologist (FMH), Switzerland

Dr. Stefano Scoglio, B.Sc. Ph.D., Microbiologist, Nutritionist, Italy

Dr. Paul McSheehy (BSc, PhD), Biochemist & Industry Pharmacologist, Loerrach, Germany

Dr. Marjolein Doesburg-van Kleffens, (MSc, PhD), specialist in Laboratory Medicine (clinical chemistry), Maasziekenhuis Pantein, Beugen, the Netherlands

Dr. Dorothea Gilbert (MSc, PhD), PhD Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. DGI Consulting Services, Oslo, Norway

Dr. Rainer Klement, PhD. Department of Radiation Oncology, Leopoldina Hospital Schweinfurt, Germany

Dr. Ruth Schrüfer, PhD, human genetics/ immunology, Munich, Germany,

Dr. Berber W. Pieksma, General Practitioner, The Netherlands,

Dr. med. Jan Bonte (GJ), Consultant Neurologist, the Netherlands, Dr. Bruno

H. Dalle Carbonare (Molecular biologist), IP specialist, BDC Basel, Switzerland
Prof. Christian Drosten is member of the editorial board of the scientific journal that published his paper on the PCR test.
 

tankasnowgod

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Celia Farber wrote this article, back in April- https://uncoverdc.com/2020/04/07/was-the-covid-19-test-meant-to-detect-a-virus/

"I asked Dr. Rasnick what advice he has for people who want to be tested for COVID-19.
“Don’t do it, I say, when people ask me,” he replies. “No healthy person should be tested. It means nothing but it can destroy your life, make you absolutely miserable.”
One of the countless head-spinning mysteries of this whole Corona Situation has been the advent of famous people, from Tom Hanks and his wife, to Sophie Trudeau, to Prince Charles announcing they had “tested positive” for COVID-19 and were self-quarantining. In all these famous-powerful people cases, the symptoms were either non-existent or mild. Why, one wondered, did they make such hay about it? The British Royals, especially, seemed to contradict their ethos of secrecy in this case. So what did it mean? It signaled, if anything, that COVID-19 is not all that deadly. That the virus can be present without causing the disease. That host factors matter. And that being “positive” for COVID-19 is neither a PR death sentence nor an actual death sentence. Maybe in their elite and esoteric language, it means some kind of prestige, or sacrament to a Pagan Virus Deity. Who knows? In the case of the Trudeau, Sophie tested positive, and had symptoms, while her husband Justin, the Prime Minister, never got sick, and was never tested. (He didn’t want to appear privileged; Not everybody can get tested in Canada, you must have symptoms.)"

And there's also the words of the inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis himself (in meme form!)

Kary Mullis.jpe
 

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