Horowitz: Bombshell NYT report says MOST coronavirus positives are for non-contagious, insignificant amounts of virus
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You mean we did all this mass testing for nothing?
A few weeks ago, I mentioned a 2007 New York Times article showing that PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests are so sensitive that they have been known to perpetuate pseudo-epidemics. Well, now the New York Times, in a bombshell weekend report, reveals that most of these tests for COVID-19 are so sensitive that they might be creating thousands upon thousands of false positives or flagging people with tiny quantities of virus who are not contagious.
We have shut down our economy and our lives for months based on hundreds of thousands of asymptomatic people testing positive for a virus that was presumed to be contagious at the time of the positive test result. We make people isolate for 14 days, then trace all their contacts and disrupt their lives and liberty as well, without any due process. Yet according to the Times, up to 90% of those who test positive in state labs are likely no longer contagious by the time they test positive and in fact would test negative under more prudent lab protocols.
While the New York Times uses this revelation as an impetus to bizarrely advocate for even more testing, the report itself is a refreshing apparently random act of journalism. It turns out that most people who test positive are barely carrying any viral load, certainly not enough to infect other people. Thus far, these tests have not conveyed to medical professionals the degree of viral load or contagiousness – just a positive or negative result. It’s akin to measuring a 10-alarm fire and a microscopic ember in a piece of wood with the same test. The Times:
The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.
This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.
In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.
The reason labs have to use this process is because viral RNA cannot be detected reliably in its unaltered form because it is so small. They use heat and annealing to selectively amplify it. The degree of amplification makes all the difference.
The Times goes on to report that the PCR test machines essentially run the molecules through 40 cycles in order to discover viral load. That is the equivalent of zooming in 40 times, known as Cycle Threshold, CT. Every increase of 10 cycles means the viral load detected is 1,000 times smaller. In other words, as the Times reports, if the CT were set at 30 instead of 40, 85-90 percent of the positives in Massachusetts would come up negative.
But the false positive rate might be even worse than the Times is making it out to be. Even a CT of 30 might be too high. One study published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America found absolutely no viral growth from samples with a CT above 24 or samples (at any CT level) after 8 days from onset of symptoms. Putting those two factors together, that means that almost nobody who tested positive had the virus in any meaningfully scientific or clinical way except for those who had very evident symptoms.
So, as I’ve observed before, these tests are essentially picking up dead fragments of old viruses – what we would call vaccines! Think of the life and liberty lost because of this testing sham. Imagine how many pregnant mothers with low or dead viral loads were separated from their newborn babies because of this obsession with crude testing and treating its indiscriminate results as a divinely inspired oracle?
At 40 cycles of amplification, these tests could pick up scores of other viruses none of us would ever have known we had. Just consider the fact that anyone who “tests positive” and then dies subsequently for whatever reason, regardless of the symptoms, is recorded as having died from COVID-19. If we did this for other viruses, we could create panic and fear over countless diseases nobody has ever heard of before.
It’s not like we didn’t know this flaw about PCR tests. The New York Times wrote about this in 2007 after a series of PCR tests in New Hampshire netted a 100% false positive rate and fueled the perception of a whooping cough epidemic that never existed. “Their very 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,” wrote the Times in 2007 about the flaws of PCR tests.
Why did our government throw out every principle of virology that has been employed with every other epidemic and use such a flawed metric to map out an epidemic and determine the future of our economy, liberty, and society? Clearly, it’s because this is the first epidemic that has become about control instead of public safety.
During the 2003 SARS epidemic, the CDC advised the following regarding reliance on PCR testing:
“To decrease the possibility of a false-positive result, testing should be limited to patients with a high index of suspicion for having SARS-CoV disease…In addition, any positive specimen should be retested in a reference laboratory to confirm that the specimen is positive. To be confident that a positive PCR specimen indicates that the patient is infected with SARS-CoV, a second specimen should also be confirmed positive.”
In addition, the World Health Organization flatly warned, “A single test result is insufficient for the definitive diagnosis of SARS-CoV infection.
Now consider that the metric of a single flawed test of an individual with zero clinical symptoms will now be used as the standard to shut down schools across America for a virus that poses less of a risk to school-age children than the flu.
To begin with, there is no meaningful evidence that asymptomatic individuals contributed to community spread, while there are several studies showing the opposite. Now the CDC is slowly moving in the direction of this reality, as it is advising against testing asymptomatic individuals. Sadly, most state policies are not reflecting the science of transmission and are not factoring in the serious flaws of the mass testing regime.
This entire fiasco began under the pretext of saving hospitals from being overrun with deathly ill patients. It has now transformed into a fascist mass quarantine and masking of the entire population for a virus that you need 40 cycles of amplification even to know you have … or had it at some point.
Author: Daniel Horowitz
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.