Coronavirus Testing - Reliable, Accurate and Safe?

First, some fun hot off the press hot mic from the Whitehouse briefing room.

“…so that makes it 0.1 - 0.3… so it’s suggesting the case fatality rate is about a (one) tenth of what it seems to be… puts it right in line with the flu…”

The Numbers

Everything hangs on the numbers. Everything.

The numbers are generated by the testing.

There was a lot of speculation about Chinas numbers and also the Chinese capacity to do enough testing, and that as an issue has not vanished, and should not vanish but my impression is, there is little interest in the media to court the issue.

Since I have regularly encountered online suggestions and speculation that as high as an 80% false positive rate (being reported very early on) suggest that numbers simply can not be trusted it was not until something like the below article appeared to put some meat on the bones of the many reservations expressed around the matter of accurate and reliable testing - The key info is the PCR test, how and why it was designed as a manufacturing process (very interesting stand alone story) the piece claims the creator of the PCR process (since deceased) vehemently opposed it being used as a binary type positive or negative test for viruses, as it was employed in the early days of the HIV.

…In China, generally, they diagnose ‘Corona’ with CT scans and one or two positive PCR tests. In the US, it’s difficult to find out what makes a “case,” ie what the case definition is. Absent CT scans, we are in a bio-tech free-fall. One website offers this distressingly unclear definition: “The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been spreading worldwide, resulting in growing numbers of infected individuals since late 2019 and increased mortality numbers since early 2020. So far, experts have seen that while there are severe cases, the infection is usually mild with non-specific symptoms. And there are no trademark clinical features of COVID-19 infection…

… “PCR detects a very small segment of the nucleic acid which is part of a virus itself. The specific fragment detected is determined by the somewhat arbitrary choice of DNA primers used which become the ends of the amplified fragment. “

If things were done right, “infection” would be a far cry from a positive PCR test.

“You have to have a whopping amount of any organism to cause symptoms. Huge amounts of it,” Dr. David Rasnick, bio-chemist, protease developer, and former founder of an EM lab called Viral Forensics told me. “You don’t start with testing; you start with listening to the lungs. I’m skeptical that a PRC test is ever true. It’s a great scientific research tool. It’s a horrible tool for clinical medicine. 30% of your infected cells have been killed before you show symptoms. By the time you show symptoms…the dead cells are generating the symptoms.”

There are no trademark clinical features? What then, collapsed the world? I sure hope this isn’t all riding on a “test,” as bio-tech Oracle.

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.”

Other topics within the realm of testing that also come to mind:

  • Contaminated or Sub-Standard tests, yea, weird right. What was and is going on there?

  • Antibodies - Also there are the much talked about Antibodies tests and from what I can gather are even less reliable as any virus may trip a positive (or any past corona virus exposure), therefore no clear determination can be made. I am open to correction as this requires further investigation and expose but the call for testing by many seems like political points scoring and/or a play for positive optics.

  • Medical Classification (Cooking the books)? - there are continual claims that the medical re-classification of patients admitting to hospital is being used to skew the numbers in terms of deaths, everything coming in the door is being classed as Sars-nCov19

Finally, a few points based on last nights US White House Briefing.

Listening to Brix, if I remember correctly she stated they need to run 9/10 test on a symptomatic patient to get the one very important positive and if I also understand another point, that with 99% coverage you still only get 50% false negative (open to correction on this point). This actually tallies with other sources I have read in this respect assuming it has all melded in my mind correctly.

Further, based on last nights press briefing. In real terms, I detect the tactic of the Trump admin is to keep on ramping up testing of all kinds, so they have own unassailable numbers (dataset), this after dumping the models for “their own” numbers, and this will be used to make a broader case against the critics and enemies of the USA - some of which held up testing as a club to beat the Trump admin in the early days. It is notable that narrative has already shifted to the next thing and away form not enough tests. I will leave the for another thread.

I do not have time to follow up with all the source material right now, but if times allows I will edit the OP and post further links and sources.

Here is @Longtermrenter post from the main virus thread which instigated this dedicated topic:

The style of writing is a bit waffly but its worth persisting with it, the author takes ages to get on point but there are some very interesting points raised if you do read it through…

Crowe described a case in the literature of a woman who had been in contact with a suspect case of Corona (in Wuhan) they believed was the index case. “She was important to the supposed chain of infection because of this. They tested her 18 times, different parts of the body, like nose, throat—different PCR tests. 18 different tests. And she tested negative every time. And then they—because of her epidemiological connection with the other cases, they said: “We consider her infected. So, they had 18 negative tests and they said she was infected.”

When talking about the methodology used in the PCR testing for COVID19 (it basically makes multiple copies of the samples over cycles to make it detectable):

“In one paper,” Crowe says, “I found 37 cycles. If you didn’t get enough fluorescence by 37 cycles, you are considered negative. In another, paper, the cutoff was 36. Thirty-seven to 40 were considered “indeterminate.” And if you got in that range, then you did more testing. I’ve only seen two papers that described what the limit was. So, it’s quite possible that different hospitals, different States, Canada versus the US, Italy versus France are all using different cutoff sensitivity standards of the Covid test. So, if you cut off at 20, everybody would be negative. If you cut off a 50, you might have everybody positive.”

The overall conclusion is that the current tests are useless - better to diagnose by scan of the chest and by symptoms than by PCR which was never intended to be used for clinical testing in the first place, it was designed to used as a biological manufacturing technique.

With PCR you’re only looking at a small number of nucleotide. You’re looking at a tiny segment of gene, like a fingerprint. When you have regular human fingerprints, they have to have points of confirmation. There are parts that are common to almost all fingerprints, and it’s those generic parts in a Corona virus that the PCR test picks up. They can have partial loops but if you only took a few little samples of fingerprints you are going to come up with a lot of segments of RNA that we are not sure have anything to do with corona virus. They will still show up in PCR. You can get down to the levels where its biologically irrelevant and then amplify it a trillion-fold.
But they’re using the SARS test because they don’t really have one for the new virus.”

Referring to previously posted Src:

South Korean scientists conclude people cannot be infected with coronavirus more than once

Researchers in South Korea say it is impossible for the novel coronavirus to reinfect humans.

Multiple tests that ostensibly showed 260 patients becoming reinfected were the result of false-positive testing, according to the Korea Herald.

“The process in which COVID-19 produces a new virus takes place only in host cells and does not infiltrate the nucleus. This means it does not cause chronic infection or recurrence,” said Dr. Oh Myoung-don, a Seoul National University hospital doctor, during a Thursday press conference.

Testing kits could reportedly not distinguish between live traces of the virus and the RNA of the dead virus, according to Oh.

“PCR testing that amplifies genetics of the virus is used in Korea to test COVID-19, and relapse cases are due to technical limits of the PCR testing," he said.

Read More: South Korean scientists conclude people cannot be infected with coronavirus more than once | Washington Examiner

I don’t get this guy. The deaths were accelerated by covid or caused by covid. He should drink less coffee and speak to ICU doctors about his claims.

Vittorio Umberto Antonio Maria Sgarbi (born 8 May 1952 in Ferrara) is an Italian art critic, art historian, politician, cultural commentator and television personality.

Sounds like bloody medical expert to me.

Its the Cultural commentator and television personality that makes him an expert on everything. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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only missing skillset is A class drugs taker celebrity.

Yet, is the testing accurate and reliable?

Unless of course it is a flu.

In which case we’ll see a mutated version every year which may require annual vaccines.

Hopefully not.

Some CDC info on the subject of coronavirus test results.

Test for Past Infection (Antibody Test)…

…What do your results mean?

If you test positive

  • A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.
  • Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 may provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. If it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies may provide or how long this protection may last.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means. Your provider may suggest you take a second type of antibody test to see if the first test was accurate.
  • You should continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again.
    • If you work in a job where you wear personal protective equipment (PPE), continue wearing PPE.
  • You may test positive for antibodies even if you have never had symptoms of COVID-19. This can happen if you had an infection without symptoms, which is called an asymptomatic infection.

If you test negative

  • You may not have ever had COVID-19. Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means.
  • You could still have a current infection.
    • The test may be negative because it typically takes 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. It’s possible you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently. This means you could still spread the virus.
    • Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people who are infected may not ever develop antibodies.

Test for Past Infection | CDC

Careful now

WHO Information Notice for IVD Users 2020/05

Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2

20 January 2021

Medical product alert

Reading time: 1 min (370 words)

Product type: Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2

Date: 13 January 2021

WHO-identifier: 2020/5, version 2

Target audience: laboratory professionals and users of IVDs.

Purpose of this notice: clarify information previously provided by WHO. This notice supersedes WHO Information Notice for In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device (IVD) Users 2020/05 version 1, issued 14 December 2020.

Description of the problem: WHO requests users to follow the instructions for use (IFU) when interpreting results for specimens tested using PCR methodology.

Users of IVDs must read and follo w the IFU carefully to determine if manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is recommended by the manufacturer.

WHO guidance Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 states that careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed ( 1 ). The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology.

WHO reminds IVD users that disease prevalence alters the predictive value of test results; as disease prevalence decreases, the risk of false positive increases ( 2 ). This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity.

Most PCR assays are indicated as an aid for diagnosis, therefore, health care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information.

Actions to be taken by IVD users:

  1. Please read carefully the IFU in its entirety.
  2. Contact your local representative if there is any aspect of the IFU that is unclear to you.
  3. Check the IFU for each incoming consignment to detect any changes to the IFU.
  4. Provide the Ct value in the report to the requesting health care provider.


  1. Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020, WHO reference number WHO/2019-nCoV/laboratory/2020.6.

  2. Altman DG, Bland JM. Diagnostic tests 2: Predictive values. BMJ. 1994 Jul 9;309(6947):102. doi: 10.1136/bmj.309.6947.102.

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insert shocked smiley face here

So congratulations soon due to President Biden on reducing US COVID cases, from his very first week of office.

Also utterly coincidental timing I’m sure link changed as I’d used one from last year originally:

Old link from last year,as spotted, ty:

The Hill article is from April last year. Why are you linking it?

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Doh thanks for picking up the error and I’ll add a note >.>

Thought he’s said something similar recently, but maybe I’m just getting sleep deprived.

I think it was a very recent tweet, and I possibly linked to it somewhere on the forum.

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It was in the news recently due to Cuomo’s State of the State address.

All over the NY metro news.

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