Briefing paper for MPs authored by:
- Clare Craig BM BCh FRCPath
- Jonathan Engler MBChB LLB
- Mike Yeadon BSc Hons (Biochem-tox) PhD (Pharmacol)
- Christian McNeill LL.B and Dip LP
Stop mass-testing using PCR in the UK and replace with Lateral Flow Tests where required. If we are correct, this single measure alone will cause a sudden drop in “cases” (as seen in Liverpool) and allow the UK to return to normal life within weeks.
Other recommendations as detailed later in this document. It should be noted that legal cases and technical challenges to PC
Clare Craig is a consultant pathologist and expert in diagnostic testing. She has raised concerns that inaccurate Covid test results may be producing a skewed picture of the nature and course of the pandemic – a picture based on overestimates of cases and deaths, and underestimates of immunity levels. spiked caught up with her to discuss what has caused the problems in testing, how they are manifested in the data, and where the government has gone wrong in its Covid strategy.
- There has been so much pressure put on laboratories, there have been flaws in the results of the tests they are doing.
- People who have been diagnosed with Covid who did not have Covid.
- We are testing at such a large scale – over 200,000 tests per day – that even a small percentage of mistakes ends up meaning large numbers of people being affected.
- The SAGE committee has an overrepresentation of physicists, chemists and mathematicians.
- For people from those backgrounds, false-positive test results are usually related to highly precise laboratory equipment. In those cases, the false-positive rate is a stable number.
- It’s not like that in medicine. For the test kits, the false-positive rate is stable. But for the process as a whole, there are all sorts of things that can go wrong. That includes problems with cross-contamination, and problems with cross-reactions with other viruses.
- Things have gone wrong because of the UK’s strategy for testing.
- In an epidemic, there are two strategies that you take, one at the beginning, and then one when you reach peak deaths.
- When you increase the number of tests you do, you start to find milder cases.
- Factors show that Covid has become less severe.
- Normally, we would start to see increasing numbers of influenza cases at this time of year. But influenza seems to have disappeared globally.
Current test results should not be automatically accepted as real
Imagine a world where COVID-19 has been eliminated. To be certain this is true, the government conducts regular tests at random. The number of positive results should be zero, right? Wrong. There will always be a proportion of cases tested that come back with a false positive test result. Thankfully, for COVID-19, the false positive rate is less than one percent of tests done. But it is not zero. It will be impossible for us to ever reach zero. Why? Because COVID-19 cannot be eliminated, even if it is likely to evolve to be more benign and become a seasonal problem like influenza.