Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.
…However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.
…On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”
Rob Verkerk, Founder, Executive and Scientific Director of the Alliance for Natural Health International, a scientist who has for 30 years been exploring positive ways to span the gulfs between science and the law, between academia and industry, and between governments and their people.
Undercover filming, by BBC Panorama, at a major UK Covid testing lab has revealed how poor working practices could lead to people getting incorrect test results.
We identified virtually no evidence for mass screening of asymptomatic individuals using rapid antigen tests in people with no known exposure. A small study screening travellers returning from high‐risk countries (Cerutti 2020), identified only five SARS‐CoV‐2 infections (prevalence of 3%) with a reported sensitivity of antigen testing for detecting infection of 40%. However, important larger studies have been published since the end of our search, as mentioned above.
But this logic is faulty. For a start, children are almost entirely unaffected by the virus. And anyway, why should the country be held hostage because one-fifth of the population decline to protect themselves?
…Regrettably, we may unintentionally have encouraged more serious variants with lockdowns instead of allowing milder variants to circulate and ultimately prevail.
The science behind fighting Covid is difficult, and politicians need all the help they can get to interpret it correctly. Sadly, Mr Johnson has repeatedly retreated to his comfort redoubt of a handful of key advisers who seem wilfully blind to the fact that their recommendations are tearing apart the fabric of our society.
Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are contagious for 4–8 days.7 Specimens are generally not found to contain culture-positive (potentially contagious) virus beyond day 9 after the onset of symptoms, with most transmission occurring before day 5. This timing fits with the observed patterns of virus transmission (usually 2 days before to 5 days after symptom onset), which led public health agencies to recommend a 10-day isolation period. The short window of transmissibility contrasts with a median 22–33 days of PCR positivity (longer with severe infections and somewhat shorter among asymptomatic individuals). This suggests that 50–75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.
Norman Fenton is Professor in Risk Information Management at Queen Mary University of London and also a Director of Agena, a company that specialises in risk management for critical systems.
One of the major messages currently being pushed everywhere by the UK Government about COVID-19 is the claim that “1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms”. In fact, if we trust the Government’s own data, this claim is massively exaggerated. The true figure – as we explain below – is more like 1 in 38*. Moreover, using data from
an ongoing study at Cambridge University (in which only people without symptoms are tested) we conclude that 96% of such people who test positive do not have the virus (i.e. they are mostly false positives).
Immunocompetent staff, patients and residents who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR should be exempt from routine re-testing by PCR or LFD antigen tests (for example, repeated whole setting screening or screening prior to hospital discharge) within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset or test (if asymptomatic) unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms. This is because fragments of inactive virus can be persistently detected by PCR in respiratory tract samples following infection – long after a person has completed their isolation period and is no longer infectious.
So, why are the excess death data and the Covid deaths data so out of whack? And why isn’t Covid killing lots and lots of people this winter, as it did in spring? Even if you ascribe all excess deaths to Covid and none to lockdown, there really does not seem to be anything out of the normal variation in total deaths from year to year. And surely, by now, the toll of unnecessary deaths caused by untreated cancer, heart disease, depression and so on, has at least begun to register.
One reason coronavirus might not be slaying all around it this winter is because, well, this is not its first winter. Remember: it is called Covid-19, as in 2019. Of course, the official version of history states that the virus never reached Western civilisation until the spring of 2020, but evidence for this assertion is based on dodgy polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and a profound rejection of common sense. (By the way, how many people do you know who had a severe bout of pneumonia-like symptoms last winter?)
But the main reason for the disparity is obvious: mass PCR testing. Under the current regime (science is the wrong word), a ‘Covid death’ is someone who dies having tested positive for Covid within the previous 28 days. When you test all hospital patients, as the UK does, then some of them will turn out to be positive – how many depends largely on the way you do the tests. And the more tests you do, the more ‘Covid deaths’ you will generate. It is that simple. Dr Mike Yeadon has written extensively on this, which he calls the PCR false positive pseudo-epidemic.
Note: The WHO acknowledges the problems of false positives due to inappropriate cycle threshold used in PCR testing.
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.
Trademark symptoms of seasonal flu could be mistaken for symptoms of Covid-19, it is claimed
People with common colds who are testing positive for Covid-19 may simply be asymptomatic cases, experts have said.
Trademark symptoms of seasonal flu could be mistaken for symptoms of Covid-19 if the individual tests positive for the virus, it is claimed.
More than eight in ten people who test positive for coronavirus show none of the main symptoms at the time they are tested, a major study by UCL previously revealed.
The PCR verdict cannot tell these individuals whether they need to self-isolate or whether they might need treatment – the things that really matter to them and society.
n some cases, for example, viral RNA might be present in such very low quantities that an individual is not at all infectious and poses zero danger. In other cases, the swabs might pick up RNA which is so old it is completely dead, as people continue shedding material from the virus up to 80 days after the initial infection.
I believe these people are testing positive time and time again.
Suppose that you are worried that you might have a rare disease. You decide to get tested, and suppose that the testing methods for this disease are correct 99 percent of the time (in other words, if you have the disease, it shows that you do with 99 percent probability, and if you don’t have the disease, it shows that you do not with 99 percent probability). Suppose this disease is actually quite rare, occurring randomly in the general population in only one of every 10,000 people.
If your test results come back positive, what are your chances that you actually have the disease?
Do you think it is approximately: (a) .99, (b) .90, (c) .10, or (d) .01?
Surprisingly, the answer is (d), less than 1 percent chance that you have the disease!
This fact may be deduced using something called Bayes’ theorem…
WHO has received user feedback on an elevated risk for false SARS-CoV-2 results when testing specimens using RT-PCR reagents on open systems.
As with any diagnostic procedure, the positive and negative predictive values for the product in a given testing population are important to note. As the positivity rate for SARS-CoV-2 decreases, the positive predictive value also decreases. 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 positivity rate decreases, irrespective of the assay specificity. Therefore, healthcare providers are encouraged to take into consideration testing results along with clinical signs and symptoms, confirmed status of any contacts, etc.
The conclusion of their 34-page ruling included the following: “In view of current scientific evidence, this test shows itself to be unable to determine beyond reasonable doubt that such positivity corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
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
- Despite the fearmongering, the number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak back in April
- Latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off
- GCHQ has embedded a team in Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time updates of Covid-19
- Analysts will sift through vast amounts of data to ensure Boris Johnson has the most up-to-date information
Official data is ‘exaggerating’ the risk of Covid-19 and talk of a second wave is ‘misleading’, nearly 500 academics told Boris Johnson in open letter attacking lockdown.
The doctors and scientists said the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has become ‘disproportionate’ and that mass testing has distorted the risk of the virus.