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  • With the COVID-19 test, positivity doesn’t mean infectious

    Alan Cassels

    Are we headed to dangerous levels of overdiagnosis by interpreting a test in a way that labels people as sick and infectious when they may be neither?


    EIGHT MONTHS INTO THE PANDEMIC, here are some BC numbers to think about:

    5,071,000: Population of BC (est. 2019)

    38,471: Typical number of BC deaths in a single year (2019)

    132: Number of BC deaths, on average, everyday. (est. 2019)

    274: Number of days between Jan. 15 and Oct. 14, 2020

    36,168: Estimated number of total deaths in BC between Jan 15 and Oct 14, 2020

    250: Number of deaths in BC attributed to COVID-19 up to Oct 14, 2020

    0.69: Percentage of total BC deaths over 8 months possibly due to COVID

    10,836: Number of “laboratory confirmed” cases of COVID up to Oct 16, 2020

    691,741: Number of SARS-CoV-2 tests Jan. 15– Oct 13, 2020

    1.82%: Proportion of COVID-19 tests in BC showing as “positive.”




    As COVID’s daily data dump lands on our heads, shaped by scorekeeping, commentary and predictions, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the numbers and what to make of a nasty pathogen circulating in our communities.

    What stands out from these numbers?

    An extremely low likelihood of death by COVID-19 in BC. Certainly lower than any annual toll of the flu. Certainly lower than the numbers of people who have died from cancers, heart attacks, overdoses, suicides and the myriad of other things that take life every single day. If you take 2019 as an average, 132 people per day die in BC, from all causes. That was the last full year without a pandemic virus.

    With less than one person per day dying of COVID in BC, one is tempted to ask if we’re making a mountain out of a molehill. I’m increasingly surprised by the general subservience of the populace and the absence of thoughtful dissent against emergency measures that are undoubtedly causing all kinds of other suffering, wreaking long-term havoc on our society, our livelihoods and our economy.

    People are quick to point at our numbers and say what a wonderful job BC public health people are doing, keeping COVID cases down and deaths by COVID at a minimum. We are an obedient lot and so listen to Dr Bonnie, among others, who reminds us to limit contact, wear masks, and control the virus by widespread testing, even if some people have reported how hard the tests are to get. 

    Yet, if it is true that the SARS-CoV-2 causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, how much effort has been put into ensuring the virus test is done properly, evaluated thoroughly and adequately interpreted? Basically, can we trust the test?


    What is it about the test?

    Kary Mullis won the Nobel Prize in chemistry 1993 for inventing the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, the test that is now being used to ascertain whether or not a person has COVID-19. His test eventually became the standard test that drew the definitive link between the HIV virus and AIDS.

    Ironically, Mullis himself was at the forefront arguing that PCR should not be used as a tool to diagnose the disease. Why? Because even if it could identify the presence of a virus, that detection did not mean the virus was capable of infecting other cells. An eccentric and vocal iconoclast, with a penchant for dropping acid, Mullis went to his grave last year continuing to decry his test being misused to diagnose HIV.

    Like many jurisdictions in the world, BC employs RT-PCR to test for COVID. It uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to take a piece of RNA (ribonucleic acid) which comes from a swab deep inside the patient’s nose. Adding viral enzymes to the RNA converts it into DNA through what is called Polymerase Chain Reaction. The DNA is turned into billions of copies and a fluorescent signal is added, which, after being run through numerous cycles of heating and cooling, can be detected. This amplification allows the needle in the haystack to be seen.

    Here’s where things get interesting: The “Ct” or cycle threshold is the number of cycles needed to see the fluorescent signal. So how many cycles of heating and cooling do you need to determine a definitive “positive” or “negative” result? If you don’t detect the virus after a few dozen cycles does that mean the patient is negative? What if you do more than 30 which many molecular biologists say is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone? There may be detectable virus in that highly cycled sample but it is so small and so dead it’ll never be able to infect others.

    I put some questions about BC’s Ct cutoff to a spokesperson from the BC-CDC and here’s what she wrote back: “The cycle threshold number used to diagnose COVID-19 may vary based on the test used but we typically use a cutoff of 35 cycles.” She added that other targets (the RDRP and E gene) and certain assays “use cutoffs of 40 or even more cycles.”

    I’m no expert, but I wondered: Shouldn’t they have a constant Ct—because changing it can dramatically change the number of positives? It also makes me wonder that if BC uses a Ct of 35 and Ontario (whose Ct, I’m told, is set at 38) then can this alone explain why BC has a much lower level of positive cases? If some countries set the Ct at 20 (very low) and others set it at 40 (absurdly high), how can one even compare levels of positivity between jurisdictions? This really matters.

    I consulted a molecular biologist (who asked me to withhold her name as she works as a provincial government biologist) who said that we have to be very cautious in interpreting these tests because the reverse transcriptase enzyme has poor efficiency in converting RNA to DNA. She told me that if we do over 30 to 35 cycles “we can’t culture a live virus from the sample.” Basically, she added, “a high cycle threshold means we’re finding meaningless fragments that say nothing about the infectivity of the patient.”

    This is an expert who uses the RT-PCR test everyday in her work doing forensic science, so I trust she knows its limitations. She was quite forthright in saying that possibly as many as 90 percent of those testing positive for COVID-19 are probably not infectious. Which is to say they may have had “fragments” of the virus, but they couldn’t possibly spread the virus to anyone else.


    Is a “positive” test really positive?

    Where this is heading is a dangerous level of overdiagnosis. Other commentators have said the rate of false positives might be 50-80 percent.

    More testing and more false positives would help explain why deaths and hospitalizations aren’t rising on the same trajectory. It’s because some new “cases” are unlikely infectious or indicative of ill health. 

    Again a “positive test” is about declaring a person “infected and infectious” but what follows from that? If we were to say maybe half of those 11,000 people in BC testing “positive”—and therefore have been subject to quarantines, social isolation and stigma—then that’s an awful lot of people who have been unfairly labelled and isolated with a disease they couldn’t possibly transfer to others.

    Maybe this comes down to a question of what we value. Is it better to have a non-sick person incorrectly labelled as sick (a false positive) than to have a sick person labelled as not sick (a false negative)?

    I can understand the BC CDC’s position, because it’s based on the greatest fear of all, the boogeyman of underdiagnosis. The CDC spokesperson explained it to me this way: “setting the detection threshold too low seems appealing until one misses that early case that can transmit infections to multiple people.” The implication here: we can’t be too careful.

    However, with screening people for disease you will always have overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis, and careful testing tries to eliminate the possibilities of both false positives and false negatives. It would seem to me that we are likely doing a serious disservice—to society and our economy—by interpreting a test in a way that labels people as sick and infectious when they may be neither.

    Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher and author in Victoria. He is the author of Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease.


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    When mainstream media report with bias, then "We are being manipulated."
    1) CDC reveals hospitals counted heart attacks as Covid-19 deaths:
    2) Larry Elder puts things into perspective with proper data, regarding shootings and the topic of racism in America. He states: "We are being manipulated by poor reporting".
    And here is how George Soros's big money' maintains rioting by having criminals set free: Ezra Levant discusses George Soros's manipulation of the American District Attorneys' campaign:
    3) Robert F. Kennedy Jr talks about how we are being manipulated to fight against each other. He says there are Globalists who benefit off of the American in-fighting going on with street riots and Republican versus Democrat hatred. He names some of those who are profiting from covid global lockdowns. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/message-of-hope-for-humanity/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=78ee0021-8bed-43d4-8ae4-46c5a2259a06
    Something else not being reported on:  Doctors in Europe meet to proclaim, "There is no Pandemic"
    4) The Corbett Report criticizes the World Economic Forum's 'Global RESET'. James Corbett talks about the downside of being controlled by the Mr. Schwab's, Soros, Gates and company agenda.
    here is another version of criticism of the Globalist 'Great RESET' agenda by Neil McCoy-Ward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNsW4ssOBxU&bpctr=1603833813
    or listen to Michael Matt explain how the Globalists must cancel Trump in order to implement their 'Great Reset'
    5) This German doctor who represents thousands of doctors in the medical profession is arrested for  stating we are being manipulated by improper covid measures: https://gloria.tv/post/JqKDYJ83Aevs2Wa4CvmRppkKR
    another virologist discusses concern about improper covid responses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFsgvDrWV5w
    6) Here is an example of further manipulation:  No travel without vaccination card: 
    7) The Plain Truth about Masks:  Global Research.com ....scroll to the last third of the article for the research material.
    😎 A directory list of doctors across the US and the world who treat early covid successfully....without any vaccine: https://www.exstnc.com/
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    COVID-19 'Phase 3' Vaccine Trial Participants Report Day-Long Migraines, Fever https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/covid-19-vaccine-trial-participants-report-day-long-migraines-fever
    C19"VACCINE" IS A DNA MODIFIER - MODERNA PHARMACEUTICALS - "The key challenge associated with DNA vaccines is that they must penetrate the cell nucleus (crossing two membranes: the cytoplasm and the nucleus). The DNA must then be transcribed in the nucleus into mRNA before moving to the cytoplasm to stimulate antigen production. This core complex pathway often requires both larger doses and special, often painful delivery devices using electric shocks or gold microspheres into person’s skin to deliver the DNA vaccine. Once inside the nucleus, DNA vaccines have a risk of permanently changing a person’s DNA." NOTE SOURCE PDF Moderna Website: https://www.modernatx.com/sites/default/files/RNA_Vaccines_White_Paper_Moderna_050317_v8_4.pdf
    Bill Gates at Ted discussing population reduction (for context): https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=JaF-fq2Zn7I&feature=emb_title
    Robert F Kennedy Jr. Exposes Bill Gates’ Vaccine Dictatorship Plan – cites Gates’ twisted ‘Messiah Complex’ https://fort-russ.com/2020/04/robert-f-kennedy-jr-exposes-bill-gates-vaccine-dictatorship-plan-cites-gates-twisted-messiah-complex/
    "Human 2.0"? A Wake-Up Call To The World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywuCRVJVDqs
    Dr. Carrie Madej warns about coronavirus vaccines and transhumanism nanotechnology to alter your DNA https://www.brighteon.com/f6465304-2a0f-4e7d-a5ee-f5e4eebc0c4b
    Bill Gates Faces Trial in India for Illegally Testing Tribal Children with Vaccines https://naturalsociety.com/bill-gates-faces-trial-india-illegally-testing-tribal-children-vaccines/
                   List/Directory of Doctors around the world who already treat Covid successfully:  https://www.exstnc.com/
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    Thank God.  Finally - finally - someone in the media has injected some real science (as opposed to The Science).  I have been researching the illness itself, the misused PCR test (not really a test but a manufacturing technique), the manipulated statistics since March.  I've written respectful, factual letters to the editor of the Times Colonist.  None of them published, though I've often been published by them on other subjects.  I've written to the health ministry and received a considerate but obviously uninformed response.  I emailed the one local journalist who spoke sense, who replied to thank me and has not even approached the subject since.  Why not?

    I have been appalled and shocked at how easily we give up our rights and freedoms.  We have trashed our freedom of movement, our freedom of expression through ubiquitous censorship and intolerance of divergent opinions and debate, our freedom of assembly,  freedom of our very bodies, all for seasonal mortality levels.

    The fear mongering by government and the media have created mass (mask?) hysteria.  We have been propagandized to believe that all dissenting opinion comes from far-right conspiracy theorists.  But there have been enormous mass protests in Europe, none of them covered in our media.

    Enough for now.  But thank you for this germ of truth.  So much more to reveal.


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    On 2020-10-28 at 7:10 PM, Guest Bruce said:

    Outstanding piece, thank you

    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Whatever happened to justice?  We have nothing to fear except fear itself. This is the war of the virus. An invisible enemy that must be conquered at any price so that the warmongers can profit. The virus is not the enemy. The real enemy are wolves dressed in sheep clothing. The wolves have convinced the sheep that if you are not for them you are against them. Even some of the smartest and kindest sheepherders  believe this and have taken the side of the wolves. Now, be good sheep, be quiet, wear your mask and wait to be served up as dinner.

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    Speaking of wolves!  
    There is this piece too, from the Ottawa Citizen.
    Our Canadian military's training is part of a wider project originally labelled "weaponization of public affairs".  Canadian contracts were awarded to "Emic Consulting" whose director, Gaby van den Berg, previously worked with SCL (parent firm of Cambridge Analytica that teaches "behavioural dynamics methodology").   
    Manipulating group behaviour is their specialty and when Cambridge Analytica was found to have misappropriated data from Facebook, the scandal forced the entire group of companies to file for insolvency.  UK company records show Gaby van den Berg founded Emic Consulting Limited one week earlier. 
    Many thanks to the dedicated investigative reporters that are so committed to bringing us the real "news".  
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    Lisbon Court of Appeal Court Case Judgement
    Process: 1783/20.7T8PDL.L1-3
    Reporter: Margarida Ramos De Almeida
    Descriptors: Habeas Corpus
                        Interest in Action
                        RT-PCR Tests
                        Deprivation of Illegal Detention
    The following is an excerpt from the court case listed above.
    ""iii. And the problem is that this reliability is shown, in terms of scientific evidence (and in this field, the judge will have to rely on the knowledge of experts in the field), more than debatable. This is the result, among others, of the very recent and comprehensive Correlation study between 3790 qPCR positives samples and positive cell cultures including 1941 SARS-CoV-2 isolates , by Rita Jaafar, Sarah Aherfi, Nathalie Wurtz, Clio Grimaldier, Van Thuan Hoang, Philippe Colson, Didier Raoult, Bernard La Scola, Clinical Infectious Diseases, ciaa1491, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1491,em https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093 / cid / ciaa1491 / 5912603 , published at the end of September this year, by Oxford Academic , carried out by a group that brings together some of the greatest European and world experts in the field. This study concludes [2] , in free translation: “At a cycle threshold (ct) of 25, about 70% of the samples remain positive in the cell culture (ie they were infected): in a ct of 30, 20% of the samples remained positive; in a ct of 35, 3% of the samples remained positive; and at a ct above 35, no sample remained positive (infectious) in cell culture (see diagram). This means that if a person has a positive PCR test at a cycle threshold of 35 or higher (as in most laboratories in the USA and Europe), the chances of a person being infected are less than 3%. The probability of a person receiving a false positive is 97% or higher ”. "
    Source: Lisbon Court of Appeal Court Case Judgement
    Below are the case numbers, for BC, that i calculated based on the Lisbon Court of Appeal's court ruling regarding RT-PCR.  I've calculated the numbers for CT 25, CT 30, and CT 35.
    British Columbia Feb 20, 2021 SARS-COV-2 Cases: 75835
    British Columbia Feb 20, 2021 SARS-COV-2 Deaths: 1327
    Source: BC Covid 19 Data http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
    PCR Cycle Threshold of 25 equals a 30% chance of a False Positive
    75835 Cases - 1327 Deaths = 74508 Recovered
    How many of the recovered cases are false positives?
    74508 x 0.30 = 22352.4 false positives, rounded to 22352
    What is the actual number of cases, when adjusted for false positives?
    75835 - 22352 = 53483 cases
    What is the actual amount of recovered cases?
    53483 - 1327 = 52156 cases
    What is the death rate?
    (1327/52156) x 100 = 2.48%
    What is the survival rate?
    100 - 2.48 = 97.5 %
    PCR Cycle Threshold of 30 equals a 80% chance of a False Positive
    75835 Cases - 1327 Deaths = 74508 Recovered
    How many of the recovered cases are false positives?
    74508 x 0.80 = 59606.4 false positives, rounded to 59606
    What is the actual number of cases, when adjusted for false positives?
    75835 - 59606 = 16229 cases
    What is the actual amount of recovered cases?
    16229 - 1327 = 14902 cases
    What is the death rate?
    (1327/14902) x 100 = 8.91%
    What is the survival rate?
    100 - 8.91 = 91.1 %
    PCR Cycle Threshold of 35 equals a 97% chance of a False Positive
    75835 Cases - 1327 Deaths = 74508 Recovered
    How many of the recovered cases are false positives?
    74508 x 0.97 = 72272.76 false positives, rounded to 72273
    What is the actual number of cases, when adjusted for false positives?
    75835 - 72273 = 3563 cases
    What is the actual amount of recovered cases?
    3563 - 1327 = 2236 cases
    What is the death rate?
    (1327/2236) x 100 = 59.35%
    What is the survival rate?
    100 - 59.35 = 40.65 %
    Hopefully my math makes sense and i'm not overlooking anything.
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    One notices that Dr. Bonnie Henry, Dr. Tam... and even Dr. Fauci have all in the past said exactly what you're writing, as has the WHO, when they warned countries like Canada (Dec 2020) that they were abusing the test. Therefore... why thy high cycles, indeed? The WHO provides an answer. Last June when they announced that asymptomatic people were a statistical zero for transmission of the virus and didn't need to wear masks. A week later they changed their statement 190 degrees when they said asymptomatic people should still wear masks. When asked why, they answered, "political pressure." 


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