Understanding PCR Tests for Coronavirus

Understanding PCR Tests for Coronavirus

Opinion | From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clarion call has been to test, test and test some more. However, right from the start, serious questions arose about the tests being used to diagnose this infection, and questions have only multiplied since then.

Positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests have been used as the justification for keeping large portions of the world locked down for the better part of 2020.

This, despite the fact that PCR tests have proven remarkably unreliable with high false result rates, and aren’t designed to be used as a diagnostic tool in the first place as they cannot distinguish between inactive viruses and “live” or reproductive ones.

Dr. Mike Yeadon, former vice president and scientific director of Pfizer, has even gone on record stating1 that false positive results from unreliable PCR tests are being used to “manufacture a ‘second wave’ based on ‘new cases,'” when in fact a second wave is highly unlikely.

Before his death, the inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis, repeatedly yet unsuccessfully stressed that this test should not be used as a diagnostic tool for the simple reason that it’s incapable of diagnosing disease. A positive test does not actually mean that an active infection is present. As noted in a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication on coronavirus and PCR testing dated July 13 2020:2

  • Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.
  • The performance of this test has not been established for monitoring treatment of 2019-nCoV infection.
  • This test cannot rule out diseases caused by other bacterial or viral pathogens.

So, what does the PCR test actually tell us? The PCR swab collects RNA from your nasal cavity. This RNA is then reverse transcribed into DNA. However, the genetic snippets are so small they must be amplified in order to become discernible. Each round of amplification is called a cycle.

Amplification over 35 cycles is considered unreliable and scientifically unjustified, yet Drosten tests and tests recommended by the World Health Organization are set to 45 cycles.

What this does is amplify any, even insignificant sequences of viral DNA that might be present to the point that the test reads “positive,” even if the viral load is extremely low or the virus is inactive. As a result of these excessive cycle thresholds, you end up with a far higher number of positive tests than you would otherwise.

We’ve also had problems with faulty and contaminated tests. As soon as the genetic sequence for SARS-CoV-2 became available in January 2020, German researchers quickly developed a PCR test for the virus.

In March 2020, The New York Times3 reported the initial test kits developed by the CDC had been found to be flawed. The Verge also reported4 that this flawed CDC test in turn became the basis for the WHO’s test, which the CDC ended up refusing to use.

PCR Tests Cannot Detect Infection

Perhaps most importantly of all, the PCR tests cannot distinguish between inactive viruses and “live” or reproductive ones. What that means is that PCR tests cannot detect infection. Period. It cannot tell you whether you’re currently ill, whether you’ll develop symptoms in the near future, or whether you’re contagious.

The tests may pick up dead debris or inactive viral particles that pose no risk whatsoever to the patient and others. What’s more, the test can pick up the presence of other coronaviruses, so a positive result may simply indicate that you’ve recuperated from a common cold in the past.

An “infection” is when a virus penetrates into a cell and replicates. As the virus multiplies, symptoms set in. A person is only infectious if the virus is actually replicating. As long as the virus is inactive and not replicating, it’s completely harmless both to the host and others.

Chances are, if you have no symptoms, a positive test simply means it has detected inactive viral DNA in your body. This would also mean that you are not contagious and pose no risk to anyone.

For all of these reasons, a number of highly respected scientists around the world are now saying that what we have is not a COVID-19 pandemic but a PCR test pandemic. In his Sept. 20, 2020, article5 “Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics—The Deadly Danger of False Positives,” Yeadon explains why basing our pandemic response on positive PCR tests is so problematic.

In short, it appears millions of people are simply being found to carry inactive viral DNA that pose no risk to anyone, yet these test results are being used by the global technocracy to implement a brand new economic and social system based on draconian surveillance and totalitarian controls.

Artificially Created Justifications for Totalitarian Controls

As reported by The Vaccine Reaction, Sept. 29, 2020:6

The test’s threshold is so high that it detects people with the live virus as well as those with a few genetic fragments left over from a past infection that no longer poses a risk. It’s like finding a hair in a room after a person left it, says Michael Mina, MD, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.7

In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90% of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The New York Times found8 …

‘We’ve been using one type of data for everything, and that is just plus or minus—that’s all,’ Dr. Mina said. ‘We’re using that for clinical diagnostics, for public health, for policy decision-making.’

But ‘yes’ or ‘no’ isn’t good enough, he added. It’s the amount of virus that should dictate the infected patient’s next steps. ‘It’s really irresponsible, I think, to forgo the recognition that this is a quantitative issue,’ Dr. Mina said.

Again, medical experts agree any cycle threshold over 35 cycles makes the test too sensitive, as at that point it starts picking up harmless inactive DNA fragments. Mina believes a more reasonable cutoff would be 30 or less.

According to The New York Times,9 the CDC’s own calculations show it’s extremely unlikely to detect live viruses in samples that have gone through more than 33 cycles, and research10 published in April 2020 concluded patients with positive PCR tests that had a cycle threshold above 33 were not contagious and could safely be discharged from the hospital or home isolation.

Importantly, when officials at the New York state laboratory, the Wadsworth Center, reanalyzed testing data at The Times’ request, they found that changing the threshold from 40 cycles to 35 cycles eliminated about 43 percent of the positive results. Limiting it to 30 cycles eliminated a whopping 63 percent.11 The Vaccine Reaction adds:12

In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90% of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been deemed negative if the threshold were 30 cycles, Dr. Mina said. ‘I would say that none of those people should be contact-traced, not one,’ he said.

‘I’m really shocked that it could be that high—the proportion of people with high CT value results,’ said Ashish Jha, MD, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. ‘Boy, does it really change the way we need to be thinking about testing’13 …

In late August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first rapid coronavirus test that doesn’t need any special computer equipment. Made by Abbot Laboratories, the 15-minute test [BinaxNOW] will sell for U.S. $5 but still requires a nasal swab to be taken by a health worker.14

The Abbot test is the fourth rapid point-of-care test that looks for the presence of antigens rather than the virus’s genetic code as the PCR molecular tests do.15

Massive Waste of Resources

As noted by Dr. Tom Jefferson and professor Carl Henegan in an October 31, 2020, article in the Daily Mail,16 mass PCR testing has been a massive waste or resources, as it doesn’t provide us with the information we actually need to know—who’s infectious, how far is the virus spreading and how fast does it spread?

Instead, it has led to economic devastation from business shutdowns and isolating noninfectious people in their homes for weeks and months on end. Jefferson and Henegan claim they shared their pandemic response plan with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over a month ago, and just presented it to him again. “We urge him to pay attention and embrace it,” they write, adding:

There are only two things about which we can be certain: first, that lockdowns do not work in the long term … The idea that a month of economic hardship will permit some sort of ‘reset’, allowing us a brighter future, is a myth. What, when it ends, do we think will happen? Meanwhile, ever-increasing restrictions will destroy lives and livelihoods.

The second certainty is this: that we need to find a way out of the mess that does no more damage than the virus itself … Our strategy would be to tackle the four key failings.

These four areas are:

  1. Addressing the problems in the government’s mass testing program
  2. Addressing “the blight of confused and contradictory statistics”
  3. Protect and isolate the vulnerable—primarily the elderly, but also hospitalized patients in general and staff—while allowing the rest to maintain “some semblance of normal life”
  4. Inform the public about the true and quantifiable costs of lockdown that “kill people just as surely as COVID-19”

“If we do these things, there is real hope that we can learn to live with the virus. That, after all, was supposed to be the plan,” Jefferson and Henegan note. With regard to testing, the pair call “for a national program of testing quality control to ensure that results are accurate, precise and consistent.”

Importantly, we must not rely on positive/negative readings alone. The results must be assessed in relation to other factors, such as the age of the subject and whether they are symptomatic, to determine who actually poses an infectious risk. You can review the full details of their proposed plan at the end of their Daily Mail article.17


This article was reprinted with the author’s permission. It was originally published on Dr. Mercola’s website at www.mercola.com.

Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.

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15 Responses to "Understanding PCR Tests for Coronavirus"

  1. Lisa   December 1, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Isn’t this enough information to take the CDC to court over “falsifying” information by using this test inappropriately?

    Reply
    • Wayne   December 20, 2020 at 11:13 pm

      It should be, but there is an ample supply of do not care attitude, arrogance, and a lack of oversight which then allows things like this now-a-days to occur with impunity.

      Reply
  2. Zuto   December 1, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Excellent presentation of the problems with COVID testing! My biggest concern is that censorship will suppress this information.

    Waste of resources is a huge issue and I’m glad to see it in print. The entire “pandemic” is a waste of resources, not to mention an epic fraud. If you look at who is benefitting from all this testing, it’s the people who manufacture, sell and administer the tests. They have a vested interest in keeping this “pandemic” going. If you look at all the people that benefit from locking down the population, they are alos benefitting from the bogus test used to justify lockdowns.

    The biggest takeaway is that the test has little, if anything, to do with public health.

    Five starts! Thanks for this article and let’s get the word out. Spread this article far and wide.

    Reply
  3. Nathalie   December 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Thank to Dr. Mercola for this article. I just wish that all governors, and any state and federal officials start reading this and other article like this before they implement crazy measures which have so far served nothing except destroy the lives and livelihood of many. This “pandemy” has created major division in the population (and in families) and the constant erroneous reporting from the media is not helping at all.

    Reply
  4. Dick Atlee   December 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    It’s a good summary of the problem. Mina has been at the forefront of the push to use more frequent antigen testing as a way to get around both the too-late and too-sensitive problems of PCR, but his dream of having such a test doable in the home on an almost-daily basis seems a long way off. The Abbott BinaxNOW test is the only one with FDA EUA approval that doesn’t require a particular hardware device to read results, but it still needs a professional trained swab-er.

    The only problem with this article is the periodic reference to viral DNA. We’re dealing with an RNA virus, and while the error may be inadvertent, such carelessness doesn’t help credibility.

    Reply
  5. m   December 1, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    This is the greatest scam in human history. The word for “mouth” in Celtic is “gob” and this is how I feel – I am gobsmacked at the insanity of how many people have fallen for this scam. There is a saying, “The greatest trick Satan pulled against humans is convincing them he doesn’t exist.”
    THIS is exactly what is happening no matter what “religion” you may be. There are evil nefarious beings at work on this planet trying to gain control everyone and everything humans are and do.
    It is unfolding right before your eyes and the question is: “How awake are you and what will you do to protect yourself and loved ones?”
    Only when enough people wake up can we stand strong against this scam. Time is running out. What will you do?

    Reply
  6. Violet Gorman   December 1, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    We need to be told the truth from our so called government. NOW

    Reply
  7. Terry   December 1, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Agree with m. This has all been a scam. From the moment Mullis died in August, through the simulation Event 201, further back in 2017 when Lord Fauci proclaimed this administration would have to face a pandemic. On and on. They have never isolated the virus. The PCR tests are not diagnostic tests. Labeling every death a Covid-19 death, when they had no clue but did have an agenda, and the fact that the site taken down by the CDC which stated we really have had no more deaths in 2020 than in the previous 3 years, is a red flag. If this is so deadly, shouldn’t over all deaths be way up?

    Reply
  8. Elijah Varga   December 1, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    ‘Lies damn lies and statistics’ we heard this, before (long time ago) But in our days we may add to this, that …and PCR tests for Covid 19. This would fit the bill well, no?

    Reply
  9. Tom   December 2, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Makes a ton of sense to me. I have read numerous articles about Cpr testing. I am not a scientist, but it seems to me that this type of testing is a complete sham. This is outright criminal. Although, I would like some clarification about the testing done instantly verses the testing that requires several days before results are known. I will never again trust government, the medical experts or the media…not that I had much trust in them over the last 20 years.

    Reply
  10. David Baldwin   December 2, 2020 at 10:40 am

    So, when are we, the Awakened, going to grow a backbone, and start saturating the medias (newspapers, tv stations, social, etc.) proclaiming the TRUTH of this scamdemic? This article is only the beginning. I’ve even seen articles that show Masks DO NOT WORK from research done over 10 years ago. Yet, there is a mandatory mask use.
    So, if you are AWAKE, do Something! We need that critical mass.

    Reply
  11. Kathy Gardiner   December 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    How sad that there are so many good, honest medical researchers and doctors who know this truth but can’t get the message out. Thank you for this article. I get so angry every time our state’s medical “expert” stands up and laments 1,000 or 2,000 new cases each day when this testing process is totally fraudulent and this huge number of new “cases” is used to shut things down and force dangerous masking on the general public. We do need to stand up and speak out – the problem is finding an honest person in media who will help spread the word.

    Reply
  12. RC   December 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    This is horrific. What can we do? I’m open for suggestions. I try to speak up but people refuse to listen to the truth.
    I have been chided by a masked 20+ year old because I was not standing far enough away from her and she is on the other side of a counter with a plexiglass wall between us! Her coworker is standing 2 feet from her.
    Absolute lunacy! I am 3x her age!
    And, as someone already reiterated, this virus is is a minor inconvenience for most people.

    Reply
  13. Allan   December 10, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    PCR INVENTOR SAYS FAUCI “NOT A SCIENTIST”

    Reply
  14. Rod Pullins   January 8, 2021 at 6:37 am

    Hurrah! Finally I got a webpage from where I be capable of actually get helpful data regarding my study and knowledge.|

    Reply

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