Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.

The above headline comes, from of all places, The New York Times.

Dominick Armentano emails:


This NYT piece has got to be one of the most important and neglected articles on  Covid 19 "testing" ever published.  It argues that absent information on the number of "cycles" in the test, saying  that a specific test is "positive" (and, presumably,  can justify quarantine and other liberty restrictions) is misleading at best.  What policy makers (and doctors and patients) require  is information on the "viral load" and a simple positive test does not supply that information. Totally crazy.

Here are key snippets:

Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time.


The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.

This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.

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


On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.

One solution would be to adjust the cycle threshold used now to decide that a patient is infected. Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left...


Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.

A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.


“It’s just kind of mind-blowing to me that people are not recording the C.T. values from all these tests — that they’re just returning a positive or a negative,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York.


With a cutoff of 35, about 43 percent of those tests would no longer qualify as positive. About 63 percent would no longer be judged positive if the cycles were limited to 30.

In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent 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.

Other experts informed of these numbers were stunned.

“I’m really shocked that it could be that high — the proportion of people with high C.T. value results,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “Boy, does it really change the way we need to be thinking about testing.”

Could this be why the number of recorded cases of flu is so low?  

Are patients showing up at hospitals and clinics with the flu but are tested for COVID-19 based on 40 cycles and are falsely categorized as COVID-19 patients? 



  1. It's amazing a dose of sanity has actually been injected into the main stream COVID discussion.

    Cycle thresholds (CT) are a critical factor to understand for the PCR test, and it really should be standard to report the CT value in event of any positive result. How many cycles it took to get a positive result is informative on what actions you should take.

    For reference, every 10 cycles means needing to duplicate DNA in a test sample 1000x for a positive detection. So 10 cycles means 1024 times amplification, 20 cycles means 1 million times amplification, 30 cycles means 1 billion times, 40 cycles means 1 trillion times.

    The way to interpret CT values:
    <20: You have a ton of viral load. Get treated ASAP. EVMS MATH+ Protocol and Ivermectin.
    20-30: You most likely have an active infection.
    30-35: Suspect result. Could be active or inactive infection. Or false positive. Perhaps take some prophylactics (immunoboosters) but don't worry too much.
    40 or more: Not informative at this high a CT value. Any positive result at 40+ cycles should be ignored.

    By the way, the WHO standard is to test up to 45 cycles. FDA I believe is 40. Both of these are way too high.

    1. Fauci has claimed that 35 cycles and up, active infection miniscule.

    2. Fauci has said that for 35 cycles or more, “the chances of it being replicant competent is miniscule.” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A867t1JbIrs

    3. Thanks, I forgot the 35-40 category.

      CT 30-35 is already a suspect result. From 35-40, unless you have symptoms, there's nothing to worry about. 40+ is essentially garbage data.

    4. And then there's the fact that PCR is not even a test; it's a process.

  2. The real madness is to look at the date of that piece (8/29) and then look at the rate of testing per day, (can be seen here: https://wmbriggs.com/post/33790/), as tests per day have nearly TRIPLED since the publication of that piece, from 800,000 to 2.2 MILLION!!!!

    2.2 million tests per day. To detect a virus with a global population survival rate that is around 99.96%.

    Talk about your ALL TIME malinvestment.

    Warm Regards,
    David B.

  3. This article reviews the literature and concludes that not only has the Sars-CoV-2 virus not been sequenced, but NO human coronavirus has been sequenced and the sequences that PCR tests are finding are found in the human genome and 100 microbes: https://bit.ly/2LiCJe6 .

    So reducing the cycles still produces nonsense.

  4. Dr. Kary Mullis, inventor of the PCR test wrote, on May 7, 2013: “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.”
    “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.”

    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.”

    “PCR for diagnosis is a big problem,” he continues. “When you have to amplify it these huge numbers of time, it’s going to generate massive amounts of false positives. Again, I’m skeptical that a PCR test is ever true.”

    I asked Crowe what he thought Kary Mullis would say about this explosion of PCR insanity. “I’m sad that he isn’t here to defend his manufacturing technique,” he said. “Kary did not invent a test. He invented a very powerful manufacturing technique that is being abused. What are the best applications for PCR? Not medical diagnostics. He knew that and he always said that.”


  5. Comparison of Clinical Features of COVID-19 vs Seasonal Influenza A and B in US Children

  6. Both the CDC and WHO say, “Since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV are currently available,”

    CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel

    Specific primers and probes for detection 2019 novel coronavirus

    So What are we being tested for?

    The documents go on, “assays designed for detection of the 2019-nCoV RNA were tested with characterized stocks of in vitro transcribed full length RNA (N gene; GenBank accession: MN908947.2) of known titer”

    A titer is a laboratory test that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in blood. So according to these “health” agencies the virus they tell us is causing C-19 has not been isolated and they are claiming to test for known antibodies. Antibodies to what? What is this “in vitro transcribed full length RNA (N gene; GenBank accession: MN908947.2” we are being tested for?

    I really want to know. If someone does, please enlighten me.

    I suspect that the antibodies they are testing for are based on those detected in patients they suspect are infected by Sars-Covid-2 based on symptoms, “since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV are currently available.”

    According to the CDC, “symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.” Otherwise their list of symptoms for C-19 and the flu are the same. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm There are also reports that blood clotting is more prevalent for C-19 than flu and the phenomena where C-19 patients have low oxygen levels while not experiencing extreme breathing difficulty, not reported in the CDC report linked.

    What we need to know is what the antibodies they are testing for are a reaction to. Could it be as likely they are testing for antibodies that are in reaction to influenza or a common cold as they are for C-19?