I’ve worked for a diagnostic lab for 15 years. You are completely wrong. Well designed pcr tests are extremely sensitive and can detect very low copy numbers. They can also determine if an infection is active unlike antibody tests which will be positive after the infection has cleared.
PCR tests can have higher false positive rates as they are so sensitive that even small amounts of cross contamination can cause a positive signal but retesting mitigates that risk.
Thanks for the reply. Perhaps your experience in the lab can help clarify a few concerns that the article I linked raises.
Well designed pcr tests are extremely sensitive and can detect very low copy numbers.
Isn't this part of the problem? The PCR test is not a binary yes or no. The article I posted states:
"Another essential problem is that many PCR tests have a “cycle quantification” (Cq) value of over 35, and some, including the “Drosten PCR test”, even have a Cq of 45.
The Cq value specifies how many cycles of DNA replication are required to detect a real signal from biological samples.
“Cq values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,” as it says in the MIQE guidelines.
MIQE stands for “Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments”, a set of guidelines that describe the minimum information necessary for evaluating publications on Real-Time PCR, also called quantitative PCR, or qPCR."
From a more recent article (https://off-guardian.org/2020/12/18/who-finally-admits-pcr-tests-create-false-positives/
"Even Dr Anthony Fauci has publicly admitted that a cycle threshold over 35 is going to be detecting “dead nucleotides”, not a living virus.
Despite all this, it is known that many labs around the world have been using PCR tests with CT values over 35, even into the low 40s."
In other words, case numbers can dramatically fluctuate up or down based simply on how many cycles a particular lab performs (or is instructed to perform by CDC/WHO guidelines).
And since the PCR test is analyzing a tiny sample taken from a swab, and replicating the RNA enough times to allow for identification, the test does nothing to determine the actual viral load - or the amount of virus particles present in the body.
"Moreover, in the product descriptions of the RT-qPCR tests for SARS-COV-2 it says they are “qualitative” tests, contrary to the fact that the “q” in “qPCR” stands for “quantitative.” And if these tests are not “quantitative” tests, they don’t show how many viral particles are in the body.
That is crucial because, in order to even begin talking about actual illness in the real world not only in a laboratory, the patient would need to have millions and millions of viral particles actively replicating in their body."
Lastly, and most importantly, how was the genome profile of covid determined to begin with, if the virus was never scientifically purified or isolated, and there has never been a "gold standard" provided to compare PCR test results against? Unpurified samples were taken and fed into a computer model to create this "novel" rna sequence that had never been seen before. In other words, they are testing for a hypothetical rna sequence that could very well be from cellular debris naturally occurring in humans, or effects of a general immune system response (e.g., exosomes), or any pathogen for that matter and not specific to any particular virus.
(excerpt from https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/
"Thus, the authors of four of the principal, early 2020 papers claiming discovery of a new coronavirus concede they had no proof that the origin of the virus genome was viral-like particles or cellular debris, pure or impure, or particles of any kind. In other words, the existence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is based on faith, not fact.
We have also contacted Dr Charles Calisher, who is a seasoned virologist. In 2001, Science published an “impassioned plea…to the younger generation” from several veteran virologists, among them Calisher, saying that:
[modern virus detection methods like] sleek polymerase chain reaction […] tell little or nothing about how a virus multiplies, which animals carry it, [or] how it makes people sick. [It is] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.”
And that’s why we asked Dr Calisher whether he knows one single paper in which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated and finally really purified. His answer:
I know of no such a publication. I have kept an eye out for one.”
This actually means that one cannot conclude that the RNA gene sequences, which the scientists took from the tissue samples prepared in the mentioned in vitro trials and for which the PCR tests are finally being “calibrated,” belong to a specific virus — in this case SARS-CoV-2."
Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want to, I'm just trying my best to understand a process that seems to obfuscate the scientific method and raises more questions than answer, and I am not one to put blind faith in the "experts".