What troubles me most about the Corona crisis is the assumption that the new PCR test that they whipped up to detect the virus is infallible. By symptoms alone, the disease is indistinguishable from flu. You can't tell the difference, and neither can your doctor. That sputum test is the ONLY thing that makes the call. So, the accuracy and reliability of the test is crucial. 

 

But, nothing is being said about possibility of the test failing. The possibility of false negatives has been suggested, but not on the basis of the test failing, but rather, on the basis of it being too early for the infected person to have enough virus to show it. The implication is that, in time, the person will test positive. 

 

But, what about the possibility of false positives? The guy who invented the test and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for it, Kary Mullis, denied that the PCR test can be used to determine "viral loads" at all. He objected to the use of the PCR test to determine who has HIV and Ebola. Unfortunately, Kary Mullis died last August of pneumonia at the age of 74.  

 

The test involves taking a single strand of RNA, converting it to DNA with the enzyme "reverse transcriptase" and then applying  the enzyme "polymerase" to cause billions of duplications.  But, Mullis said you can't use it to quantify, since you're only taking one nucleic acid strand from the person, and others besides him have questioned using the PCR test this way.

 

It's being reported that for the vast majority of people (80%) the illness from Corona virus is mild and short. And for some reason, children are largely not getting sick from it. In China, less than 2% of the victims have been children.  It's been suggested that children have more "innate immunity" but that is just a rationalization because children tend to get respiratory infections very easily. 

 

And it also appears that plenty of adults can contact the virus without catching it. The wife of Prime Minister Trudeau tested positive, and I presume she was tested because she showed symptoms. But, they have insisted that she is not terribly sick and mostly fine. And he isn't sick at all. So, either he didn't catch the virus from her despite being in an intimate relationship with her OR he caught it, and it's just not making him sick. 

 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz shook hands with people who had it, and he immediately went into self-quarantine. It was on February 29 that he interacted with persons who went on to test positive, and this is March 17.  So far, he hasn't gotten sick. Has he even tested positive?    

 

The British actor Idris Elba announced yesterday that he has tested positive, and he is not sick. He has no symptoms.  So, why did he test? It's because he shook hands with somebody who apparently has it. But, he is not sick so far, and his wife, who lives and sleeps with him, is not sick. 

 

So, the idea has been raised that the symptoms of Corona virus infection are sometimes nothing, that some people simply don't get sick from it, even though they have it. And that's not a new idea because it's reported that 80% of Americans test positive for Epstein-Barr virus, even though very few of them have mononucleosis or other conditions attributed to Epstein-Barr. So, Epstein-Barr makes you sick- except when it doesn't. 

 

Let's note that the Epstein-Barr test is an antibody test, and that is very different from the test they are using to determine Corona, the PCR test. The following is by Jon Rappaport, and it was written in regard to using PCR to detect Ebola. 

 

However, as I’ve written, the PCR test has problems. It is open to errors. One of those errors occurs right at the beginning of the procedure:

Is the sample taken from the patient actually a virus or a piece of a virus? Or is it just an irrelevant piece of debris?

Another problem is inherent in the method of the PCR itself. The test is based on the amplification of a tiny, tiny speck of genetic material taken from a patient—blowing it up billions of times until it can be observed and analyzed.

Researchers who employ the test claim that, as a result of the procedure, they can also infer the quantity of virus that is present in the patient.

This is crucial, because unless a patient has millions and millions of Ebola virus in his body, there is absolutely no reason to think he is sick or will become sick.

So the question is: can the PCR test allow researchers and doctors to say how much virus is in a patient’s body? Let's ask Kary Mullis, the inventor of PCR:

 

‘Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron. PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral-load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to the virus. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves.'

Kary Mullis is a biochemist. He is also a Nobel Prize winner (1993, Chemistry)  for inventing PCR.

RC: Despite these concerns about the PCR test, which preceded the Corona crisis, the possibility of false positives is not being raised at all. It's not even on the radar. And what's worse is that the possibility of false positives is being defined out of the picture. By admitting that some people just don't get sick from corona virus, they have given the test an out. Instead of considering test error, they just help themselves to the conclusion that every non-sick person who tests positive is just someone who doesn't get sick from corona virus. In other words, they are infected, no doubt about it, but for them, the symptoms are zero. Well, isn't that convenient. 

So, here's what needs to happen. The test needs to be tested. And the most efficient way to do it, in my opinion, is to send a sputum sample from an asymptomatic and presumably unexposed person in 10 times under 10 different names and see if they all come back negative. And keep in mind that there could also be false positives among symptomatic people as well. People still get the regular flu, don't they? So, it could also be done with someone who is afflicted with respiratory symptoms because that person too should get either 10 yehs or 10 neys for Corona.  If it's a mix, then all bets are off. 

It's time to start testing the test, and we, the people, could do it.