By LJ Cote,BSN, and Christina D., exclusive for

Pre-covid, sick people had symptoms (fever, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea – you get the picture). Some were even considered potentially infectious. Sickness was confirmed by symptoms plus perhaps a test result. No sick note without it!  

The Drosten protocol changed years of history and common sense in a blink of an eye!

Suddenly, seven billion people were now deemed sick without any symptoms.  Now in 2021, the world is jam-packed with diseased humans who are merely “asymptomatic” or “pre-symptomatic.” Whether ill or not, we became suspected spreaders of invisible pathogens and disease.

What magic did the Drosten paper propose? To use reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology to diagnose infection with SARS-CoV-2. The protocol was swiftly adopted and put into practice around the world, turning our common understanding of respiratory illnesses on its head.  Shockingly, Canada had purchased the “magic swabs” in 2018!  Amazing, a swab “crystal ball” so to speak!

The devil is always in the details

How is the PCR test administered?

A sample swabbed from extremely deep into your nasal cavity is run through a machine that produces a verdict of “positive” or “negative.” Sounds pretty simple right?  No, it isn’t.  This is a simplistic and reductive description aimed at obscuring the complexity of the process and makes the results appear far more conclusive than they are.

Problem:  The PCR is not a binary yes-or-no test. This inconvenient fact hasn’t stopped public health officials, politicians, and the media from treating it as such.

The details:

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) acts like a photocopier for DNA, detecting and magnifying genetic material. As RNA viruses don’t have DNA, a reversing process must first transcribe the RNA into a form of DNA called complementary DNA (cDNA). This is the reverse transcription (RT) part of the RT-PCR. This well established and highly sensitive method of replicating genetic material is used in a variety of laboratory procedures, including mapping the human genome, DNA fingerprinting, and diagnosing genetic disorders. According to inventor, Kary Mullis, prior to his death in August 2019, his test was never meant to be used to diagnose viral illnesses.

RT-PCR tries to answer the question, “Does this amount of viral RNA represent an infection?” It is used as a quantitative tool to assess how much viral material is present. Assuming the viral particles detected are active — which is not necessarily the case — a high “viral load” would present more risk of illness and transmission.

Real-time RT-PCR, which is the preferred method for quantification, uses fluorescent probes that bind to the cDNA segment and generate a fluorescent signal or glow. The more particles are replicated, the brighter the fluorescent glow. This is interpreted as evidence of “viral load.”

RT-PCR detects and replicates specific viral fragments, but it cannot tell us whether they are infectious or inert, recent or old, active or inactive. It says nothing about the nature of the particle being amplified. The greater the amplifications the greater that viral debris will be identified “false positive”.  This is why the WHO issued a medical product alert Jan 20, 2021, warning of this very fact (see insert).  They were cautioning anything over 35 (25 is the gold standard) is likely to produce false positives.  British Columbia is using a 40-cycle threshold; Ontario and Quebec use a 45-cycle! All completely unreliable.

Quite simply, a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test alone does not mean that you are ill, that you will become ill, or that you can cause anyone else to become ill. It should never have been used for diagnosis.

The swab is dangerous

The test uses a nasopharyngeal swab with a long, flexible shaft and a tip made of polyester, rayon, or flocked nylon. The swab is inserted deep into the nasal canal, until it touches the nasopharynx. It is left in place for several seconds and then rotated and removed.

Photo Credit: New England Journal of Medicine

This uncomfortable if not outright painful procedure presents a real danger of piercing the blood-brain barrier if done improperly. If you have the stomach for it, read the reports of people who experienced leaking brain fluid and bleeding following the test.

Mercifully, newer, less invasive methods test saliva or use specimens taken from the nostrils.  However, the basic test remains RT-PCR.

Introducing anal swabs, it’s no joke

In Future Medicine article the headline reads, “Anal swab as a potentially optimal specimen for SARS-CoV-2 detection to evaluate hospital discharge of COVID-19 patients.” ( It is being used in China for those considered traveling from high-risk areas.  In this article those doing the study stated, “SARS-CoV-2 detection was positive in anal swabs but negative in other sample types of several cured patients. Our findings greatly contribute to a comprehensive understanding of COVID-19. Although the study was limited to a small number of patients, and further longitudinal studies on a larger cohort would help to understand the prognosis of the disease.”  What was proved is that dead viruses are eliminated from our bodies in our poop.  Not really a surprise and remember, they are referring to a group of cured patients.  This swab is of no value if you are trying to diagnosis a disease, only to confirm that the patient had a viral infection, their immune system handled it and they are eliminated the debris. 

Can you be both positive and negative?

The key to having an effective testing mechanism is reliable, consistent results.  Anything less calls into question the reliability of the test.  Yet, it has been repeatedly documented that within a short period of time a person tests positive and then negative and back again, sometimes more than once.

Elon Musk tweeted on November 12, 2020, “Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD.”  (Source: )

Even the WHO sent an alert warning the test’s accuracy. One thing is clear: False negatives or false positives occur at least some of the time, and it is quite impossible to know which is which. The problems with this disastrously flawed test don’t end there.

A dangerous idea run amuck

The Drosten paper has been the subject of severe criticism and retraction requests.

Retraction Watch article stated, “Drosten and colleagues failed to prove that PCR testing can identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

An extensive external peer review of the RT-PCR test to detect SARS-CoV-2 revealed ten major scientific flaws at the molecular and methodological level – and consequences for false positive results.  The end result was the retraction of the Corman-Droster Report by Eurosurveillance editorial board on November 27, 2020.  In other words, after independently exploring the validity of the RT-PCR test, they found it was not scientifically sound. 

Read the full and extremely detailed report

The Evils with PCR

David Crowe, an independent researcher, questioned the use of RT-PCR technology for diagnosing Covid-19 as early as April 2020. Crowe passed away in June 2020 before he could complete his book-in-progress, TheInfectious Myth.  His work and podcast conversations with experts such as David Rasnick, Kevin Corbett, and Stephen Bustin, have been preserved.  Stephen Bustin was one of the reviewers responding to the Corman-Drosten Review Report.  His opinion from early 2020 should cause some ears to perk up.

Crowe’s investigation of the RT-PCR test reveals three broad vulnerabilities where error can be introduced:

  • Extracting the RNA requires that all other non-RNA material be eliminated and that the sample be rigorously protected from contamination. No such sample exists given that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has never been purified and that the process requires the addition of solutions and substances. This step is neither simple or certain.
  • RNA is then translated to DNA. This process is inefficient to varying degrees. The amount of DNA obtained can, “vary widely, easily by a factor of 10” and different test setups, “may actually have the cut-off between negative and positive at wildly different places.”
  • The PCR amplification step duplicates the DNA through many cycles. “On each cycle the DNA is unrolled from the double helix into two strands, the portion of interest is duplicated, and the DNA rolls up again.”

After examining a selection of tests approved under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA), David Crowe summarized the test’s limitations, as listed right on the labels:

  • RNA not Virus: Positive test results indicate that RNA is present, not necessarily a virus
  • Clinical Information: Clinical [medical] information is necessary to complete a diagnosis
  • Other substances: The test has not been validated with commonly used drugs or vaccines, which may change the results
  • Sample: Sample collection, transportation and storage may introduce errors
  • PPV [Positive Predictive Value]: False positives are more likely to occur when testing a population with few infected people
  • Cause: Presence of viral RNA does not prove that it is the cause of any symptoms present
  • Contamination: Cross-contamination may result in false positive results
  • Coronavirus: The test may be positive due to the presence of other coronaviruses [60 plus known coronaviruses]
  • Dead virus: RNA from the virus may persist after infection and produce false positive results
  • False Positive: False positives may occur due to contamination or ‘non-specific signals’
  • Subgroups: This test has not been tested on certain types of people (e.g. the immune compromised, the asymptomatic [at time of writing his article April 2020] )
  • Mix-up: Specimen mix-up can cause false positives (and false negatives)

With this much potential for error and contamination, should we rely on PCR as our sole diagnostic tool? How can we be sure a positive result means anything at all?

This is not what is happening in practice as they are testing asymptomatic population.  There are no symptoms nor are they sick or seeking medical care. Ontario announced its plans to conduct widespread asymptomatic testing in schools upon re-opening.   They also quietly increased the Cycle threshold (Ct) to 35.  BC continues to exceed the recommended Ct at 40 (see earlier Life Lab response).  

Cycle count: Where do you stop?

RT-PCR amplifies viral fragments exponentially through a number of cycles. Each cycle doubles the previous amount, up to a certain cycle threshold (Ct). This is the cut-off point at which a sample is interpreted as positive, inconclusive, or negative.

The Ct used varies by test and by laboratory with no standardized or consistent cut-off. From one country, province or health unit to another, a positive result represents vastly different things.

“There is no international standardisation between laboratories and assays, leaving Ct calibration with viral load poorly reported and easy to misunderstand.”   The Lancet

A high viral load should be visible within fewer cycles, but too low of a Ct can lead to false negatives. Likewise, a high Ct will produce false positives. Although a Ct of 30 is generally accepted as the upper limit, a Ct of 25 is recognized as more reasonable and useful.

Across Canada, the cut off varies from 33 to a whopping 45. We have entered the territory of the absurd.

For more insight, read the post by Dr. Claus Rinner entitled “The Little Pandemic That Could” here

Public health authorities justify this unjustified high Ct count, saying it detects early, pre-symptomatic infections in people who don’t yet have symptoms.  This is like saying we are going to check to see if you have the potential to get a cold even though you have no symptoms.  Everyone has potential to get a cold.   This comes at a ridiculously high cost to all Canadians.

This New York Times article from August 2020 highlights the problem of using cut-offs above a Ct of 30. The article proposes that bringing the Ct down from 40 or 35 to 30 or less would dramatically reduce the number of “positive” results — by as much as 60% to 90%.   This was confirmed in medical alert bulletin issued by the WHO on January 20, 2021, just three hours after Biden was declared President of USA.

The Corman-Droster Review Report describes the consequences of false positives, and concludes:

“[The PCR] is useless as a diagnostic test for use in public health laboratory settings.”

In light of this conclusion, how can our Canadian and worldwide leaders justify the draconian “health protection” measures that now killing more people than any Covid disease.

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