A comment on my COVID post from the 17th makes me want to explain some science so we can all understand why the COVID rates are dropping. When a PCR test is done, the lab is looking for the genetic material of the specific organism that is being tested for. The test detects the presence of a virus if you are infected at the time of the test. The test could also detect fragments of virus even after you are no longer infected. The PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it’s the most accurate and reliable test. That, however, doesn’t mean that the PCR test can’t be fiddled with.
For those of you who have knowledge on this subject, you will see that I am greatly simplifying this material. Please bear with me and understand that I am trying to make a complex subject easy to understand.
When any lab test is done, there is a threshold value that is set, so that any quantity that is detected above that value is indicative of a “positive” result. In order for a PCR test to detect genetic material, the levels of genetic material in the sample must be “amplified” to make small amounts of material detectable, sort of like turning up the “gain” on an amplifier.
Just like in an amplifier, when you turn up the gain, the background noise gets amplified as well as the information that you are looking for. If you turn it up high enough, you get a “positive” result even though the amounts of genetic material are so small that the person isn’t able to infect anyone, and doesn’t even have symptoms.
This amplification is called Cycle Threshold. Cycle threshold (Ct or Cq) is the number of times (cycles) a sample has to be amplified before the genetic material of the virus can be detected. A low Ct value indicates a strong viral load because it took less amplification to detect the virus. A high Ct value indicates a weak viral load because the sample had to be amplified many more cycles to detect it.
So why does this matter? It means our government has been using the rise in the number of PCR positives to influence and determine policy when “the science” suggests that using PCR positives to determine how the pandemic is advancing is impossible without clinical context. What’s worse, is these PCR tests are hyper sensitive because they record positive results for samples that have a cycle threshold of 35 to 40.
In fact, most of the high COVID case levels were due to the Ct being set at a very high level, to the point that most of the signal was noise. Then on January 20, an hour after Biden was sworn in, the WHO sent out a memo telling labs to use a much lower Ct.
So surprise, surprise, now COVID infections are down 68% from December. Joe Biden is a miracle worker and has fixed all of the damage caused by the “former occupant” as Joe likes to refer to him.