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2020-12-11

When the pandemic subsided in June and deaths became "normal" again, many of us thought that it was all over.

Not so fast! Deprived of their death statistics, the newspapers and governments world-wide simply transferred their attention to "cases", a suspect figure depending solely on a positive result from the now famous PCR Test.

Medical tests are normally applied at the request of a physician in order to confirm or exclude a suspected diagnosis, but today we see a frantic effort to apply it to all and sundry as widely as possible and to regard every positive result as an infection.

I won't rehearse these arguments yet again here, but a result of this strategy is that:

if the PCR Test should not be worthy of the trust that is currently accorded it, then the pandemic narrative is rebutted in short order.

Now "we all know" that science is advanced by the "scientific method" whereby somebody publishes a paper in as well-known a journal as he can persuade to publish it, and that paper will describe the detailed research undertaken and the results achieved so that other scientists can replicate the work and validate or disprove the original findings. 

Until a sufficient body of confirmatory research/validation has been carried out, the original paper stands as a proposition, rather than as accepted truth.

The "PCR Test" for SARS-Cov-2 was first published in a paper entitled "Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” (Eurosurveillance 25(8) 2020) and was attributed to a number of authors, including Victor M Corman and Christian Drosten in January 2020.

This paper was subsequently adopted by the WHO as the authority upon which the roll-out of the PCR Test world-wide was based.

So it is with great interest that I note the findings of a new paper that seems to be the first peer review of that original paper:

Authored by Pieter Borger, Rajesh K. Malhotra, Michael Yeadon and others, it presents a point-by-point review in which

  • "all components of the test design were cross checked"
  • "the protocol recommendations were assessed with respect to good laboratory practice"
  • "the parameters were examined against relevant scientific literature covering the field"

They point out (amongst many other issues) that

  • "neither the presented test nor the manuscript itself fulfils the requirements for an acceptable scientific publication"
  • "serious conflicts of interest of the authors are not mentioned"
  • "the very short timescale between submission and acceptance of the publication (24 hours) signifies that a systematic peer review process was either not performed here, or of problematic poor quality"
  • "considering the scientific and methodological blemishes presented here, we are confident that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication"
  • "A final point is one of major concern. It turns out that two authors of the Corman-Drosten paper, Christian Drosten and Chantal Reusken, are also members of the editorial board of this journal"

Of particular significance they assert

  • "In short, a design relying merely on close genetic relatives does not fulfill the aim for a “robust diagnostic test” as cross reactivity and therefore false-positive results will inevitably occur"
  • "These are severe design errors, since the test cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments. The "test cannot be used as a diagnostic for SARS-CoV-2 viruses"
  • "of major relevance, the functionality of the published RT-PCR Test was not demonstrated with the use of a positive control (isolated SARS-CoV-2 RNA) which is an essential scientific gold standard"
  • "the E gene used in RT-PCR test, as described in the Corman-Drosten paper, is not specific to SARS-CoV-2"
  • "It is inevitable that this test will generate a tremendous number of so-called “false positives”

There is much more and I encourage everyone to read the paper for yourself - the technical parameters may be arcane but the essential message is damning.

Their final assessment is unequivocal:

  • "we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless"

I wonder who will listen?