Quantcast

Covid Testing: Bad Science, Worse Policy

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
False positives prevail.

Covid Testing: Bad Science, Worse Policy

PCR testing for Covid is too flawed to make public policy by, but that's what's happening. The UK is on the verge of a new, second lockdown based on an apparent surge in Covid cases.

But are these real cases or an artifact of testing?

It turns out that half - or more - of the new "cases" are really just false positives. And they aren't even cases as those are (or should be reserved) for people with both confirmed Covid and symptoms requiring medical attention.

So a "positive" might be a false positive, or it might be from someone with a legacy fragment of viral RNA from an old and long past infection, or someone who tests positive but is otherwise completely asymptomatic for the duration, or it could be a real case.

Despite all that, the UK's prime minister and various health authorities are sounding the alarm, tightening restrictions, and speaking of a second lockdown.

In other words, bad science is leading to worse policies.

How can this be in this day and age? What's going on? That's what this video explores.


 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
Bad policy or a slick click bait video designed to obtain youtube ad revenue and premium subscription to his financial blog?

Why is this guy a trustworthy expert on medical science?
He has a PhD in pathology from Duke University and what he covers about COVID-19, although not this particular topic which is statistics based, is also covered by an emergency care physician in the YouTube Medcram series. AND, if you actually watch the full video, the logic of what he is saying is obvious. The corrected graphs he presents are damning. That's why he feels that the ignorance must be intentional. The misinterpretations are too obvious not to be.

That is where I disagree with him. I see it as the typically inherent, bureaucracy-based "stupidity" of people who were promoted to their positions with no proper knowledge in important areas related to their job, in this case basic statistical analysis, with no one brave enough or too bureaucratically insulated from them to tell them they're wrong. Just look at the performance of our multi-billion dollar CDC and FDA. Absolutely laughable to anyone closely following the science on their own.

The following are not directly on the relevant statistical point, but are about testing in general. The first approaches the heart of the video author's point in its "At relatively low population prevalences" comment.

Beware of False-Positive Results with SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Tests
1 Jul 2020


At relatively low population prevalences, which likely reflect current conditions in the United States and elsewhere, we would argue that false-positive rates are unacceptably high with the Cellex [Antibody] test. Many of the other tests with provisional approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not been appropriately evaluated for accuracy.

Which test is best for COVID-19?
POSTED AUGUST 10, 2020, 10:30 AM , UPDATED SEPTEMBER 21, 2020, 9:00 AM


The true accuracy of tests for COVID-19 is uncertain

Unfortunately, it’s not clear exactly how accurate any of these tests are. There are several reasons for this:

1. We don’t have precise measures of accuracy for these tests — just some commonly quoted figures for false negatives or false positives, such as those reported above. False negative tests provide false reassurance, and could lead to delayed treatment and relaxed restrictions despite being contagious. False positives, which are much less likely, can cause unwarranted anxiety and require people to quarantine unnecessarily.

2. How carefully a specimen is collected and stored may affect accuracy.

3. None of these tests is officially approved by the FDA. They are available because the FDA has granted their makers emergency use authorization. And that means the usual rigorous testing and vetting has not happened, and accuracy results have not been widely published.

4. A large and growing number of laboratories and companies offer these tests, so accuracy may vary. At the date of this posting, more than 170 molecular tests, two antigen tests, and 37 antibody tests are available.

5. All of these tests are new because the virus is new. Without a long track record, assessments of accuracy can only be approximate.

6. We don’t have a definitive “gold standard” test with which to compare them.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
Well, what do you know! My diagnosis of ignorant bureaucrats instead of intentional deception on the false positive issue was correct. Below I've linked to a recent interview of the UK's health minister that proves that. From what I see here in the US in areas with low COVID-19 prevalence, authorities are just as clueless and are destroying economies for no good reason.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." - Hanlon's Razor

Christopher Hitchens, "a learned and caustic cultural critic who wrote for the popular press and who was at his best when eviscerating the hypocrisy and pretense of people in power," said in a great quote I unfortunately cannot find right now that he made it a point in his life to get close to the people in political and bureaucratic power and found that most of them had no talent for anything other than attaining by political means the positions they held. In all other respects, they were dimwits.

His video which "Premiered 14 hours ago":

 
Last edited:

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
25,706
Reaction score
3,467
Location
Glennville, GA
Bad policy or a slick click bait video designed to obtain youtube ad revenue and premium subscription to his financial blog?

Why is this guy a trustworthy expert on medical science?
BINGO. This guy does not fully understand medicine or he is being purposely deceptive to get clicks. There are plenty of tests that are worse than our current COVID PCR testing. We learn to use them and educate our patients. Hence the reason for a 14-day quarantine or 10-day isolation if you are negative or positive respectively. Because there is a long incubation period, you can not rule our COVID.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
BINGO. This guy does not fully understand medicine or he is being purposely deceptive to get clicks. There are plenty of tests that are worse than our current COVID PCR testing. We learn to use them and educate our patients. Hence the reason for a 14-day quarantine or 10-day isolation if you are negative or positive respectively. Because there is a long incubation period, you can not rule our COVID.
You really need to watch his video if you haven't. The "Beware of False-Positive Results with SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Tests" link above touches on the basis for the statistical issue. The effect of low prevalence combined with tremendously increased testing numbers and false positives causes deceptive data which should be crossed against hospitalizations to see the real data/curves. He does that in the video. No one is saying that false positives are the SOLE factor in that. Also, the second link above points out that the actual false positive rates aren't even known and along with inherent contamination issues, when the percent of tests coming back as positive are, for example, in the low single digit percentages (low prevalence), false positives can be a very large component of that.

Is that obvious enough for everyone to understand now?
 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
Here's a communications systems analogy I just thought of:

When the actual prevalence (signal) of COVID-19 in a population approaches or drops below the false positive level (noise) of a test for COVID-19, the noise can be a major component of or even overwhelm the signal and any positive results may be, in fact, significantly or totally composed of the noise. When this happens and this is not taken into considered, a large increase in testing can give the false impression of a large increase in cases.
 

Marc_G

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
6,458
Reaction score
568
Location
Indianapolis Metro Area
And keep in mind, if someone actually has the virus but is asymptomatic, they can still spread it. They are still a "Case" even if they don't experience symptoms.
 

afadeev

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
1,356
Reaction score
594
Bad policy or a slick click bait video designed to obtain youtube ad revenue and premium subscription to his financial blog?
Why is this guy a trustworthy expert on medical science?
Indeed. More conspiracy theory fluff.
Brought to you by "peak prosperity" YouTube prophet, who also pitches investment advice (buy gold), predicts market direction (usually wrong), and will sell you Covid "cures".

And what does this have to do with "Bad Science", other than the usual conspiracy-theory cook book pitch of "don't listen to anyone other than us, especially the pesky scientists who might put our BS claims to a test" ?

He has a PhD in pathology from Duke University and what he covers about COVID-19
Alas, that doesn't make him an expert in PCR testing, investment advice, Covid-19, or anything else he is selling on YouTube.

if you actually watch the full video, the logic of what he is saying is obvious. The corrected graphs he presents are damning. That's why he feels that the ignorance must be intentional.
Obvious how?
To an uneducated 5-year old?

The dumb-ass is claiming cov2 test results are *somehow* impacted by the infection spread in the population (5:39 time stamp), which is an absolute nonsense.
The dumb-ass is also pretending like all cov2 tests are the same, and that they have no way of distinguishing between past and present active cov2 infection (stupid, and false).
Here are the actual stats from the cov2 test I took earlier this year:
CV test stats - Copy.jpg

You win a whole brownie point if you can figure out the "false positive" rate from this data sheet.
If need be, PM me, or search in other threads where I explained the results in detail.

The entire premise of everything this guy is selling is the typical Conspiracy Theory 101 premise - listen to me, and only me. Ignore all other "mainstream" sources or "scientists" - they are all bad. I am all good. If anyone disagrees with our propaganda, they are either "ignorant", or "corrupt".

<Winston>
You keep posting this conspiracy BS over, and over, and over again.
Are you really that "ignorant", or just "corrupt"?
 

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
25,706
Reaction score
3,467
Location
Glennville, GA
You really need to watch his video if you haven't. The "Beware of False-Positive Results with SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Tests" link above touches on the basis for the statistical issue. The effect of low prevalence combined with tremendously increased testing numbers and false positives causes deceptive data which should be crossed against hospitalizations to see the real data/curves. He does that in the video. No one is saying that false positives are the SOLE factor in that. Also, the second link above points out that the actual false positive rates aren't even known and along with inherent contamination issues, when the percent of tests coming back as positive are, for example, in the low single digit percentages (low prevalence), false positives can be a very large component of that.

Is that obvious enough for everyone to understand now?
I have. Trust me. I know more about the data than you can dream of. I do not think you know why a false negative is far worse than a false positive.
 

WoShuGui

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
428
Reaction score
18
A 1% false positive rate (99% specificity) with a 5% prevalence means 16% of all positive tests are driving unnecessary quarantines. That assumes 100% sensitivity when the real world sensitivity might be closer to 80 percent. So now, 19% of the quarantines are unnecessary AND for every unnecessary quarantine there is approximately one false negative that is undetected and not driving quarantines when it should be.
It does not seem reasonable that the real world false positive rate would be higher than in the laboratory, but it does seem reasonable that the real world false negative rate could be much higher because collection methods would tend to generate samples that lack the signal needed to detect the virus. FWIW, both the PM and the interviewer seem to be distorting the facts to fit their point of view and encouraging the viewer to draw an uninformed conclusion. Is testing and quarantine a good idea if roughly 20% of the quarantines are unnecessary and roughly 20% of cases in the tested population still go undetected? That seems to be where the conversation should start, so why not just ask it that way in the first place? To put my own opinion out there I would take those odds in a heartbeat to reduce the spread.
 
Last edited:

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
25,706
Reaction score
3,467
Location
Glennville, GA
A 1% false positive rate (99% specificity) with a 5% prevalence means 16% of all positive tests are driving unnecessary quarantines. That assumes 100% sensitivity when the real world sensitivity might be closer to 80 percent. So now, 19% of the quarantines are unnecessary AND for every unnecessary quarantine there is approximately one false negative that is undetected and not driving quarantines when it should be.
It does not seem reasonable that the real world false positive rate would be higher than in the laboratory, but it does seem reasonable that the real world false negative rate could be much higher because collection methods would tend to generate samples that lack the signal needed to detect the virus. FWIW, both the PM and the interviewer seem to be distorting the facts to fit their point of view and encouraging the viewer to draw an uninformed conclusion. Is testing and quarantine a good idea if roughly 20% of the quarantines are unnecessary and roughly 20% of cases in the tested population still go undetected? That seems to be where the conversation should start, so why not just ask it that way in the first place? To put my own opinion out there I would take those odds in a heartbeat to reduce the spread.
The problem is we have a 98-99% specificity and 70% sensitivity. The false negatives are forcing the quarantines.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
Consider the DOCUMENTED cases of intentional manipulation of "studies" by big pharma to produce sales-beneficial results. If not by cheating, think of the carefully controlled ideal environments perhaps not representative of real world ones present when pre-approval testing is being done by the manufacturer. Think of this when you hear "authorities" like the UK health minister so very definitively state that false positives are "much less than 1%."

No one actually knows the real world false positive rate because that would require a HUGE study involving every testing facility and lab in the US due to the very likely wide variation in care taken during the testing process along with follow-ups of every individual tested positive to make certain with additional tests including an antibody test that they actually had COVID-19. NEVER gonna' happen...

FDA warns of false positives with BD coronavirus diagnostic (a PCR test, not antibody)
July 7, 2020


In a letter to healthcare professionals, the agency said 3% of results in one study run by the company were false positives. BD received emergency use authorization from FDA in April following a study that found the test concurred with expected results 100% of the time.

Another example and I'm sure there are many more because I've read of many of them over time, but I'm not going to go looking:


State officials: Private lab reported more than 100 false positive COVID-19 tests
Aug 14, 2020


So far, more than 460 tests of the some 700 identified to date by the lab during that time have been rerun by the independent lab.

Of those 460 tests, the DPH has determined that 130 have been reported as false positives and were reported as part of this week’s weekly public health report.

The lab immediately ceased testing and an investigation is underway.


And then there's this which is what triggered my search for the above. A huge financial problem for many families is that schools acts as daycare:

NYC Sees Highest Daily COVID-19 Positive Rate In Months, Mayor Warns
Sep 29, 2020


If the 7-day rolling average hits 3%, schools will shut down again, Mayor de Blasio warned.

The following is just for antibody tests, but PCR tests can have inherent inaccuracies along with potential contamination issues which can become important in low prevalence areas:


Say the same test was used on two towns of equal size, the only difference being that one had a worse outbreak than the other. As a calculator created by NPR shows, in the town where 20% of people had recovered from COVID-19, each person who got the test would only have a 4% chance of being told they had antibodies against the virus, when in fact they didn’t. In the town where only 1% had recovered from COVID-19, the chance of false positives would rise to 52%.

Calculator:

 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
The problem is we have a 98-99% specificity and 70% sensitivity. The false negatives are forcing the quarantines.
So, if positive rates are at levels near real-world false positive rates we shut down areas not only based upon that but because we ASSUME we missed people even though in a population with ZERO actual cases you'd get the same number of positives due to the false positive rate? How does that make any sense at all? OR is it SOP everywhere to test people who are shown to be positive twice before assuming that they in fact are? That would fix any potential problem with false positives. From what I've found, it appears that PCR tests are trusted enough to only be done once.

Back to what I said, lacking those TWO positive tests to confirm each actual positive in low prevalence areas, for an overview of the general population prevalence you look at hospitalization rates. That's a lagging indicator, but it can be used to partially validate the laading data - test results. In localized cases like colleges where there's a majority population of people in age groups almost certainly not going to be hospitalized it's a different story and the prevalence is probably going to be way above the false positive rate anyway. In the college pandemic figures I've found so far I've yet to find any follow-up data about whether those who tested positive ever experienced any kind of symptoms which angers me not because I doubt they are positive, but because that would be very useful data.
 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
I guess one of the ways false positive clusters can be monitored is to compare results from different labs which may be the way they caught this. If one lab has a significantly higher positive test percentage, then check them out.:

Boston coronavirus testing lab suspended after nearly 400 false positives
September 8, 2020

 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
Another possible contribution to false positives. Combined with a percentage of false positives due to various test procedural and handling issues along with any inherent false positive rate for a given test brand, when you have very low overall positive test percentages, the majority or even the vast majority of the positives could be false.

Coronavirus: Tests 'could be picking up dead virus'
5 September 2020


The main test used to diagnose coronavirus is so sensitive it could be picking up fragments of dead virus from old infections, scientists say.

This is a problem we have known about since the start - and once again illustrates why data on Covid is far from perfect. But what difference does it make? When the virus first emerged probably very little, but the longer the pandemic goes on the bigger the effect.
 
Last edited:

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
25,706
Reaction score
3,467
Location
Glennville, GA
So, if positive rates are at levels near real-world false positive rates we shut down areas not only based upon that but because we ASSUME we missed people even though in a population with ZERO actual cases you'd get the same number of positives due to the false positive rate? How does that make any sense at all? OR is it SOP everywhere to test people who are shown to be positive twice before assuming that they in fact are? That would fix any potential problem with false positives. From what I've found, it appears that PCR tests are trusted enough to only be done once.

Back to what I said, lacking those TWO positive tests to confirm each actual positive in low prevalence areas, for an overview of the general population prevalence you look at hospitalization rates. That's a lagging indicator, but it can be used to partially validate the laading data - test results. In localized cases like colleges where there's a majority population of people in age groups almost certainly not going to be hospitalized it's a different story and the prevalence is probably going to be way above the false positive rate anyway. In the college pandemic figures I've found so far I've yet to find any follow-up data about whether those who tested positive ever experienced any kind of symptoms which angers me not because I doubt they are positive, but because that would be very useful data.
I never said or recommended shutting anything down, but if you are positive, stay home. False positives are rare and it is worth inconveniencing 1-2% of the population to save lives.

We quarantine to prevent spread. Remember, each positive that is missed infects 2-6 other people. It is for the good of society - stay home if you are ill or exposed.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
I never said or recommended shutting anything down, but if you are positive, stay home. False positives are rare and it is worth inconveniencing 1-2% of the population to save lives.
Oh, sorry, I'm 100% in agreement with that.

My entire beef about possible misinterpretations of data is about the effect that has on destroying our economy without valid justification. That's exactly where the video author Chris Martinson is coming from, too.

Technically, according to the definition, we are in an economic depression right now. Only the DEBT-BASED "safety nets" not present during the Great Depression are preventing a major catastrophe right now.

What Is an Economic Depression?


A depression is a severe and prolonged downturn in economic activity. In economics, a depression is commonly defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or which leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10% in a given year.

Gross Domestic Product, 2nd Quarter 2020 (Second Estimate); Corporate Profits, 2nd Quarter 2020 (Preliminary Estimate)



Just one sector, airlines, in the graph below. Consider the effects on aircraft manufacturers (there are drone images of massive clusters of parked airline aircraft), and all things tourism related. Even major hotel chains say they will be broke if this keeps up for just six more months.:



Many of these are restaurants, but they provide a large percentage of local jobs for job market entry and unskilled labor:

Yelp data shows 60% of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanent
SEP 16, 2020


Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Impact Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus.

As of Aug, 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed, a 23% increase since mid-July.

According to Yelp data, permanent closures have reached 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.


Flurry Of Corporate Layoffs Continue As Disney, Shell, & Continental Announce Mass Firings
30 Sep 2020


Already this week, Royal Dutch Shell, Continental Airlines, Dow Chemicals, and Marathon Petroleum have announced restructuring plans that involve laying off tens of thousands of workers. Yesterday, Disney announced plans to eliminate 28,000 jobs as most of its theme parks remain closed, and the movie business remains effectively shuttered.

This and trillions in debt-based handouts are the only things for now holding us afloat:





"Free money" via artificially low (i.e., not market determined) interest rates cause huge malinvestment bubbles and massively inflated equity (stock market) levels. It also destroys "price discovery," the ability to determine the TRUE VALUE, not price, of some asset, so that should actually be called "value discovery."

Instead, we have "what the greater fool will pay 'value'" which continues until the music (artificially low rates - "free money") stops, the same "music" that caused the problem (asset inflation bubble) in the first place. Another major factor is the lack of consequences for firms due the provision of bailouts causing "moral hazard," the rewarding of bad behavior which doesn't deter and can even encourage future bad behavior.

So, The Fed and ALL central banks are TRAPPED in a problem their artificial manipulation of interest rates created. Let rates rise to where MARKET FORCES would naturally set them and the "music" stops, the economic bubble pops, and the interest on the vast national debt that will never be paid back and which has accumulated at a tremendous clip over just the last decade will be ruinous.

So, that's why rates are and have been held artificially low ever since they were lowered in the "temporary emergency measure" just after the start of the Global Financial Crisis (sub-prime mortgage crash), that policy continuing ever since and now at an ever increasing clip, the very policy that has caused two bubbles/crashes (dot com, GFC) since 1990.

They were in the process of trying to normalize rates (once again, artificially) to give them more rate-dropping "headroom" for the next crash and then this pandemic hit:

 

cerving

Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Sponsor
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
3,887
Reaction score
1,085
So, if we open up the economy how many people will die as a result? What is the resultant cost of each lost life? There are moral and ethical questions that neither science nor politicans can answer... thus quarantines and lockdowns, since it's generally accepted that lives have priority over dollars.
 

WoShuGui

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
428
Reaction score
18
A difficult if not terrible trade-off for sure, but that is what a thoughtful society does. We enjoy the freedoms provided by motor vehicles and despite decades of safety improvements the cost is still around 100 human lives per million per year. Not a happy reality, but a calibration point for what we accept to have an overall higher quality of life. What makes opening up with COVID so much harder, in addition to the fact that it is particularly devastating to vulnerable populations, is the exponential nature of its spread. It can saturate heath care systems within days and amplify the death rates to 10-20 times that of MV fatalities before the drastic measures needed to keep it from going even higher can take effect. Keeping the economy as open as possible at an acceptable death rate is an inherently unstable proposition. Like balancing a pencil by its tip on your finger. We might get back a portion of the economy with MV like fatality rates, but that death burden is carried disproportionately by the essential workers. People who have to do the work to survive, but not likely the ones who benefit the most economically. Even if we get past the ethics and push for more opening, at some point the nonlinear dynamics become such that we are just doing the hokey-pokey with our economy and killing a lot of people in the process. My hat is off to the epidemiologists who have to figure this all out. It must be incredibly difficult to provide guidance even without the politicians projecting their narrow interests onto this catastrophe.
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,882
Reaction score
856
Location
TX
My wife was in medical research for over 40 years, 100's of published papers, a Researchgate impact score in the high 90% range. She still has access to all of her research paper databases and has kept well informed on the pandemic by reading the papers and not relying on how they are reported in the press, or certainly in a Youtube video.

All I can tell you is it's hysterical to think that someone can watch a few Youtube videos and is suddenly an expert on public health policy, medical research, testing results, etc., especially when nearly every video is made with an agenda of some kind. While I agree that you can watch a few Youtube videos and know how to clean out the trap under your kitchen sink, it's a bit different when it comes to something as incredibly complicated as a Pandemic caused by a novel virus.

And in medicine, nothing is 'incredibly obvious'. All you have to do is look at the history of hormone replacement therapy to figure that out.


Tony
 
Last edited:

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
25,706
Reaction score
3,467
Location
Glennville, GA
My wife was in medical research for over 40 years, 100's of published papers, a Researchgate impact score in the high 90% range. She still has access to all of her research paper databases and has kept well informed on the pandemic by reading the papers and not relying on how they are reported in the press, or certainly in a Youtube video.

All I can tell you is its hysterical to think that someone can watch a few Youtube videos and is suddenly an expert on public health policy, medical research, testing results, etc., especially when nearly every video is made with an agenda of some kind. While I agree that you can watch a few Youtube videos and know how to clean out the trap under your kitchen sink, it's a bit different when it comes to something as incredibly complicated as a Pandemic caused by a novel virus.

And in medicine, nothing is 'incredibly obvious'. All you have to do is look at the history of hormone replacement therapy to figure that out.


Tony
BINGO. A lot of youtube experts out there.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
All I can tell you is it's hysterical to think that someone can watch a few Youtube videos and is suddenly an expert on public health policy, medical research, testing results, etc., especially when nearly every video is made with an agenda of some kind.
I watch for agendas and Chris Martinson does too. Also, most of the studies he covers are the same ones covered in great detail by the emergency care physician making the Medcram videos. PLUS, I read the studies and then do additional searching for any possible confirming or refuting data like, for instance, the vitamin D deficiencies on nursing homes. Correlation doesn't prove causation, but sometimes it makes you go, "Hmmm."

And in medicine, nothing is 'incredibly obvious'.
The specific, limited, statistics-based conclusions on the topic I called incredibly obvious should be obvious to you, too, if you actually went to the trouble of analyzing what I said and read the materials I linked to instead of implying in a blanket claim that I say other parts of the COVID-19 topic are obvious.

I'm retired and have loads of time to research and read. If you don't, please don't make disparaging comments if you won't take the time to do the same and actually analyze what I claim at the depth I have analyzed it before coming to the conclusions I have and without specifically refuting it point by point. At that point, I will gladly admit I am wrong. That's how science is supposed to work.
 

modeltrains

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
1,162
Reaction score
116
Ahh yes, Covid testing ...

... my 80 year old diabetic Mom who lives about 100 miles away from me tested positive for Covid in late August, yet had no symptoms, zero symptoms. Was tested again 7 to 10 days later, test showed no sign of ever having had Covid.

Umm, okay, but which test was the legit one and which test was the erroneous one?
🤔
Mom & Dad were getting tested periodically because they were going to move in to assisted living last month. They have now cancelled that move till next year.

Testing isn't even available within 25 miles of our little farm burg & thanks to CFS/ME I can't drive that far any more.

Thanks to having a couple neurological, endocrine, and maybe mitochondrial and the new neurologists suspects autoimmune disease, and high blood pressure, and being on the edge of diabetes, I certainly fit the high risk category.
But What Is Reality with Covid?
I dunno any more.
I just don't know.
Too many contradictory reports and guideline changes.

A few weeks ago I saw a CDC updated list of 15 or so Covid symptoms - 3 were not part of things already wrong with my health, so with that list you could prove I've had covid 19 since before Y2K.

I dunno. Just don't know any more.

I quit watching and listening to the news a couple weeks ago.
That made a huge stress reduction.

I wear masks at the places which ask that we wear masks and I usually don't at places which don't.

But then I and 2 cats are the only ones who live here and thanks to the CFS/ME I barely go anywhere anyway.

Haven't "sanitized" anything brought home since the beginning, because thanks to that CFS/ME, by the time I get home I usually no longer have the physical energy to do the extra work.

So, at this point, I'm within sight of having a, "Yeah, yeah, whatever." attitude about Covid 19.

Actually, I may already be there.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
What makes opening up with COVID so much harder, in addition to the fact that it is particularly devastating to vulnerable populations, is the exponential nature of its spread.
Which is why we should do what many are saying we should do and which may already be behind the incongruity between case, hospitalization, and fatality numbers: take measures to protect the most vulnerable and educate them on how to protect themselves. For everyone else, it should be life as usual with protective measures to protect the vulnerable and NOT blanket shutdowns based upon case numbers instead of hospitalization trends which is what I have been saying in this thread.

Keeping the economy as open as possible at an acceptable death rate is an inherently unstable proposition.
Right, but unnecessarily closing it down and DESTROYING IT due to bad interpretations of data, which is what I cover in this this thread is, I think, a huge problem. I could post all kinds of really bad data showing that we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the longer term negative effects that just the closures thus far have already placed in the queue. How many people die as a direct result of a really bad economy. How many people don't get proper preventative care because of unjustified levels of fear and will die of medical problems that could have been caught? Isolation, depression, suicide?
 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
Umm, okay, but which test was the legit one and which test was the erroneous one?
As I have provided large amounts of data about in this thread, I think the claim that PCR tests have a "much less than 1% false positive rate" is CRAP in the real world. I went through the CDC guidance for mass testing centers and found a large number of potential contamination paths for the incredibly sensitive PCR test.

Also, how can that <<1% claim be made when some are claiming that false positives can increase with that test due to inactive virus in recovered, perhaps asymptomatic patents and from viral fragments, all of which increase as the actual prevalence increases and are then found as people who have never before been tested are tested?

The statistical odds for HUGE percentages of false positives for the anti-body test in low prevalence areas I've already discussed above and provided a link to a calculator. Here's one result from it: in an area with 1% actual COVID prevalence, the odds are that 85% of positives are false.

So, we have a test where false positives will go up as the cases, past and present, become more prevalent and one where the false positives are very high where the prevalence is low.

So, when some politician is talking about shutting down a city when positive tests rise above only 3% (low prevalence) instead of looking at hospitalization data, you should question him.
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,882
Reaction score
856
Location
TX
I watch for agendas and Chris Martinson does too. Also, most of the studies he covers are the same ones covered in great detail by the emergency care physician making the Medcram videos. PLUS, I read the studies and then do additional searching for any possible confirming or refuting data like, for instance, the vitamin D deficiencies on nursing homes. Correlation doesn't prove causation, but sometimes it makes you go, "Hmmm."

The specific, limited, statistics-based conclusions on the topic I called incredibly obvious should be obvious to you, too, if you actually went to the trouble of analyzing what I said and read the materials I linked to instead of implying in a blanket claim that I say other parts of the COVID-19 topic are obvious.

I'm retired and have loads of time to research and read. If you don't, please don't make disparaging comments if you won't take the time to do the same and actually analyze what I claim at the depth I have analyzed it before coming to the conclusions I have and without specifically refuting it point by point. At that point, I will gladly admit I am wrong. That's how science is supposed to work.
You have made your political views well known through many of your previous posts. So, fair or not, I look at all your posts through that lens of past bias.

And maybe you missed the part about my wife with over 40 years of medical research, who is also retired, and has been reading the original studies since the whole mess started. She is an actual biostatistician and I trust her analysis far more than someone with a political bias on an Internet forum. You've made it clear that you go looking for information that matches your viewpoint, which is referred to as 'confirmation bias'. It's not worth my time to try and change your opinion, as it appears to be politically biased and not science based.

I asked my wife about the points raised in your post and she just laughed. That was all the confirmation I needed to make my decision. With that, I'll bow out of this discussion.


Tony
 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
You have made your political views well known through many of your previous posts. So, fair or not, I look at all your posts throughout that lens of past bias.
I do not EVER let those leak into my analysis of science and have stated elsewhere that I hate it when others do.

I asked my wife about the points raised in your post and she just laughed. That was all the confirmation I needed to make my decision.
Well, that certainly proves it! And it certainly tells me off. :cool:

"Appeal to authority is a common type of fallacy, or an argument based on unsound logic. When writers or speakers use appeal to authority, they are claiming that something must be true [or false - W] because it is believed by someone who said to be an "authority" on the subject."

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
- Richard Feynman
 

FMarvinS

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
428
Reaction score
69
In agreement with Tony ( and his significant other), Some of the problems arises from the ignorance of the news media who are very unaware of the intricacies of SARS-CoV-2 virus testing. For example, there are 3 common testing protocols:
1. serology-determining the presence of IgM and IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 targeted antibodies (e.g. targeting the N, S, and or RBD antigens). If one is infected, IgM is detectable approximately 8 or more days after disease symptom onset; whereas, IgG is detectable 10 to 14 days post symptom onset and is detectable for several further months.
2. Both SARS-CoV-2 antigen and viral RNA detection by RT-PCR are best detected from 3 to 8 days after symptom onset.
As a matter of fact, the CDC recommends testing by both antibody and RT-PCR procedures for patients presenting more than 8 days after symptom onset due to diminishing RT-PCR sensitivity and increasing antibody sensitivity during this later period.
I have minimally reviewed some aspects of viral testing here, but no news reports that I've seen since January portrays an understanding of these time frames. So I suspect the grandmother with the initial (false) positive result was retested 1 week later by an antibody assay which was negative. Also, if RT-PCR and Antigen studies are done too soon (within 3 days of symptom onset) or later, after 8 days of symptom onset, a false negative result may occur.
These ( and more factors) are usually discussed between the physician and patient. Unfortunately, the news industry persist in their ignorance and need for answers that are quotable and take less than 30 seconds. Given the current lack of luster in the news business, consumers (patients) need to do a lot of homework.

Fred
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
8,711
Reaction score
931
I can find a number of potential cross-contamination problems for the insanely sensitive PCR test in this CDC instruction within a few minutes of looking at it:

1. No instruction on specific test shelter design
2. No mention of wind direction issues
3. No mention of vehicle line orientations (how massively concentrated are aerosolized viruses in the vehicle of an infected individual, even one wearing a mask, which are spread to the breeze when they open their window to be tested?)
4. Continued use of the inadequate 6 foot rule
5. Less than ideal glove change requirements probably due to limited PPE... which brings up the heads-should-roll agencies which were supposed to accumulate a national emergency pandemic stockpile as well as the politicians of both political parties who allowed 95% of our PPE and antibiotic production to move to China.

And this assumes everyone is 100% compliant with the CDC direction. Add the fact of around 800,000 tests are being done every day on the US and what can then happen in the processing labs.

Performing Broad-Based Testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Congregate Settings
Considerations for Health Departments and Healthcare Providers



China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America's Dependence on China for Medicine Hardcover – April 17, 2018

 

Latest posts

Top