PCR testing gives an “inaccurate image” of COVID-19 risk, expert witnesses say in Manitoba’s proceedings against lockdown

Medical professionals who testified in a Manitoba court in opposition to pandemic restrictions spotlighted the restrictions on the PCR test used to diagnose COVID-19 and justified its use to justify the blockade. I asked a question.

Both Stanford University professor and epidemiologist Dr. Jay Battacharia and infectious disease expert Dr. Thomas Warren have a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to determine if anyone is infected with a COVID-19 infection. He said he was unreliable to judge.

“The problem with the PCR test is that it can detect the virus even if it wasn’t really infectious,” Batachariya said in an interview. “Even if a virus is present, it can be a fragment of the virus and there may be many reasons, but there are too few viruses to pose a risk to anyone.”

Doctors are professional medical witnesses Judiciary Center for Constitutional Freedom (JCCF) Charter challenge to Manitoba blockade. The hearing at Winnipeg’s Queen’s Bench Court will begin on May 3 and will last for two weeks.

The PCR test is considered the gold standard for detecting whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is present in samples such as mucus taken from a person’s nose or throat using a cotton swab. I am.

Dr. Jared Bullard, who heads the Kadam State Institute in Winnipeg, testified on behalf of the Manitoba State Government. According to the JCCF news release on May 11, under questioning by a JCCF lawyer, Mr. Bullard intended that the PCR test results would not confirm infectivity but would be used to diagnose respiratory illness. Said not.

He added that PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus can be registered as positive up to 100 days after exposure, long after a period of 1-2 weeks of human transmission.

Positive does not necessarily mean infectious

The PCR test works by amplifying or doubling the genetic material of the virus in the sample until the virus is detected or the cutoff point of the test is reached, Bhattacharya explained. Different PCR tests may have different cutoff points due to various factors such as how the test was designed.

The number of cycles it takes to detect a virus in a PCR test is called the cycle threshold (Ct) value. Based on his study of problems since last spring, Mr. Bullard said he found that positive cases detected with higher Ct values ​​showed weaker positive results. “For example, a person who tests positive for a PCR test that runs in 18 cycles is more likely to get infected with the disease than a person who runs the test with a Ct value of 40,” said the JCCF news release. COVID at higher threshold levels can cause false positives. “

Bullard testified that the most accurate way to determine infectivity is to grow cell cultures from patient samples. He found that for samples tested positive at 18 Ct, only 44% grew in the lab, suggesting that 56% were non-infectious. He was unable to develop viable laboratory cultures for samples that tested positive for Ct values ​​above 25.

Manitoba recognizes this inverse correlation between Ct and infectivity, but “does not consider Ct as a substitute for infectivity in the public health response to COVID-19,” JCCF said. News release states.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Virology last July, Bullard’s Cadham lab uses a positive cutoff of 36.5 Ct in the COVID-19 PCR test, and Canadian labs use it to determine positive test results. I was using a Ct value between 30 and 45. ..

In addition, Dr. Brent Russan, Chief Public Health Officer in Bullard and Manitoba, confirmed under cross-examination that the institute did not provide Ct values ​​to public health authorities. Roussin acknowledged that it could be required to provide a Ct value, but it does not.

Both doctors refused to comment on the story, as the issue is still in court.

In January World Health Organization Notice Attention was drawn to the use of the test. “Most PCR assays are shown as diagnostic aids, so healthcare providers are asked to sample timing, sample type, assay details, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed contact status, and The results must be considered in combination with epidemiological information, “reads the notice.

“Blockade is bad for people’s health”

Dr. Batacharya told The Epoch Times that misunderstandings of data could lead to bad public policy.

“If you don’t consider the number of doublings in your PCR test, you’ll find inaccurate situations about whether the disease is actually dangerous in your community. Very often, dangerous photos are curfew or other. It will lead to other actions, such as blockade actions, “he said.

“The blockade is in many ways bad for people’s health. Most vulnerable people are vaccinated in Canada, so there is no need to continue these blockades.”

Florida is an example of a jurisdiction that considers Ct values ​​in its public response to COVID, and Bhattacharya wonders why so many jurisdictions don’t do the same.

“Monitoring who is symptomatic and takes into account viral load and infectivity can make more subtle and effective public health decisions. It won’t cost much to do.” He said.

Bhattacharya, one of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, uses herd immunity, vaccines, and protection of the vulnerable in response to pandemics rather than relying on blockades with devastating public health consequences. I’m looking for it. Tenure professor Batacharya said many doctors personally confirmed his recommendations but were reluctant to do so publicly “for fear of losing their jobs.”

“It’s a concern, unlike what I’ve seen in my professional career,” he said.

JCCF client In the case of Manitoba, it includes 7 churches and 3 individuals.

Allison Pejobic, JCCF’s chief lawyer for the Manitoba proceedings, said the state’s “non-pharmaceutical intervention” since November is an unjustified infringement of the rights to the Charter of Freedom of Assembly, Worship and Freedom of Expression. I told the Epoch Times. The JCCF also claims discrimination because people are prohibited from worshiping in church but are allowed to go to liquor stores and stuff them in buses. ..

“The majority of people have a 99.77 percent chance of recovering from COVID-19,” Pejovic said. “We have provided science to court. Our applicants are definitely not antiscience. They are professional science and want to regain their freedom.”