Huge COVID case-counting deception at the CDC
For this piece, we have to enter the official world (of the insane)--where everyone is quite sure a new coronavirus was discovered in China and the worthless diagnostic tests mean something and the case numbers are real and meaningful. Once we execute all those absurd maneuvers, we land square in the middle of yet another scandal-this time at our favorite US agency for scandals, the CDC.
The Atlantic, May 21, has the story, headlined, "How could the CDC make that mistake?"
I'll give you the key quotes, and then comment on the stark inference The Atlantic somehow failed to grasp.
"We've learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus. The agency confirmed to The Atlantic on Wednesday that it is mixing the results of viral [PCR] and antibody tests, even though the two tests reveal different information and are used for different reasons.
"Several states--including Pennsylvania, the site of one of the country's largest outbreaks, as well as Texas, Georgia, and Vermont--are blending the data in the same way. Virginia likewise mixed viral and antibody test results until last week, but it reversed course and the governor apologized for the practice after it was covered by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Atlantic. Maine similarly separated its data on Wednesday; Vermont authorities claimed they didn't even know they were doing this.
"'You've got to be kidding me,' Ashish Jha, the K. T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard and the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told us when we described what the CDC was doing. 'How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess'.
"The CDC stopped publishing anything resembling a complete database of daily [COVID] test results on February 29. When it resumed publishing test data last week [the middle of May]..."
First of all, the CDC's basic mission is publishing disease statistics on an ongoing basis. Reporting partial data flies in the face of what they're supposed to be all about.
But the big deal, of course, is combining results from two different tests--the PCR and the antibody--and placing them in one lump.
I've read the Atlantic article forwards, backwards, and sideways, and it appears the experts believe only PCR viral tests should be used to count the number of COVID cases.
So here is a takeaway I find nowhere in the Atlantic article: COMBINING THE TWO TESTS WILL VASTLY INFLATE THE NUMBER OF CASES.
I'm not talking about categories like "rate of infection" or "percentage". I'm talking about plain numbers of cases.
Some PCR tests will indicate COVID and some antibody tests will indicate COVID, and adding them together will pump up the number of cases. You know, that big number they flash on TV screens a hundred times a day.
"Coronavirus cases jumped up again yesterday, and the grand total in the US is now..."
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