1. PCR (Nasal Swab) Testing

It may surprise you to learn that the procedure known as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR (the nasal swab “test”), was never intended to be a positive/negative diagnostic test at all. (See “Extras” below.)

Then what is it for? Viruses are so incredibly tiny that looking for viral particles in a sample is like looking for the proverbial needle in a gigantic haystack. So the purpose of PCR is to replicate the viral material contained in a mucus sample, duplicating it over and over until there is enough virus to detect. Each duplication phase is called a cycle. The smaller the original amount of virus in a sample, the more duplication cycles will be needed in order for the virus to be detectable.

So the important information that PCR provides is the number of cycles that it took to make the virus in the original sample detectable. The higher the number of cycles, the less viral material in the sample, and the less likely a person is to be ill or contagious. The lower the number, the heavier the “viral load,” and the more likely a person is to be sick and able to spread illness to others.

Unfortunately, when used as a test for Covid-19, this number is almost never provided to the patient or even to the doctor. According to an August 2020 article in the New York Times:

“This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are. But it’s crucial information in a PCR test.”

For instance, even Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that, in his opinion, if more than 34 duplications are required, it means that there was an insignificant amount of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) in the sample and that the person was not carrying enough virus to be sick or contagious:

From Dr. Fauci:

“[I]f you get a cycle threshold of 35 or more…the chances of it being replication-competent are miniscule… Somebody comes in, and they repeat their PCR, and it’s like 37 cycle threshold, but you almost never can culture virus from a 37-threshold cycle. So I think if somebody does come in with 37, 38, even 36, you gotta say, you know, it’s just dead nucleotides, period.”

Shockingly, the CDC recommends a cycle threshold of 40 (see pages 36-37 or thereabouts, as page numbers can change if the site is updated by the FDA). A threshold of 40 is far above even Dr. Fauci’s limit of 34 cycles – which many doctors believe is already much too high.

What does this mean? Using a threshold of 40 cycles means that many, many people have been deemed “positive” and potentially contagious who never had enough virus to be ill or to spread it to anyone else.

Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, believes 30 is the maximum number of cycles to run, and that if the virus isn’t detectable at that point, the person should be considered negative for Covid-19. According to a New York Times article, the New York state lab analyzed numbers from July of 2020 and found that only 37% of tests would have been considered positive if the cycle threshold had been set at 30. In Massachusetts during the same time, only 10-15% of people tested would have been deemed positive at 30 cycles.

The bottom line: EVERYTHING that’s happened – the lockdowns, the mask mandates, the depressive isolation, the destruction of businesses and livelihoods, the restrictions on funeral attendance and on visits to the sick, lonely, and elderly, ALL of it – has been based almost entirely on completely meaningless “positive” PCR tests, from the very beginning.



Was the COVID-19 Test Meant to Detect a Virus? Extremely informative (and overtly opinionated) article by Celia Farber about PCR, including video of Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the PCR procedure himself, biochemist Kary Mullis, speaking about it in his own (sometimes PG-13 caliber) words.

Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic that Wasn’t” – New York Times article on PCR, January 22, 2007.

More PCR info:

PCR doesn’t search for an entire virus. It searches for a particular segment of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA strand, and that segment is defined by beginning and end points called primers. When PCR finds the prescribed strand segment, it cannot distinguish between a dead virus fragment and a live virus. The more cycles required, the less likely that whole, active virus is present in any significant degree, and the more likely that harmless fragments have been dredged up by the PCR process.

If you want to learn more about the replication process, here is a short video explaining how PCR works:

While this is a helpful explanation, please notice a little after the 3:00 mark, the narrator mentions that PCR is “typically” run at 30-45 cycles. That’s an extraordinary range, given that a virus sample run through 30 cycles of PCR would be amplified by about a billion times, while the same sample run at 45 cycles would yield over 35 trillion times the original amount. Obviously, this is an astronomical difference, so inconsistencies in PCR cycle thresholds are not only unhelpful for determining rates of infection but irresponsible, since government policy is created on the basis of these tests.