@elonmusk Elon, there isn’t one answer to this. It depends among other things on the number of tests run per day as a measure of stress on the testing system. Most false positives arise from handling errors in the sample processing stages. In U.K. I’ve seen test runs yield >10% positives.
@elonmusk This is on people who weren’t symptomatic. I’m happy to be corrected, but I don’t think we ever got to 10% positivity in the population at the height of the spring pandemic.
If correct, it’s then certain that such PCR runs are completely unreliable.
@elonmusk I’m a scientist & love cool techniques like PCR which can do things that are almost impossible in other ways. But features giving PCR awesome powers also make is non-robust in a production context. For some reason, too few are aware it’s possible to have all positives be false.
@elonmusk The classic one is a “PCR false positive pseudo-epidemic”. There was an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis infection) in New Hampshire & doctors, parents & patients were very worried. One doctor was sceptical & called for culture testing, looking for the bug. The shocking...
@elonmusk ...result was not a single patient had the infection. They’d trusted that PCR was reliable. So they tried to fit the symptoms to the diagnosis. It was apparently a huge wrench for everyone to accept they were wrong. No one involved was doing other than their best. It turned out..
@elonmusk ...that a positive control was contaminating the bench at invisible levels. This must have happened repeatedly because this wasn’t a single outbreak. Here’s the newspaper report. There are science papers too.
@elonmusk I believe we in U.K. are now (not earlier) in such a PCR false positive pseudo-epidemic.
Viruses don’t do waves is the strongest clue. So what we’re told is happening is immunologically impossible.
As the “cases” started mounting I went looking for the rat I can smell. There’s...
@elonmusk ...now such a stink around UK’s PCR mass testing. Positivity is often unfeasibly high. The labs are now all centralised which could be good but also exposes the system to risks to not spotting errors, sample processing being done by inexperienced outside staff that the central...
@elonmusk ...PCR testers never meet (so if there are possible issues there, you never chat to them & uncover weaknesses); you’re always under immense pressure (so you don’t have time to think about how you’d spot errors if they occurred) and they’ve got no ‘old school wet biologists’...
@elonmusk ...like me around (I spent my late career one the one hand pitching to management or financiers & on the other wracked with doubt about what was about to go wrong & destroy what I’d taken years building, a department or a biotech) so lack old fashioned suspicion. Biologists...
@elonmusk ...**** up all the time. Things do different things than you’d expected. Modern tech staff I think haven’t experienced this degree of failure as a normal part of learning. The load a machine, the protocol runs, it goes beep & your results are pristine. I’ve got ideas about...
@elonmusk ...how they could possibly have gone so wrong with mass PCR testing (which I don’t think has even been run on this scale before) but I want to try suggesting it to the testers first as if I’m right it’s pretty embarrassing.
But here’s the killer fact: I asked U.K. government...
@elonmusk ...what was the operational false positive rate of the PCR mass testing system for each week in October. Crickets.
You cannot use a mass testing system (all of which produce some false positives & negatives) without knowing how to interpret the results.
But this is exactly...
@elonmusk ...what they’re doing. In a written answer lodged in the parliamentary records the reply said “We’ve made efforts to determine the OFPR but have been unsuccessful. At present we do not know the OFPR”.
I nearly fell off my chair. So if they had 100 positive results, they...
@elonmusk ...couldn’t tell me whether, 100, 10, 1 or none of them were genuine.
This was the point I started calling for the U.K. PCR mass testing effort to stop until this is sorted out.
They’ve continued to ignore me & anyone and are still testing 300,000 samples per day.

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More from @MichaelYeadon3

14 Nov
I demand we halt mass PCR testing. Everyone should campaign for this. It’s the single action needed to save our society.
1. It’s untrustworthy. Govt admits it’s out of control: basic QC hasn’t been done, ever. If was a diagnostic test in the NHS, it would immediately be stopped.
2. It’s not necessary. Track, trace & isolate might once have been useful but it’s proven to be a hopeless flop. It finds few contacts & far too late. Only a small minority of contacts are reacted. Of those contacts, 90% don’t do what was asked of them. It helps no one.
3. It only causes damage. Because of a positive test, almost all of which now aren’t of live virus, it damages lives & livelihoods for no gains. “Cases” aren’t true but drive lethally bad adaptations like restrictions to NHS, leading to excess deaths.
Read 10 tweets
12 Nov
@chicago_sunrise @subsix848 @AlexBerenson @JAMA_current Strictly you can’t culture (grow in isolation) a virus. They only grow if they can invade living cells. So that’s what we mean: “can you infect susceptible cells using a clinical sample?”
In this paper, the answer is no, in patients whose PCR was only positive if amplification...
@chicago_sunrise @subsix848 @AlexBerenson @JAMA_current ...is turned up high. If other words, if your sample is PCR positive only when amplification is turned up beyond 32 cycles, THEY ARE NOT INFECTIOUS.
Once we learned this, early in the spring outbreak, I bet you all think there was broad agreement that we’d set the maximum...
@chicago_sunrise @subsix848 @AlexBerenson @JAMA_current ...amplification to 32 cycles, if you’d hope so, if there were any honest scientists doing this work.

They did no such thing. In U.K. they’ve kept the amplification turned up to FORTY (40) cycles, even AFTER it’d be repeatedly shown that positive results obtained at more than...
Read 11 tweets
10 Nov
@d_spiegel @LettingFocus @SeanBFlanagan @BreesAnna @toadmeister @allisonpearson @ClarkeMicah @Charlotte3003G @MLevitt_NP2013 @SunetraGupta @carlheneghan @MartinKulldorff @AlistairHaimes @FatEmperor @HaraldofW @JuliaHB1 @Iromg @talkRADIO @mgmgomes1 @spectator @unherd @freddiesayers @spikedonline @ProfKarolSikora @HuwMerriman Respectfully, that’s incorrect, Sir David. I bow to you as master statistician. I ask that you recognise there is a great deal of laboratory insight I have that affects the outcome & isn’t amenable to statistical analysis if you’re unaware of these.
Just as a simple example...
@d_spiegel @LettingFocus @SeanBFlanagan @BreesAnna @toadmeister @allisonpearson @ClarkeMicah @Charlotte3003G @MLevitt_NP2013 @SunetraGupta @carlheneghan @MartinKulldorff @AlistairHaimes @FatEmperor @HaraldofW @JuliaHB1 @Iromg @talkRADIO @mgmgomes1 @spectator @unherd @freddiesayers @spikedonline @ProfKarolSikora @HuwMerriman ...the manufacturer’s values for false positives is under ideal conditions & measure the intrinsic limits for example the ability under perfect conditions to distinguish some sequences from all others. This isn’t the main source of false positives at all. These are mostly...
@d_spiegel @LettingFocus @SeanBFlanagan @BreesAnna @toadmeister @allisonpearson @ClarkeMicah @Charlotte3003G @MLevitt_NP2013 @SunetraGupta @carlheneghan @MartinKulldorff @AlistairHaimes @FatEmperor @HaraldofW @JuliaHB1 @Iromg @talkRADIO @mgmgomes1 @spectator @unherd @freddiesayers @spikedonline @ProfKarolSikora @HuwMerriman <lost my place & fell asleep, it’d been a long day>
...caused by issues related to the sample itself (eg biologically they’re very ‘dirty’ & may contain very large amounts of irrelevant bacterial DNA) and / or sample preparation. I use as explainer the comparison of the person...
Read 24 tweets
8 Nov
Assuming this advert from an estate agent is correct, the housing market remains open during LD#2.

”We are open and here to help in the safest possible way.
In line with latest Government’s guidelines on home moving, the housing market will remain open during the national...
... lockdown which started yesterday, the 5th November 2020, and all our offices in England will continue to operate.
Exceptions on leaving home include undertaking any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential...
... property:

Visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes

Viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or to rent

Preparing a residential property to move in

Moving house

Visiting a residential property to undertake...
Read 33 tweets
3 Nov
@berniespofforth Honestly, is the world so full of people who can spend all day on the net, but can’t find a half hour to peruse a simple, immunology text?
It’s not an edgy view to suggest that, having survived infection by a simple, non-immunotoxic, epitope-stable virus, that robust, durable...
@berniespofforth ...immunity follows, is the general rule, not in any way the exception. It’s not conveyed mostly by antibodies, though such titres are sometimes raised, but through memory T-cells. This is why cellular immunologists knew exactly what studies to run on representative samples of...
@berniespofforth ...stored blood, as soon as then knew what was coming round the globe. Those techniques aren’t easy, technically, but they’re well established. We even ran analogous studies maybe 25y ago in a new drug program. First full papers were out on this topic mid-April, IIRC.
No one in..
Read 9 tweets
2 Nov
@CJforeveryoung @grahambradymp I’ve briefed him in writing in a ‘one pager’ as I guessed he’s too busy to read more than an ‘executive summary’.
He replied ‘thanks’ but it was probably his office manager.
I’ve briefed 16 MPs personally, one 4x in one day! (He kept calling to check one more thing!). One...
@CJforeveryoung @grahambradymp ...other MP called me at home two weeks ago. They agreed to file a series of written Qs. So I wrote a series of tightly worded Qs to Mr Hancock re PCR testing & to the Cabinet Sec (to whom SAGE formally reports according to a friend in Public Law). I’ve not been told we’ve..
@CJforeveryoung @grahambradymp ...any answers yet. I’m told they’re taken v seriously in Hansard so in due course they have to answer. But so long as they’re not obviously evasive & haven’t lied, it gets you nowhere.
I see someone recently asked about “PCR false positives” but failed to time-bound the Q. So..
Read 4 tweets

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