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How the PCR test and guidance on death certification inflated the Covid death toll

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Global adoption of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and changes to how deaths are registered, based on advice from governmental agencies and the WHO, have artificially inflated the Covid death toll. You may already know this, but if you don't - here's how it works...

A positive PCR test does NOT mean you

have Covid are ill or infectious

What a PCR test can and can't do is fundamental to understanding the pandemic. This test is the foundation for 'cases' which are in turn one of the primary arguments for imposing lockdowns and restrictions.

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University says this:

"A PCR test might find the virus it was looking for. This results in a PCR positive, but a crucial question remains: is this virus active, i.e. infectious, or virulent? The PCR alone cannot answer this question."

Without further tests to ascertain if the virus is active - a PCR test in itself is insufficient.

This is because dead viral RNA can circulate in the system long after the live virus has been despatched by the immune system. These people will still test positive for Covid because of a prior infection but they do not have Covid.

Even if the virus detected is live, there is a question mark over virulence. Covid tests are run at a high number of amplification cycles, practically the highest there can be. This is called the CT (Cycle Threshold). Each cycle amplifies the sample on the swab. Setting such a high threshold, critics have warned, means the molecules of virus RNA that are detected may be so small as to pose no threat to the patient or anyone else.

It's quite probable that the majority of 'cases' are not Covid cases at all, or at least not in the way assumed - i.e active or a serious threat to anyone's health.

The CEBM explains this phenomenon:

"This detection problem is ubiquitous for RNA viruses detection. SARS-CoV, MERS, Influenza Ebola and Zika viral RNA can be detected long after the disappearance of the infectious virus."
"The immune system works to neutralise the virus and prevent further infection. Whilst an infectious stage may last a week or so, because inactivated RNA degrades slowly over time it may still be detected many weeks after infectiousness has dissipated."

This means that instructing somebody to isolate who has tested positive is little more than guesswork. A study in the BMJ also states:

"No test of infection or infectiousness is currently available for routine use. As things stand, a person who tests positive with any kind of test may or may not have an active infection with live virus, and may or may not be infectious."

Karry Mullis, the Nobel Prize winning creator of the PCR test, describes it's capabilities as 'forensic', not 'diagnostic'. In a widely shared video interview before his death in 2019 he said:

"[The] PCR is just a process... it does not tell you that you are sick."

What this means: Not all 'Covid deaths' are caused by Covid

Changes to death registrations, Covid 'assumed', 'correct or not'

On 31 March, the Office for National Statistics announced that, in order for a death to be logged as a ‘COVID-19 death’, the disease merely has to be ‘mentioned’ anywhere on the death certificate, without it being ‘the main cause of death’.

Following this On 20 April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued the ‘International guidelines for certification and classification (coding) of COVID-19 as cause of death’. These instructed medical practitioners that, if COVID-19 is the ‘suspected’ or ‘probable’ or ‘assumed’ cause of death, it must always be recorded. The WHO doctors to: ‘Always apply these instructions, whether they can be considered medically correct or not.’

Statistically, a positive PCR test equals a Covid death

Under these changes, a positive test means Covid can be mentioned on the death certificate even if the primary cause of death was not Covid. An 80-year-old patient who dies of terminal cancer but tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 would be added to the daily regional and global toll of Coronavirus deaths. The same is true for anyone who tests positive for Covid, for example via a test centre or admission to hospital, and then dies 28 days later - from any cause.

But did Covid contribute to death?

A positive PCR test could not tell a physician whether Covid played a part in hastening a patient's death because the test could not tell them if the virus was active and therefore a threat to the patient's health. Also, if a Covid positive patient was so sick that they were not expected to live regardless of Covid, SARS-CoV-2 could still be mentioned on their death certificate and they would be added to the official death toll.

Even for a patient with symptoms and a positive test, it may be unclear whether these are the result of a live Covid infection or similar symptoms caused by another respiratory infection or virus. It is entirely possible to test positive for Covid yet have an influenza-like-illness (ILI). Viruses generally do not compete but if a positive PCR test was the result of detecting a dead virus it would mean another virus would go unchallenged and be free to infect. Even so, there is now plentiful evidence to suggest co-infection is happening. In India, over a million missed TB diagnoses due to lockdown makes one wonder how many Covid fatalities were actually caused by TB as a co-infection, i.e simply a positive Covid swab. TB has a far higher fatality rate and is the biggest killer in India.

The broad flexibility over death certification and vagaries of the PCR test makes it all too easy to label deaths not caused by Covid as Covid. The obvious problem here is that statistics influence the public's perception of the health threat and guide government policy on combative measures. If deaths were re-categorised as only those directly caused by Covid the toll would be significantly reduced.

For example, In the UK towards the end of 2020 it was reported that, under the age of 60, just 388 people died of Covid who had no other health conditions.

Summing up

It's evident that all is not what it seems with the pandemic death toll. It's no exaggeration to say that there is plenty of room for deception to operate within the various layers of protocols used to qualify Covid deaths.

It's a tired idiom but never more appropriate, 'the devil is in the detail'.

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