Don’t Let Them Get Away With It

No, not that. The forensic investigators and lawyers can determine if there is any voter or election fraud. I’m thinking about something more under the radar.

Anyone interested in understanding the COVID-19 mess beyond the current “casedemic” needs to understand cycle threshold (Ct) and how it relates to positive COVID tests. I realize that means we are all epidemiologists now, but if we had a curious media rather than an activist one, people would not need to find this information on their own. 

If your eyes are already glazing over and you’re getting the urge to refresh your social media feed, let me give the short, short version. There is a good chance that the Q-tip in the nose COVID test is too sensitive and thus returning positive tests to people who are not contagious. Unless that is addressed, the COVID-19 fascists will be able to manipulate future tests to claim undeserved credit for defeating the virus. 

We hear stories about false positives (like Elon Musk or members of the Kansas City Chiefs), but this sensitivity issue is more important. Much of the disruption we all face is due to the fear of asymptomatic spread. But what if many asymptomatics are not contagious?

Let’s do an exercise called “COVID Testing for Dummies.” 

Your COVID-19 test is not akin to a pregnancy test where the only thing that matters is a plus-sign. Your specimen is run through a “PCR-test,” in which your sample is amplified exponentially in order to determine the presence of the COVID-19 virus. The amount of amplification is the cycle threshold (Ct). Yet, there is a point where excessive amplification may detect the presence of something, but that something could be remnants of old viruses that are not contagious. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci concurs with that point. 

To put some numbers to this situation, researchers assert that once the cycle threshold enters the 30s, especially the upper-30s, that test is not returning a contagious case. Yet, most COVID-19 PCR tests are using cycle thresholds in the upper-30s or higher

Further, the Ct is typically not reported along with a positive test. If you are feeling frisky, ask the practitioner what cycle threshold was used when you get your next COVID-19 test result. In most situations, that level is known by someone other than the medical practitioner ordering the test. Thus, are those sniffles and two days of fever really COVID-19, or a seasonal illness akin to the ones that happen every year? How many people lost income, missed school, and suffered personal issues when they were never seriously sick or contagious?

A rational approach would be to report cycle thresholds with COVID results or to lower the threshold for a positive test to a point where there is support that the virus is contagious at that level. Governor Ron DeSantis is again taking the lead as Florida is now requiring such reporting of cycle thresholds with COVID tests. This needs to be adopted in other states ASAP, because if not, there is a good chance it will be done later, after a Biden Administration implements whatever lockdown/mask plan it has in the works.

Think about this chain of events. A national mask mandate, followed by a four to six week lockdown, followed by mass distribution of a vaccine, which lowers the cycle threshold to 30. Poof! Fewer COVID cases. See? Government intervention worked! 

Get your face diapers washed and ready for every flu season. Welcome to your statist future. That’s scary. 

The raison d’etre of the non-Trump Right seems to be refuting everything put forth by the Left. It never occurs to them to try to lead the narrative. Even when Republicans hold legislative majorities and governorships in several states (hello Ohio, Indiana, etc.), the level of COVID tyranny is on par with that in the blue states. There’s little difference across the political spectrum aside from South Dakota and Florida. The politicians are all positioning to be able to say their actions ended COVID, whether they want to hitch their wagons to Operation Warp Speed or Operation Lockdown.

Among the many lessons of 2020 is the fact that we cannot count on the red states to be pro-liberty. Concerned citizens need to start calling health departments to inquire about the cycle thresholds used for COVID tests. If government thinks it can control an airborne, respiratory virus, what can’t it do under the guise of an emergency?

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About Jason Fertig

Jason Fertig is an associate professor of management at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville. His research interests involve effective management and leadership. He also has an interest in commenting on the state of higher education. He has written essays for the National Association of Scholars and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He also advises the College Republicans at the University of Southern Indiana.

Photo: (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)