COVID spikes might be the result of bad tests
As soon as Republican-controlled states reopened, Fake News was reporting new infection spikes, while the numbers of new COVID-19 cases were dropping.
Three weeks later, as if answering the prayers of the anti-Trump talking heads, 2019-nCoV positive rates began to increase. Every state in the Union showed the same pattern, a diminishing epidemic that got a second wind, shutdown or not. But while new cases increase, deaths continue to decline. How can this be?
Epidemics follow a common pattern. They initially spread exponentially. The “WuFlu” showed a doubling in cases every 2.4 days. Genetic analysis and case history in China suggests that 2019-nCoV began in late October, so by the time it was hospitalizing elderly patients in early December, there would have been tens of thousands of infections. By the time the Chinese figured out what was going on in mid-January, there would have been 14 billion infections.
Well, there aren’t that many people in the world. Epidemics do not grow exponentially forever. As people recover from infections and become temporarily immune, the numbers of people that can catch or spread the virus diminish. The rate of new infections bends down into a “bell curve” or Gaussian. After peaking, the number of new infections exponentially diminishes. The longevity of a respiratory virus epidemic is about 120 days; they vanish almost as fast as they come.
For 2019-nCoV, we completely missed the rise. PCR testing from the USS Theodore Roosevelt showed positive for 1100 of the 4850 person crew, with 60% of those testing positive showing no symptoms. Antigen testing later showed that 60% of the crew, 2900 sailors may have been infected. That means 2019-nCoV produces no symptoms in 78% of infected people. Of the likely 2900 infections, only 9 (0.3%) were bad enough for hospitalization, and only 1 (0.03%) died. With 44,000 active cases in China by early December and only 130 hospitalizations, no wonder 2019-nCoV went by largely unnoticed. The “WuFlu” likely came to American shores in early January, and was probably around 33 million cases by March 1st. Even with that number of infected, there would have only been around 100,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths. But “WuFlu” would have already been into the “bell” after infecting 10% of the country, and was likely already tailing off when the shutdowns began in mid-March.
Completely missing the rise, we completely missed the peak. Testing was far exceeded the day it began, and 2019-nCoV daily infections have been a reflection of the number of tests administered, until mid-May.
We observed the tail. Despite expanded testing, daily new cases dropped from mid-May, in every state, irrespective of shutdown or full open. Shutdowns had no effect on influenza, and assuming that 2019-nCoV spreads in a similar manner, likely had no effect on the “WuFlu”. Testing was observing a clear tail-off to 2019-nCoV, even after states reopened.
Until mid-June, when irrespective of partial shutdown or full open, every state began observing an increase in daily cases. But while cases increased, deaths continued to show the exponential tail of a vanishing epidemic.
There was a post on a closed FaceBook group from a nurse who claimed that her hospital tested the COVID test kits by returning opened, but unused swabs. Of the ten returned, all ten tested positive.
There was another post by a man who claimed that he received a mail-order test kit. While preparing to use the kit, he got distracted. When he returned, his worried wife had already hurriedly packed it up and the postman had already picked it up. The unused test came back positive.
An acquaintance related that a cousin visited a mobile testing center. The test returned positive, but the cousin never had a single symptom. No one in the cousin’s household developed any symptoms or ever tested positive. They only used the government-sponsored test because of curiosity, and are waiting on a chance to retest. Mum’s the word.
In early June, attempting to address demands for expanded testing, the FDA approved antigen and antibody tests for 2019-nCoV, and the Chinese flooded the U.S. with garbage test kits within a couple weeks. The Chinese had already had several test kit scandals, but states and municipalities, panicked for testing, bought them anyway. All but one of the dozen brands of the defective tests tested by U.C. Berkeley showed high false positive rates, and high false negative rates.
In a waning epidemic, false negatives aren’t a problem, but false positives can lead to the appearance of a flare-up, followed by foolhardy public policies, such as shutdown.
It is highly likely that the Chinese sold as “new” the test kits that were rejected in the rest of the world, possibly rebranded. It is a common sales practice of the Chinese to sell brand name rejects as unbranded or off-name items on Alibaba.
For example, my brother’s latest headache is an “American made” pellet grill. The manufacturer bought the electromechanical parts, identical to those used in a large, national brand of pellet grills, off of Alibaba. The control board showed clear signs of rework and the igniter trips the GFCI outlet if it tries to ignite while the fire is already going. This is a common problem with Chinese-made pellet grills, but the Chinese engineers blame it on the over-current feature of GFCI outlets… except that GFCI outlets offer no over-current protection. They operate on current imbalance (lost current). It’s just poor quality manufacturing that puts too little insulation around the heating element, leading to shorts to ground. The Chinese must know this basic electrical engineering, but came up with that nonsense to avoid sending garbage replacements for garbage parts. At least, I find it hard to believe that they don’t know this basic electrical engineering. Maybe I’m just being kind? The replacement igniter element was also defective.
The post-epidemic flare-up of 2019-nCoV cases with declining deaths is unprecedented and unexpected. The most reasonable explanation is defective testing. The lesson: China is garbage. Junk medicine and junk science made a mundane cold look like a weaponized super bug. Worse, that junk medicine has infiltrated our most esteemed institutions to twist and corrupt the minds of our experts, who now promote socialist agendas based on junk science. Every dollar Americans have spent on Chinese garbage over the last two decades has been used to purchase and corrupt iconic, formerly American corporations that now care more about social change and protecting China than turning a profit.
Given that 2019-nCoV cannot even cause a sniffle in 78% of those it infects, the numbers of COVID-19 deaths must be bogus too. Could free money for COVID deaths have encourage nursing homes and hospitals to lie?
Image credit: Pixabay public domain