Something you learn when you study infectious disease epidemiology is the potential problems with all screening tests. Every test comes with some risk of false negative and false positive results. It is quite complicated and I only understand it in quite a simplistic way, but I do understand it. More so since following the information being shared by Dr Clare Craig recently.
I get a lot of my information now from Twitter, where I can read scientists and researchers sharing useful information and debating details without the hysteria that every mainstream channel seems engaged in. In the main this has been a very positive and educational experience which I’ve tried to share here as my way of speaking out in favour of critical thought over headline grabbing inaccuracies.
Recently I have observed that there are a few scientists who appear to have odd or incongruent ideas. One immunologist with an impressive resume has become persistent in promoting the idea of mass population testing on a frequent basis. He talks at least daily about a Covid test that we can use from within our own home, negative results of which could then give us a pass to temporary freedom, until we test ourselves again. It seems entirely disproportionate as a public health response but I tried to follow his ideas for some time as he is well informed.
Dr Clare Craig, who I have mentioned a number of times now, speaks with clarity and logic, explaining how her ideas have evolved as she followed the evidence, which was initially quite confusing. She is not making money at all out of Coronavirus, has been attacked viciously for speaking out about the science that she understands well, and has placed her professional reputation on the line in order to do so. She is open to correction and has learned along the way as she gathered evidence which has led her to conclude, as I have written on previously, that some places in the UK and Europe are now experiencing a false positive pseudo-epidemic. She writes a blog called Logic in the Time of Covid and explains the issue of false positive test results in a post titled A miscarriage of diagnosis.
Dr Craig is completely credible and so it came as a shock to me when the guy promoting frequent home testing suggested her ideas were “pseudo”, “desperate” and “fraudulent”. He also called false positives “a complete red herring”, which makes no sense at all from someone with credentials that confirm he has studied this topic and must understand it. When I shared an article from the American Society for Microbiology, hardly a group of charlatans, supporting the idea that false positives are a known concern SARS-CoV-2 Testing: Sensitivity Is Not The Whole Story, he ceased discussion.
It was my moment of revelation.
The pandemic provides an interface for science to be exploited for profit.
Anna Brees is an ex-BBC investigative reporter who has been speaking out in the UK about lockdowns and other disproportionate pandemic responses. Here she interviews Professor Robert Endres, a professor of Physics and Systems Biology, about bad science and censorship in the age of Covid.