British Foreign Secretary says “false positive rate” for COVID-19 is “very high”
- The Facts:
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently stated that "The false positive rate rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the the virus"
- Reflect On:
Why is there so much conflicting information out there? How can the general population be expected to arrive at any sort of truth when this is the case? This puts critical thinking at the utmost of importance in these times.
What Happened: British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently made an appearance on Sky News, and when asked about testing inside of airports he stated that, “The challenge is the false positive rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the the virus. So the truth is, we can’t just rely on that…”
He went on to mention that we must rely on self-isolation at home, and have further testing there as well as an overall effort to ramp up testing, but my question is, are the tests used at home any more accurate? Does this mean the infection fatality rate is actually higher because not as many people are infected? Or does this mean, as multiple studies have pointed out, that the number of infected people greatly exceed our current numbers (thus greatly lowing the fatality rate) and that the tests simply aren’t capable or properly identifying these people?
A false positive test means that people who test positive for the virus may not actually have it.
This theme has been floating around quite a bit lately, radio show host Julia Hartley-Brewer was one of the latest to do so as you can see below.
In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University and outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled: “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that due to a bit of a fluke involving some slightly complicated statistics, the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could be as high as 50%.
Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr Mike Yeadon argued the proportion of positive tests that are false is actually “around 90%”.
The Bulgarian Pathology Association has taken the stance that the testing used to identify the new coronavirus in patients is “scientifically meaningless.” He criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) and called them “a criminal medical organization” for creating fear and hysteria without, according to him, providing any verifiable scientific proof of a pandemic. This may seem confusing as it goes against information that’s been published. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that “Potent antibodies found in people recovered from COVID-19.” (source) So it’s understandable how many people would not agree with the stance of the association, and claim that it is indeed false, and that’s an understandable perception,
Are they right? According to a recent Huffington Post article, “Yes, but only in a statistical sense. Applied to the real-world, the conclusions don’t stand up and are wildly misleading.”
The article is titled, “N0, 90 % of Coronavirus Tests Are Not ‘False Positives’ And This Is Why: Experts explain why a theory doing the rounds about the number of people wrongly diagnosed with cOVID-19 is simply not true.”
According to Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre and the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal,”The rate of false positives with this particular test is quite low. In other words, if the test comes back saying positive, then believe it, it’s a real positive.”
These are just a few of many examples of conflicting information.
Why This Is Important: It’s not hard to see why there is so much conflicting information out there. Expert in the field are completely separated in their belief with regards to the false positive issue, and there is information on both sides of the coin that completely, 100 percent contradicts the other perspective. How is the general population, or those who are taking the time to look into this issue supposed to arrive at any conclusion? At this point it seems nearly impossible, and what we often see from mainstream media is simply sharing a perspective or pushing a viewpoint for political purposes rather than a general desire to get to any sort of concrete truth.
This discrepancy highlights why in today’s day and age it’s important to conduct your own research and be aware of multiple perspectives. We must share information that comes from ‘credible’ sources, or information that is backed up with reasoning, questioning, proof and evidence. What seems to be happening with covid I find is that many people are sharing a lot of unsubstantiated information which makes it harder for the ‘alternative’ thinking community to arrive at any kind of truth. There are multiple examples. It also delegitimizes the ‘truth’ movement in this time of deceit and misinformation, and it allows ‘fact-checkers’ as well as mainstream media to group all of us who are in pursuit of truth as “conspiracy theorists” and justify their campaign of censorship on information that opposes the mainstream narrative.
With covid, we’ve seen some of the world’s leading experts in the field experience censorship simply for sharing information, opinions and evidence that contradicts the World Health Organization. Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University is one of countless scientists to who have criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus.
Another huge issue we are facing today is people not reading articles, simply reading headlines and drawing their own conclusions without examining the sources used in the article to see how legit it actually is. We’ve left our minds available to those who wish to mould them and shape our perception of major events for ulterior motives.
The mainstream and traditional media seem to be failing to have important conversations that are controversial, while at the same time perhaps there isn’t enough rigour and critical thinking in alternative media communities. Given we are deeply feeling the need to make sense of our world, is it time we begin to look at developing the inner faculties necessary to move beyond ideology, limited thinking patterns and truly begin looking at what evidence around us says?