False Tests, Fake News and Fact Checkers
By Dr. No
What should we do about fake news? Perhaps nothing, given it has been around since the Garden of Eden, according to the Pope. But what is new is social media, and so the means to spread fake news fast and wide. Before social media, the only things that went viral were viruses; now, any titbit of anything can set off a chain reaction where the R number operates on an industrial scale, spreading fake news around the world at a dizzying rate; and furthermore, the social media propagators are not subject to any of the conventional checks and balances that are supposed — not that they do these days — to inhibit the worst excesses in mainstream media. Indeed, the MSM have gone their own extra mile, by setting up reality checking units, even if some of it looks rather like Joseph Goebbels fact checking the Thousand Year Reich.
One item of alleged fake news supposedly spiked by Reuters and AAP among others is the suggestion that Kary Mullis, the biochemist awarded the Nobel prize for his work on developing PCR testing, said that the PCR test should not be used to diagnose covid–19 infection. On one level this was a dead duck from the get-go, as Mullis died in August 2019 (mercifully not from covid–19, but pneumonia…but hang on, isn’t that how covid–19 first appeared? This conspiracy thing is catching!), and so would have needed 20:20 clairvoyance to see round the invisible curtain, but that hasn’t stopped the word that the world’s leading expert on PCR testing had said “PCR tests cannot detect free infectious viruses at all” going viral. This being ammonia to the eyes of the fact police, they, and [a fired up Aussie virologist] who advised readers “Don’t listen to a car dude” — one of the perps of the fake news operated from inside a car — turned on the truth lasers and fried the fake news. The quote turns out to come from one John Lauritsen writing about HIV and AIDS in 1996 on the url-it-like-it-is website http://www.virusmyth.org/. He wrote [emphasis added]:
“Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize in Science for inventing the PCR, is thoroughly convinced that HIV is not the cause of “AIDS”. With regard to the viral load tests, which attempt to use PCR for counting viruses, Mullis has stated: “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.” PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves.”
The quote is real, but it wasn’t Mullis who said it, it was an American investigative journalist and ‘AIDS critic’ (author of ‘Poison by Prescription’ among many other tell-em-like-it-is titles), and was being used out of context. Job done, nut job nuted, fake news nuked. Or was it? Somewhere in the recesses of his mind Dr No heard echoes of suggestions that using PCR for diagnosis was over-reach, a clear case of diagnostic pétant plus haut que son cul. Continue reading