Conflating viral and antibody tests - Intentional or something more sinister?

2개월 전
in cdc

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935

State misreporting is rampant.

What may come as no surprise at all, The Atlantic has reported that a significant number of states in the US have been combining the antibody tests with the active infection tests when reporting testing capacity as well as confirmed cases.

"As test numbers have shot up, Quest Diagnostics—one of the two largest commercial laboratories in the country—reported doing only 200,000 PCR tests from May 4 to May 11, which is 180,000 fewer diagnostic tests than in the preceding week. In fact, from May 4 to May 11, the company did almost 100,000 more antibody tests than PCR ones."
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/covid-19-tests-combine-virginia/611620

What does this mean?

I'm sure at this point, it is clear as night and day that the severity of the virus is overstated and sparsely justifies the continued stay at home orders throughout the country. Moreover, the true figures for the tests to confirmed case ratio are very likely lower than is being reported. This is obviously bad. We can't gauge the severity and implement an appropriate response if the key metric of measuring the severity of the virus is being fudged by meaningless data.

At the moment, there are a lot of antibody tests which are yielding false positives. Again, since these numbers are likely being combined with the positive case numbers, the actual total case numbers could be significantly lower than we think. Overall a good thing.

The final thing is, if antibody testing has been outpacing the PCR testing, then the overall case load could be trending down as opposed to be flat - which is also another good thing. However, it also means that the survival rates are lower than we think as well. A bad thing.

Why is the CDC data so poor?

This one is a lot harder to dismantle, and I still don't have a concrete answer. What we do know, is that there are very intelligent people at the CDC who care about integrity, and care about doing a good job. Yet, there is no explanation for how the people there have made a complete mess of the data reporting especially when it is such a basic aspect of the pandemic.

I can't imagine people who work at the CDC suddenly rolling over and stopping to care. At the same time, I can't imagine rampant political meddling in the CDC process that would go unreported to the media. Perhaps it hasn't been reported yet?

The bottom line is, people work at the CDC because they care. If they didn't, they would have gone to big pharma and made more money.

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