Horowitz: A severely symptomatic lie about asymptomatic spread

News & Politics

The American people were very patient in March as novel and irrational theories were posited regarding the uniqueness of SARS-CoV-2 — even to the extent that those theories forced a dramatic change to their lifestyles. However, eight months later, these same draconian policies are still in place after the theories undergirding those policies appear to be false. Nowhere is this more evident than with the theory about mass asymptomatic spread.

We have been told that every human being must be treated as a leper — a liability that must be shunned, isolated, and distanced in perpetuity. This mentality has affected every aspect of our lives. Why have we never done this in all our history, which has included viruses with much higher fatality rates? It was all supposedly because of the novel idea that most people spread this particular virus without showing symptoms, so we are all suspect for carrying and spreading the virus at any given time. That theory was always extremely speculative and unfounded, but a new study shows that eight months later, it is simply not true.

Beginning in May, the Chinese government conducted the largest mass testing for COVID-19 of anywhere on the globe. Out of 10 million people tested in Wuhan, just 300 were positive and were all asymptomatic. None of them spread it to their contacts. That is zero out of 1,174 contacts. According to the study, published in Nature Communications, none of those who tested positive produced live virus in the cultures. This explains very easily why none of them seemed to infect others.

We can dismiss this at our own peril simply because the study came from China, but let’s not forget that the Chinese stand to benefit from the rest of the world panicking over asymptomatic spread and purchasing more personal protection equipment, a market dominated by Chinese companies. Moreover, this study harmonizes with other research and the prevailing common sense for decades.

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Dr. Fauci himself, before this became political and a tool for control, stated very emphatically that “the driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person.” “Even if there is some asymptomatic transmission, in all the history of respiratory viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks,” said Fauci in a January 28 press conference.

The World Health Organization said in May that asymptomatic spread was “very rare.” Then, like any time a major scientific figure reveals the truth, the WHO suddenly recanted that position when the media raised a howl.

A U.S.-based study from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Department of Biostatistics, observed similar low rates of transmission among the asymptomatic. Researchers found symptomatic individuals transmitted the virus at rates 28 times higher than asymptomatic individuals. Another Chinese study from May found very weak transmission capability among asymptomatic infections.

We also know that as many as 50% of flu cases every year are asymptomatic, yet we never panic or assume they are drivers of community spread.

Thus, putting together all the information we have now observed from this virus, paired against “all the history of respiratory viruses of any type,” why are we still pushing illegal, illogical, and immoral lockdown policies all based on a premise of mass asymptomatic spread that is rooted in zero evidence?

This study also lays waste to the entire premise of mass testing using high levels of amplification known as “cycle thresholds.” What this study shows is that testing asymptomatic people with high cycle thresholds usually means that they merely have traces of the virus in them that are scientifically insignificant. “Virus cultures were negative for all asymptomatic positive and repositive cases, indicating no ‘viable virus’ in positive cases detected in this study,” concluded the authors.

In September, a study on cycle thresholds funded by the French government was published and found that the accuracy of PCR tests using 35 cycles of viral RNA amplification is only about 3%. You know what that means? 97% of those people testing positive are likely false. As the New York Times reported in August, most labs in the U.S. use 40 cycle thresholds! Thus, there are very few people who are actually contagious and most of them have evident symptoms. The notion that perfectly healthy people can’t get together for Thanksgiving is insane.

A state’s power to quarantine extends only to the sick, not the healthy. To take away someone’s liberty based on these fault tests without any due process violates the Constitution. How sad that it took a court in Portugal to recognize this right before any American court. Recently, a Portuguese judge ruled that any positive test that used more than 25 cycle thresholds is not reliable and cannot be used to force quarantine. He also questioned the entire legal premise of quarantining the healthy. What happened to the land of the free?

Truth be told, we are seeing the same perfidy regarding the efficacy of mask-wearing and school closures. Both policies are still being promoted with religious fervor despite a lack of evidence that they slow the spread one iota. Despite an uninterrupted stream of data and research both before and during the epidemic discounting these archaic views, Western governments are dogmatically reverting to the superstitious, accusatory, and panicked responses of the Dark Ages during the Black Plague.

“In summary, the detection rate of asymptomatic positive cases in the post-lockdown Wuhan was very low (0.303/10,000), and there was no evidence that the identified asymptomatic positive cases were infectious,” concluded the Chinese study. “These findings enabled decision makers to adjust prevention and control strategies in the post-lockdown period.”

In other words, following the data and the scientific research after eight months of torture has landed us in the same position we started this year – quarantining the healthy is counterproductive and achieves nothing in stopping the spread of a respiratory virus. The Chinese government learned to move on from authoritarian lockdowns of healthy individuals. The Western world, on the other hand, is still stuck on stupid, as the Chinese laugh all the way to the bank.

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