First, let’s talk about what Asymptomatic Testing is. Asymptomatic means you have no symptoms of a possible COVID-19 infection. Institutions may give a few reasons for Asymptomatic testing. Ohio University lists 4 reasons for taking an Asymptomatic test:
Testing by Choice: Students, faculty, and staff who would like to take an asymptomatic test to check their health status
Exposure Testing: Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 may be asked to take an asymptomatic test as the result of contact tracing or in the event of a known outbreak.
Surveillance Testing: Fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff will be invited at random via email to participate in asymptomatic testing to monitor breakthrough infection.
Wide Net Testing: The University may require additional testing of a specific group of individuals who may have had contact with a positive case.
Currently, Exposure Testing, Wide Net Testing, and Weekly Testing for the Unvaccinated is required by Ohio University. According to Ohio University “All OHIO students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. Those who are not fully vaccinated, including those with approved exemptions, you are required to test on the Weekly Testing Pathway.” This is of course discrimination against the unvaccinated and therefore Illegal under R.C. 3792.04 in Ohio.
The testing requirement is also federally illegal. As Ohio University Students and Faculty know most testing is done via Vault Health Saliva PCR test kits. Vault Health’s website explicitly states their test is only Emergency Use authorized.
Ohio University faculty and staff also receive documentation of their testing results that also explicitly states it is only FDA emergency use authorized.
Ohio University’s mandate for students and staff to be tested against COVID-19 for employment or participation at a university or other institution violates federal law.
All COVID-19 tests, whether polymerase chain reaction (PCR), antigen tests or others, are authorized, not approved or licensed, by the federal government; they are Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) only. They merely “may be effective.”
Federal law states: Title 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(I-III) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act states: individuals to whom the product is administered are informed —
(I) that the Secretary has authorized the emergency use of the product;
(II) of the significant known and potential benefits and risks of such use, and of the extent to which such benefits and risks are unknown; and
(III) of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product, of the consequences, if any, of refusing administration of the product, and of the alternatives to the product that are available and of their benefits and risks.
EUA products are by definition experimental and thus require the right to refuse. Under the Nuremberg Code, the foundation of ethical medicine, no one may be coerced to participate in a medical experiment. Consent of the individual is “absolutely essential.” A federal court held that even the U.S. military could not mandate EUA vaccines to soldiers. Doe #1 v. Rumsfeld, 297 F.Supp.2d 119 (2003).
The illegal nature of the testing mandates is not what is hurting people though. One reason and the reason PCR tests are not FDA approved is that PCR COVID tests are notoriously inaccurate.
Ohio University claims “Testing asymptomatic individuals helps University leaders understand whether virus incidence is decreasing or increasing among the campus community, providing information about infection rates and trends. It also helps the University identify and isolate positive individuals, with the goal of reducing spread and identifying potential outbreaks.”
But many studies have shown PCR tests cannot accurately information about infection rates and can’t identify potential outbreaks. A Large German study re-analyzed PCR tests of 160,000 people and concluded:
“In light of our findings that more than half of individuals with positive PCR test results are unlikely to have been infectious, RT-PCR test positivity should not be taken as an accurate measure of infectious SARS-CoV-2 incidence. Our results confirm the findings of others that the routine use of ‘positive’ RT-PCR test results as the gold standard for assessing and controlling infectiousness fails to reflect the fact ‘that 50–75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.’” (Stang et al, Journal of Infection, May 2021)
The issues with PCR tests are numerous:
- There can be large-scale test kit contamination, as both the US and the UK (and several African countries) discovered during the early phase of the pandemic.
- There can be testing site or lab contamination, which has led to countless false positive results, school closures, nursing home quarantines, canceled sports events, and more.
- The PCR test can react to other coronaviruses. According to lab examinations, this happens in about 1% to 3% of cases if only one target gene is tested, as is the case in many (but not all) labs and as the WHO itself has recommended to avoid ambiguous positive/negative test results.
- The PCR test can detect non-infectious virus fragments weeks after an active infection, or from an infection of a contact person, as the US CDC confirmed.
- The PCR test can detect viable virus in quantities too small to be infectious. A PCR test is amplifying samples through repetitive cycles. The lower the virus concentration in the sample, the more cycles are needed to achieve a positive result. Many US labs work with 35 to 45 cycles, while many European labs work with 30 to 40 cycles.
The research group of French professor Didier Raoult has recently shown that at a cycle threshold (ct) of 25, about 70% of samples remained positive in cell culture (i.e. were infectious); at a ct of 30, 20% of samples remained positive; at a ct of 35, 3% of samples remained positive; and at a ct above 35, no sample remained positive (infectious) in cell culture (see diagram).
All the way back in August the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled new testing guidelines, which suggested asymptomatic people with known exposure to covid-19 didn’t need to be tested.
If you have no symptoms you obviously have no risk of injury. If you have no symptoms you have little to no chance of spreading COVID to others. Studies confirmed this last year. A study from May 2020 All CT images showed “no sign of COVID-19 infection. No severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections was detected in 455 contacts by nucleic acid test.”
They concluded, “Conclusion: In summary, all the 455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV-2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.”
The failures of PCR testing still are not the primary problem with Asymptomatic Testing. Take a second and think about it logically, If you have no symptoms, no signs of being sick, and no risk of asymptomatically spreading COVID to others WHY ARE YOU TESTING?
This is where is the problems with mass testing begin to become obvious. If the test can’t accurately tell you if you have COVID and Asymptomatic people don’t spread COVID what does taking a test do? False positives and mass testing can show a false spike in cases, increasing anxiety, triggering more restrictions, and causing healthy people and “close contact” to isolate, missing school, work, etc.
After nearly 2 years of mass asymptomatic testing these negative effects have become very measurable. First let’s look at the psychological toll it can have. Below are 6 social media posts just from today, days before Christmas.
The anxiety, fear, and guilt caused by COVID testing which I have shown is very inaccurate to begin with is clear.
Consider, for example, the impact of asymptomatic health worker screening if a false positive test result leads to isolation of the person falsely diagnosed, and quarantining of their clinical co-workers identified (incorrectly) as close contacts of a case of COVID-19.
Consider a student at Ohio University, they get an asymptomatic test, they receive a false positive and have no symptoms. They have to isolate away from friends and family, they miss class and extra circulars, their friends will literally avoid them.
Further, a person who has had a false positive result may feel they are not at risk of future infection as they believe they are immune, leading to potential consequences for the individual and their contacts.
A Collateral Global report on the The Impact of Pandemic Restrictions on Childhood Mental Health found: “The evidence shows the overall impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents is likely to be severe… Eight out of ten children and adolescents report worsening of behavior or any psychological symptoms or an increase in negative feelings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures contributed to increased anxiety, loneliness and stress; negative feelings due to COVID-19 increased with the duration of school closures. Deteriorating mental health was found to be worse in females and older adolescents.”
A CDC report found asymptomatic testing could lead to an increase in Obestiy among school aged children’s “During the COVID-19 pandemic, children and adolescents spent more time than usual away from structured school settings, and families who were already disproportionally affected by obesity risk factors might have had additional disruptions in income, food, and other social determinants of health.† As a result, children and adolescents might have experienced circumstances that accelerated weight gain, including increased stress, irregular mealtimes, less access to nutritious foods, increased screen time, and fewer opportunities for physical activity (e.g., no recreational sports)”
Another Study found child maltreatment is being underreported because kids are being kept out of school and isolated from people they can trust. “While one would expect the financial, mental, and physical stress due to COVID-19 to result in additional child maltreatment cases, we find that the actual number of reported allegations was approximately 15,000 lower (27%) than expected for these two months. We leverage a detailed dataset of school district staffing and spending to show that the observed decline in allegations was largely driven by school closures.”
These 3 studies found similar results
- Association of routine school closures with child maltreatment reporting and substantiation in the United States; 2010–2017, Puls, 2021: “Results suggest that the detection of child maltreatment may be diminished during periods of routine school closure.”
- Reporting of child maltreatment during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in New York City from March to May 2020, Rapoport, 2021: “Precipitous drops in child maltreatment reporting and child welfare interventions coincided with social distancing policies designed to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.”
- Calculating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child abuse and neglect in the U.S, Nguyen, 2021: “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a precipitous drop in CAN investigations where almost 200,000 children are estimated to have been missed for prevention services and CAN in a 10-month period.”
Another study found keeping kids out of school actually caused more deaths: “We therefore conclude that the somewhat counterintuitive results that school closures lead to more deaths are a consequence of the addition of some interventions that suppress the first wave and failure to prioritise protection of the most vulnerable people. When the interventions are lifted, there is still a large population who are susceptible and a substantial number of people who are infected. This then leads to a second wave of infections that can result in more deaths, but later. Further lockdowns would lead to a repeating series of waves of infection unless herd immunity is achieved by vaccination, which is not considered in the model. A similar result is obtained in some of the scenarios involving general social distancing. For example, adding general social distancing to case isolation and household quarantine was also strongly associated with suppression of the infection during the intervention period, but then a second wave occurs that actually concerns a higher peak demand for ICU beds than for the equivalent scenario without general social distancing.”
Another study found “This extreme measure provoked a disruption of the educational system involving hundreds of million children worldwide. The return of children to school has been variable and is still an unresolved and contentious issue. Importantly the process has not been directly correlated to the severity of the pandemic s impact and has fueled the widening of disparities, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable populations. Available evidence shows restrictions added little benefit to COVID-19 control whereas the harms related to restrictions severely affected children and adolescents. This unresolved issue has put children and young people at high risk of social, economic and health-related harm for years to come, triggering severe consequences during their lifespan.”
Across the country people are finally realizing that asymptomatic testing is counter-productive.
Right now 2,438 students are in quarantine in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, missing in-person classes despite never experiencing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19 in some cases.
The Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted 7–1 on Wednesday evening to waive quarantine requirements for asymptomatic students who have come into contact with a COVID-19 case, a move that should reduce the number of students who are at home and away from the classroom, according to Superintendent George Arlotto.
The NFL is also making similar changes after a wave of possible false positives and symptomless positives. The revised NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols will end regular weekly testing of asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals. A major shift amidst the emergence of the Omicron variant and over 150 (mostly asymptomatic) players testing positive this past week.
The changes come two days after the NFL eased its return-to-play protocol for players who test positive, one day after three games were postponed, and at the end of a week in which the virus sent over 100 players to the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Saturday memo, however, that “roughly two-thirds” of cases among NFL players and staff this week have been asymptomatic, while “most of the remaining individuals have only mild symptoms.”
Food insecurity is another big problem for students and asymptomatic testing. According to a study it identified in 35% of students during COVID-19 lockdown, and students’ living arrangements during the pandemic was found to be the strongest predictor of food insecurity. This makes a lot of sense to me, according to The Post “After 37 of Boyd’s 94 residents tested positive for COVID-19, the 57 residents who tested negative were moved into quarantine dorm rooms Oct. 9. Those who tested positive were moved into isolation rooms.” I was one of the students who tested negative but was quarantined. Knowing what we now know about PCR test false positives and forcing all Boyd residents to test at once is what led to the high number of detected cases. During our time in quarantine, other residents and I complained numerous times about the lack of food available to quarantined students. This is also documented in The Post’s article.
So mandating asymptomatic testing at Ohio University is Illegal and counterproductive. PCR tests fuel fear, depression, anxiety, and more all while not being able to provide us with a trustworthy accurate test result.
If Ohio University made asymptomatic testing fully optional they could get rid of a lot of the psychological problems caused by mass mandatory asymptomatic testing. They would also free up funds that can be used to actually reduce the spread of COVID. COVID is endemic so a lot of changes will be coming with this realization that we will live with COVID FOREVER. The media has made sure to make living with COVID sound scary, I raise the question: why aren’t you scared of living with the flu that can and has also mutated to kill millions before? Because we have learned to live with it. Part of living with the flu includes having new and improving vaccines, but Flu vaccines are not mandated and required every year. Freedom and personal choice are so important even when dealing with viruses. Something tells me OU will be one of the last to come to this realization. This is just one of many needed changes.