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Manitoba microbiologist says majority of COVID-19 cases likely not infectious

The JCCF said one of the crucial issues in the trial is the operation and reliability of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that is used by governments across Canada, including in Manitoba, to diagnose COVID-19 and measure its spread.

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A microbiologist in Manitoba testified this week 56% of positive COVID-19 cases are not infectious, says the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

The JCCF is in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench representing seven churches and three individuals who say public health orders violate Charter rights of freedom of conscience, religion, expression and peaceful assembly. 

One of the crucial issues in the trial is the operation and reliability of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that is used by health authorities across Canada, including in Manitoba, to diagnose COVID-19 and measure its spread.

In testimony last week, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, said PCR tests have accurately predicted future levels of hospitalization in Manitoba. During the pandemic’s second wave, 7% of all individuals in the province who tested positive were hospitalized and 1.4% were admitted to ICU. 

The vast majority of cases detected through PCR tests are infectious, Roussin testified.

“There’s too much being made of the limitations of very, very good [PCR] tests, especially how we’re using it,” said Roussin.

But the JCCF said their experts, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Thomas Warren, both provided evidence the PCR test is unreliable in determining whether a person is infectious with the actual COVID-19 disease, said the JCCF in a release.

The JCCF also noted Dr. Jared Bullard, the associate medical director of Cadham Lab, testifying for the Crown, acknowledged under cross-examination the PCR test has limitations. It said Bullard admitted that PCR test results do not verify infectiousness, and were never intended to be used to diagnose respiratory illnesses.

“Dr. Bullard testified that PCR tests can be positive for up to 100 days after an exposure to the virus, and that PCR tests do nothing more than confirm the presence of fragments of viral RNA of the target SARS CO-V2 virus in someone’s nose. He testified while a person with COVID-19 is infectious for a one-to-two week period, non-viable (harmless) viral SARS CO-V2 fragments remain in the nose, and can be detected by a PCR test for up to 100 days after exposure.

JCCF said Bullard testified the most accurate way to determine whether someone is actually infectious is to attempt to grow a cell culture in the lab from a patient sample. If a cell culture will not grow, a patient is likely not infectious. A study from Dr. Bullard and his colleagues found only 44% of positive PCR test results would actually grow in the lab.

“Dr. Bullard’s findings call into question the practice used in Manitoba (and elsewhere in Canada) of the results of classifying positive PCR tests as “cases,” which implies infectivity. Equating positive PCR tests to infectious cases, as so many provinces have done over the course of the past 13 months, is incorrect and inaccurate,” said the JCCF.

“Finally, it should be noted some Canadian news agencies have quoted Dr. Bullard as testifying that a positive PCR tests indicates infectivity 99.9% of the time. This is incorrect.”

In earlier testimony, court heard there were 22 COVID-19 clusters in faith-based settings, with some outbreaks infecting half of the attendees.

Manitoba had almost 43,000 cases of COVID-19 resulting in 997 deaths.

The trial is expected to last the rest of the week.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 13, 2021 at 9:26 am

    A study done in the 1980s using tissue samples saved from victims of the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic . . . show that a very large number of citizens died from Bacterial Pneumonia . . . cause of the problem was Mask WEARING.

    The PCR Test is a Forensic Took invented by a Nobel Prize winning Scientist . . .

    “The PCR test was invented by Kary Mullis in 1985 but it was never intended for detecting disease; it’s primary applications included biomedical research and criminal forensics.

    “Scientists are doing an awful lot of damage to the world in the name of helping it. I don’t mind attacking my own fraternity because I am ashamed of it.”

    –Kary Mullis, Inventor of Polymerase Chain Reaction

    We have been “Played” by our Premiers & Health Depts for over a year now. They are far too stupid to learn from the success of others around the world, like Sweden, Taiwan, Japan or even South Dakots or Florida.

    The Political class & Govt Employees are not the smartest among us . . . in fact they are little people who are really enjoying their newly minted power . . .

  2. Kelly Carter

    May 12, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Yep. PCR is a tool only to confirm presence of viral RNA, which can also be easily contaminated and can be positive for non target buput similar viral RNA. It is NOT a diagnosis of disease.

  3. Josh

    May 12, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Just wait till someone questions why masks were made mandatory when medical specialists know lower respiratory infections favor low oxygen environments (in the body). They will tell you ” it does not reduce air flow” but I can easily put the material over a vacuum and witness the source ramp up. They will tell you “It’s to stop water droplets on your breathe” but I can easily witness moister on my breathe through the mask in the winter time. Seems like they are trying to create an environment for it to spread easier.

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News

Edmonton anchor fuming after pride flag ripped down

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

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An Edmonton news anchor is furious after a Pride flag was ripped down from its pole outside her home.

“I am LIVID right now,” tweeted Breanna Karstens-Smith, a Global anchor.

Karstens-Smith

“This just happened at my house. Someone came and tore down our Pride flag. No one touched it for a year when it was a Canada flag but now that it’s for pride this happens.

“THIS IS WHY WE NEED PRIDE MONTH.”

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

Pride flag torn down

“And they are greatly mistaken if they think we’re not putting another one up. Ordering a new flag pole now. Flag is thankfully fine but we got it from @thequiltbagyeg and would love to see more in our city,” she tweeted.

“Our flag is back up and our house feels right again. Thank you for the kind messages of support. The best part is hearing from people now putting up their own flags. I’d love to see photos of them. Happy Pride.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Regina chamber CEO calls COVID-19 protesters ‘narrow, dimwitted, racist’

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy,” said John Hopkins.

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Regina Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins denounced COVID-19 protesters and their message in an email sent to the organization’s members.

“The anti-mask group in Regina are a very small but loud group. They have been protesting for months. They believe that they have a right to not wear a mask,” Hopkins wrote.

“Some are of the view that there are tracking devices in the masks and still others believe that this is a global conspiracy.

“…the anti-maskers have crossed the line. They have been harassing business owners, people on the street and now their latest target, kids at schools. In my opinion targeting kids is too far, way too far.

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy. They certainly have the right to say what they want but the same rights and privileges extend to the rest of us….

“Racism is a vicious challenge that we need to address as a country, province and community. The time has come to act and stand up.”

The Western Standard asked Hopkins what harassment had occurred in Regina.

“There’s a candy shop on 13th Avenue,” Hopkins said.

“The business owner asked them to put on a mask and they refused and business owner refused to serve them.”

The incident from May 26 was watched almost 30,000 times on a YouTube video. The would-be customers were standing outside on the deck of the business across from the serving window.

“There has been some altercations between anti maskers and other people, actually on the street, I believe on Albert Street,” Hopkins said.

“And throughout the course of the last 14 months on, generally speaking, it’s just been people on the side of the street.”

Hopkins’ accusation of racism concerned comments made about Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“There were some very troubling remarks about Dr. Shahab that the premier addressed. We were quite concerned about that… as well as other sort of comments on telling people to go home and that type of thing on some of the signs.”

At a December 14 press conference, Premier Moe said the “end was in sight” for COVID-19 restrictions, but he was “embarassed” at “racist”,”foolish”, and “idiotic” comments made by a protester at the legislature. In a video posted days before, a man tried to say Shahab’s name a few times unsuccessfully before commenting, “can’t get these foreigners’ names right.”

Regarding students, Hopkins said, “I’ve heard that they were at a school and that they were talking to kids at a school this past week….and parking in the school parking lot….I just think going to the school is a bit much.”

Hopkins said masks help.

“It blows my mind that somehow when the Chief Medical Officer – not only one, but many across the country, and in fact, globally – are saying, wear a mask, I think it’s pretty straightforward wearing a mask is one of the things that can help people stay safe…Even though we’re making headway against the virus, it’s still out there that masks aren’t doing anything. And I find it just bizarre.”

The email was posted on the Freedom Alliance Facebook page by Kevin Volk.

“Check out this crap that was sent to me,” Volk wrote, urging people to phone the chamber to express their displeasure.

Volk told the Western Standard he had a cleaning business and had been a chamber member “for well over ten years.”

“This is just another slap in the face for business owners. The chamber has been pushing for businesses to remain closed even tho they are supposed to help businesses. They have done absolutely nothing for small businesses owners,” he said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Canadians hit with millions of dollars of COVID fines

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

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The feds have issued tickets for close to $3 million for COVID-19 scofflaws who have refused to quarantine at hotels after arriving back in the country, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other tickets handed out include fines for fraudulent COVID-19 test results.

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

“I think it is important that we adhere to the public health advice that we are all getting, that we do our part as Canadians to try and protect our health care system,” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier told reporters.

Records show a total 988 air passengers were each ticketed $3,000 for “refusing to go to government-approved accommodation” on arrival in Canada. The majority of tickets, 621, were issued at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport followed by Vancouver (194 tickets) and Montréal (173).

Cabinet on January 7 passed an order requiring all air travelers to prove they were COVID-19-free with tests taken a maximum 72 hours prior to arrival. An identical order for cross-border drivers was invoked February 22.

The Canada Border Services Agency found 62 travelers with fake tests, said the report, and four were each ticketed $3,000.

Another 9,003 travelers were cited for not having proof of a valid test, including 4,583 drivers and 4,420 air passengers.

“This would include individuals who did not test at all, who were in possession of tests outside the required 72-hour time frame, tests that did not originate from the required country of origin, tests that are suspected fraudulent and other reasons,” wrote staff.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the enforcement.

“Cancel your vacation plans,” Blair told reporters February 12.

“Stay home. Respect the rules. We believe that through these effective measures, appropriate screening and the testing measures in particular that we have put in place coupled with robust and enforced quarantine orders, it is the best way to prevent variants from spreading across our borders into Canada.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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