PCR Test Problems: How There is Often No Live Virus Found Below 24 Cycles

Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • A PCR test is run for several cycles.
  • It is shocking to learn that even below 24 cycles will often find only dead viruses.


An enormous assumption of the covid pandemic has been that the PRC (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests were accurate. The tests were never accurate, which calls into question the overall pandemic. One part of this story is the number of amplification cycles the covid PRC test must be run for.

How the PCR Test Works

It is actually RT-PCR – a molecular biology technique which lets us detect parts of the viral RNA (the genetic information in some viruses is not stored as DNA but RNA). It is RT because it first converts (transcribes) RNA to DNA. It is necessary since only DNA can be multiplied (amplified) at the levels which can be detected by fluorescence. Every multiplication is called threshold cycle or Ct. Since the genetic information of SARS-CoV-2 is carried by RNA this is the only way to detect it. – State of the Nation

This is very interesting, and this quote also explains how it works.

PCR also made its mark in forensic science. “Prior to the development of the PCR, forensic scientists utilized very awkward and insensitive techniques” to identify people from DNA samples, says Bruce McCord, a professor of forensic chemistry at Florida International University. “The development of the PCR revolutionized forensic DNA testing. Suddenly there was no need for radioactivity or chemiluminescence-based detection, as the PCR could produce millions of copies of DNA from only a few cells.” – State of the Nation

This is a bit complex and easy to gloss over. The critical part of this quote (to me) is that the test requires amplification. So it is not like many other tests where you take blood or other fluids, and the item is either present or not present.

This test requires an amplification algorithm before determining either true or false. Then there is a question of how many times you run the algorithm.

Now observe this quotation on the amplification cycles.

20 cycle threshold, 60% chance genetic material is viral and can be cultured. 30 cycles, 40% chance. 35, 3% chance. Past 35 is not even worthy. This viral genetic material, of course, is subject to the specificity. – Comment on John’s Hopkins Retractions

The FDA approved the PCR test being run between 35 and 40 cycles. It appears as if the FDA also desired positives.

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Common Errors With the PCR Test: No Live Virus Found Even Below 24 Cycles

The bits of genetic material whose amount is being amplified ARE NOT viruses. They’re just small segments of inert genetic material found inside a virus’s shell. Without the shell, they don’t have any ability to infect a cell and reproduce. The PCR test doesn’t detect “live” viruses, at best it only detects their “remains.”

The detection of viral remains involves massively amplifying the amount in the original sample by running it through successive PCR cycles. And nothing about the PCR test itself will tell you if there was actually any “live” virus in the original sample.

But what the New York Times says about the unreliability of PCR testing also significantly understates how badly the cycling process is being abused to inflate the number of positive test results.

And it’s probably no coincidence that, had they been upfront about just how unreliable the data we’ve thus far gotten from PCR-testing is, they would have had a tough time claiming there was any justification for mass testing by other means.

One paper the CDC cites reports finding no “live” virus in any samples whose cycle threshold is greater than 24. And, even the CDC found a lot more samples that had no live virus than they did samples that did for cycle thresholds between 24 and 33.

Moreover, a pooled analysis of several different studies by a team of researchers at Oxford also concluded that positive PCR test results from samples with cycle thresholds over 24 shouldn’t be taken to indicate the presence of any actual virus.