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A Critical Review of ESPN’s Podcast - Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

by A. Hinkson


The Coronavirus 2019 - COVID-19

When Steel Talks asked our trusted medical advisor Augustin Hinkson to give his opinion of the podcast we posted earlier this week.

The following is Hinkson’s critical review of ESPN’s Podcast with Dr. Bettina Fries on the COVID-19 aka Corona Vi...


“I listened to the Podcast.

“Her critical statement is that “over 80% of the Patients [with Corona Virus] are going to have a harmless presentation.” This alone should be a break on the panic/hysteria currently on display. Reminds me of Orson Wells’ “War of the Worlds.” Something that can be missed by the casual listener are her statements regarding the reliability of the tests.

“The CDC has had some hiccups rolling out the test, which are, by the way, not FDA approved, according to the CDC’s website. The tests were approved under an emergency authorization and therefore did not go through traditional milestones for approval.

“The point here is that these tests may not be as sensitive and specific as they should be. As such all of the reported “cases” may be flawed!

“Dr. Fries only states “I think” they have worked out issues. This tells me that she may not done the deep dive into the studies assessing the accuracy of those tests.

“The most important question is, “What is the gold standard or recognized standard for establishing the presence the virus?”

“She states also that the only tests available is a test that test for the virus and not the antibodies. That needs to be clarified. If she is talking about the PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) detection of Corona virus RNA -- my understanding is that PCR detection of RNA does not equate to frank isolation of the whole virus. PCR involves making multiple copies of nucleotide sequence.

“The question that comes begging is:  Of all the people testing positive, in what percent have they been able [to] isolate whole Corona virus consistent with SARS-CoV-2? (I suppose they will say you don’t need to isolate the whole virus, the RNA detection is sufficient). It would be great for her to come back to talk about the different tests and their efficacy. I looked for the insert packet to the CDC tests but could not find it on their website -- the insert packet would layout the limitations of the test.

“Finally, the experts are not talking about how we can strengthen our immune systems to be resistant. That would be too threatening.  What?  Take away milk, fries, processed foods, donuts, coca cola... ?

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Thank you for posting these insightful articles.

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