**In an abundance of caution, names have been withheld from this article to protect sources and ensure their privacy. This was an executive decision made by the HMP team in an effort to safeguard those who were willing to share their experiences with us.
Over the course of the last few days, the team at The Hot Mess Press has been gathering our own kind of data on the apparent influx of Covid-19 tests that yielded a positive result, despite NEVER HAVING BEEN ADMINISTERED.
That’s right. Just when you thought the Covid-19 chaos couldn’t get any weirder, THIS. Do you call them forged? Fake? Or just untested? We don’t know, but there appears to be a rising trend throughout the United States.
People receive phone calls to inform them that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and that they should self-quarantine for 14 days. The only problem is that these people DID NOT TAKE A COVID TEST. You read that right. Let’s repeat it one more time, because it sounds so insane that it’s almost hard to follow. These people have NOT been tested, at all, no swab, nothing — and yet they get phone calls from their local health departments or medical staff informing them that they have tested positive for the virus.
Is this making your head spin yet?
When the HMP team first heard about this phenomenon, we weren’t sure what to believe. After all, there’s a lot of straight up bull excrement floating around these days. Out and out lies are shared and heralded as the gospel truth, and well, frankly, we just didn’t trust the info we were getting. There have been posts and direct messages calling the phenomenon a “scam” orchestrated by identity thieves, and plenty of, shall we say, “fake news” coming from people who have apparently obtained PhDs in epidemiology from “social media universities” like the Facebook School of Medicine and Twitter U. It now seems natural to question everything one reads.
So we decided to dig a little deeper, and we discovered that this EXACT THING is actually happening — it’s ACTUALLY HAPPENING — not only to people we know personally and those in our direct circles, but to other regular people all over the United States! We didn’t trust random social media posts or obscure blogs, for obvious reasons. So, we decided to look for stories with personal connections, people we knew to be reliable, before considering other stories from all across the interwebs. Well, we looked, and boy did we ever find.
As if that weren’t enough, we’re now seeing reports of padded numbers from labs and nurses who submit unused tests, only to have them come back as positive — UNUSED TESTS PEOPLE! What the what?!
What’s going on with COVID-19 tests in Pittsburgh?
WPXI-TV reporter Amy Marcinklewicz recently wrote about Pennsylvania Senator Cameron Bartolotta and state representative Aaron Bernstine. The two alerted the public through social media about a concerning situation happening in The Burgh.
People have traveled to various COVID-19 testing sites to be tested, only to find long waits and lines. Because of long lines, time constraints and the inability or lack of desire to wait, these people left the line before it was their turn to be tested. Read this again, just so you’re clear on what we’re saying here. People went to COVID-19 testing sites but left and went home WITHOUT BEING TESTED. Is that a problem? Nope, but this is: Those same people later received phone calls telling them they tested positive for the virus and should quarantine! Never tested, recorded as positive test cases.
When it rains, it pours — It’s happening ALL OVER the U.S.
Numerous people, both from the Hot Mess circle and beyond, have now come forward to share stories of similar incidents. Case after case of ‘untested positives’ began cropping up all over the U.S., and in EACH CASE we reviewed, the “victim,” if you will, had been to a testing site, filled out paperwork or completed a check-in process, and then left the line and skipped the test (for a variety of reasons; time constraints, family needs, work obligations, etc.).
So, here’s the question — If this is really the work of “identity thief scammers,” as some have claimed, what are the odds that the scam targets ONLY people who visited a testing site? How would they get that info? Are they stalkers too? It seems incredibly questionable and unlikely that every case we reviewed concerned not just a random, blind phone call, but a phone call to someone who had, indeed, visited a test location? Something about this certainly seems off to us, but we’ll leave it to you to decide.
What are the Theories?
The other theory, which has the scent of plausibility save a few issues, is that it’s a testing site problem. People waiting in line for an extended time, sometimes too long, are leaving the line after having registered for the test, and if Bob, who was tenth in line, leaves, then Sue, who was number 11, becomes number ten and everything gets thrown off down the line.
While this seems like the most plausible explanation yet, it doesn’t explain away all the scenarios, because, according to personally-known sources, medical professionals VERIFIED their identities before administering the test.
‘It’s medicine 101″
“It’s medicine 101,” said one nurse from the front lines. “We verify and re-verify before administering tests, medicine, or even just taking blood. It’s drilled into us. And when we test a line, we ask every single person to verify their identity before we give the test,” she added. “If any facility isn’t doing this, then I would call it the most inept medical establishment in history. I personally don’t think that’s what happening. I don’t know what’s happening, and I don’t know if I believe it’s some kind of conspiracy or not, but I definitely don’t think it’s because of a failure on the front line’s part. Not on something this simple. I can maybe see an isolated incident here and there, some kind of anomalic (sic) error, but nothing to this degree. There’s way too many people reporting it now. Way too many. I just don’t get it.”
Un-tested positives aren’t the only questionable phenomena happening in the wake of this virus.
Is 50% Test Accuracy Too Generous?
Another nurse reported that out of 50 tests ordered from a private laboratory, 32 came back positive. Is that a problem? Yes, once you know that of those 50 tests, only TWO were actually administered! Forty-eight, 48, of the tests sent to the lab were never conducted, and yet 32 still came back with “positive results” for COVID-19. What’s going on here?
But wait, there’s more.
Another young woman came forward to say she had been ill and had gone to the emergency room. They rapid-tested her and the results were negative for COVID-19. Oddly, about a week later, the same woman received notice in the mail that she must quarantine for 14 days because she was positive for COVID-19. She called to inform them that the test results she had received at the hospital were actually negative, and that she had not been tested again a second time. Unfortunately, we don’t know how this story panned out, but it was unsettling for the patient nonetheless.
Are you ‘I can’ting’ yet?
Another person shared that when one person in her household tested positive for the virus, health department officials took a count of her total household members and counted them all as new cases… without testing the rest of the people in the household. They were quarantined not because they had been in contact with a positive case, but instead because they themselves were presumed as positive cases.
Here’s another story we just got:
Mt. Juliet man says even with no test, he’s informed he is COVID-19 positive by state
Pennsylvania officials were called out publicly and ordered to correct their numbers when evidence proved they had falsified documents and misinformed the public.
As we were getting ready to go live with this post, additional disturbing information was brought to our attention. It seems the federal government is investigating a Texas laboratory regarding more than 60,000 mishandled COVID-19 tests that were left at room temperature for days! A company that has 45 hospitals in nine states that uses this particular lab notified approximately 25,000 patients to warn them that they may have received inaccurate test results. You can read more about it, here.
If we shared all the stories we gathered in our digging, you’d be reading until next week, but one thing is for certain…
The numbers have been inaccurate from the start
Here is another in a series of numbers-related problems that have occurred since COVID-19 became a household word: there are two types of tests: a test for the active virus and an antibody test. If you have antibodies, it shows that you have had a coronavirus in the past. Notice that said “a” coronavirus — that’s because there are numerous types and there is no way to determine which type you had, only that your body produced antibodies against it. Even the common cold can return a positive antibody test. There’s no guarantee your antibodies are Covid-19 antibodies.
Do Antibody Tests Serve a Purpose?
If you take the virus test, it shows whether or not you currently have an active case of coronavirus in your body. It seems that recording the numbers should be simple, right? Make two columns. In one, place the number of people who test positive for the active virus. In the other, list people who test positive for antibodies. Is that what officials have been doing? No way. Instead, those who test positive for antibodies are added as NEW virus cases. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right, too. There’s only one column! The hits just keep coming. Everyone is confused. Nothing feels like “truth.”
And let’s not forget all the reports, both social and otherwise, of non-covid deaths that were counted as covid deaths, despite clear indications to the contrary. For example: THIS gem.
Or the fact that FL labs reported ONLY positive cases, omitting the negatives, throwing off the case percentages and coming under fire recently.
Or, or, or. It’s truly exhausting folks.
Covid-19 is Real, the Political Chaos is Getting Really Real — So isn’t it Vital that the Data Be Real Too?
This is a serious situation. Families’ lives have been sorely disrupted. Business owners have suffered tremendous economic setbacks, some forced to close their doors permanently, because they don’t have the financial resources to rebound following the government-mandated shutdowns.
Parents are in a panic about whether it is safe to send their children back to school. Issues regarding face masks have sparked public and private debates all over the country. Governors, mayors and other officials are facing lawsuits for unlawful actions and unprecedented criticism across the board. Some people have seemingly gone completely mad. Tragically, people are dying from dozens of various causes, afraid and alone in hospitals across the country, because medical officials have prohibited loved ones from visiting. Emotions are running high, alcohol consumption is up all over the place as retailers cite record sales, and finally, the politics of it all has taken center stage while we all watch one day bleed into the next, waiting to see what will happen next.
To test positive for COVID-19, you must first TAKE a test
We don’t care what your political affiliation happens to be nor what your race, gender, age or income level is. We’re not concerned as to whether you believe all people should wear face masks or if you think we should return to daily life as normal (REAL normal, not the so-called “new” normal) without restrictions.
What we ARE concerned about, however, is this: How are people supposed to make informed decisions if they are receiving inaccurate information? We all understand the margins of human error. That doesn’t appear to be what we’re dealing with here, though. It is beyond the scope of isolated human error.
The Bottom Line
We all want this thing to be over. We would prefer this virus just evaporate. Nobody actually wants your pop-pop to get sick, despite the weird, snarky stuff we read on social media. People are just really, really tired. At the time of this publication, we’re 132 days into this mess and people are just pinging. We really are all in this thing together. Nobody is having a good time (we hope) and, from what we can tell, we’re ALL tired of the over-politicized hype, the chaos, the hostility and forced division. It’s time for us to take a step back, ask the IMPORTANT questions, stop feeding the media-chaos machine, stop bickering like it’s going to change something, stop with the muck-slinging nonsense, the temper tantrums and the drama. It is time to stop the noise and hold our government, our experts and ourselves accountable for the current state of our union. It’s time to come together despite our differences. It’s time to be AMERICA.