` `

World Health Organization: PCR Testing is Accurate

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
26th April 2021
World Health Organization: PCR Testing is Accurate

The Claim

A World Health Organization update posted on January 20th, 2021, is carefully worded to hide that its coronavirus testing is flawed and that its positive tests had been incorrect all along.

Emerging story

In March and April, 2021, a range of conspiracy theory websites claimed that a piece of information on the World Health Organization’s website has proved that its coronavirus PCR tests are flawed, meaning that its positive tests are completely inaccurate. 

One of these articles gained over 5,700 Facebook shares and 2,200 Twitter shares by April 26th, according to the site’s own metrics. Similarly, the social media posts of these claims have spread, with some posts gaining hundreds of interactions. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation has found claims that the WHO’s PCR tests are flawed is false. 

The evidence that these sources use is an information notice that was uploaded to the World Health Organization’s website in January, 2021. This memo does not state that the PCR testing is flawed or that the positive cases are misattributed. Instead, it merely clarifies information that the WHO previously provided to laboratory professionals and the users of in-vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVDs).

The update told the laboratory professionals and IVD users to be careful with their interpretation of weak positive results. The conspiracy websites are claiming that this notice is a carefully worded admission of failure in its testing. However, it merely tells people who are administering the tests to be more diligent and re-test when they identify a weak positive result. 

The WHO has clarified that the initial notice did not reveal a significant amount of incorrect coronavirus tests. In fact, WHO told AP News that it has only counted 10 reports of issues related to PCR testing. 

This same January memo has been used in the past to spread misinformation. For example, in February, 2021, a former Minnesota State Senator, Dr. Scott Jensen posted a video to Facebook which claimed that the update was conveniently released to coincide with President Joe Biden’s inauguration, to make it seem as if the coronavirus cases were drastically falling. The video has since been debunked for spreading false information. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

Read More

Most Read