An open letter to all educators
Michael Kane, NYC Teacher & UFT Member
I am very happy UFT President Mike Mulgrew and the New York City Teachers Union were able to work out an agreement with Mayor De Blasio on reopening schools without having to go on strike. As an NYC public school teacher for over 13 years, I was willing to strike if the Union called upon us to do so, but I did not believe it was the best way forward. I am a special education teacher and I have watched many of my students struggle horribly with remote learning. I look forward to assisting many of my students in-person this fall.
Having stated that, I strongly disagree with the new mandates requiring coronavirus testing for staff and students to return to school buildings. While I appreciate that the UFT is trying to keep us safe, they are not actually achieving that goal. If a teacher is randomly selected for testing and they refuse, they will be placed on leave without pay. I will subject myself to testing if I must, but I firmly believe this is the wrong protocol for our schools because the most recent science shows us two things:
- PCR coronavirus (CV) testing is seriously and widely flawed, and
- Testing healthy people does not provide relevant data.
Below is my explanation of why I oppose mandated testing, and it is 100% based on valid, up-to-date science. Beyond the lengthy explanation below there is a larger reason why I oppose mandated testing to keep my job.
I am opposed to having a medical test mandated for teachers to keep our jobs because it is a prelude to having medical procedures mandated to keep our jobs.
I am referring to vaccination.
I have been actively warning – long before the COVID crisis – that Albany was getting ready to force teachers to be vaccinated to maintain employment. Over the past year some of my colleagues have asked me, “But what vaccines will they force us to get?”
I think we now know which one is going to be the first (more certain to follow).
I created a petition in opposition to any mandatory vaccination of New York Teachers over a year ago. You can find it at the following link and if you support it, please sign it. Anyone is welcome to sign but I especially encourage all teachers in the state of New York to do so. Over 2,300 people – mostly teachers and educators – have signed thus far all from simple word-of-mouth.
NY Teachers Against Vaccine Mandates for Educators: https://www.change.org/p/united-federation-of-teachers-stop-vaccine-mandates-for-nyc-teachers/dashboard?source_location=user_profile_started
If, at any point, the UFT makes any indication that they will be working to compel, mandate or require its members to be vaccinated to work as an NYC Teacher, I will have no choice but to break ranks with my Union publicly, standing in opposition alongside those who will stand with me. We all have issues that resonate deep within our souls, and this is one such issue for me. There are many scientific reasons why I am opposed to vaccine mandates for teachers, but that is not the main topic of this letter. I will write about that in the near future.
Now let’s discuss the flawed CV testing:
Testing & Science
The New York Times recently released a bombshell of a report on flawed CV testing. In it they state:
In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found. (emphasis added)
What that means is 90% of people told they were positive were not.
Recently 77 NFL players tested positive for CV. Their samples were all retested, and they all came back negative. So that means 100% of the 77 athletes’ tests were false/positives. The NFL is using very expensive testing protocols, especially when trying to identify a false/positive.
Are NYC teachers going to be given expensive, follow-up tests to see if their positive was in fact a false/positive? I feel confident the answer to that is ‘no’
It was also recently reported by the BBC that coronavirus tests can pick up “dead virus particles” giving a false/positive test result.
CV test results are so incredibly flawed they can’t be trusted, and that reality is being recognized by thousands of scientists as well as the press. Donald Trump made CV testing an open free-market, so virtually anyone can produce and sell a test to allegedly detect the novel coronavirus or antibodies to it. Recently a lab in Boston was shutdown because it produced almost 400 false/positive test results.
And for those who are well versed in science, this Oxford study presented evidence that, when analyzed properly, shows false/positives are rampant in PCR testing.
There is no widely available gold-standard of CV testing, which has led to major problems with false/positive results. So a perfectly healthy teacher could get tested, get a false/positive, and be forced to lose time at work unnecessarily. This is highly likely to occur to NYC teachers, and the consequences could be grave far beyond the workplace.
For example, in Governor Cuomo’s COVID reopening plan point #7 states the following:
7. Isolation Facilities: Regions must present plans to have rooms available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who cannot self-isolate.
So a teacher may test false/positive, triggering contact-tracing into that teacher’s home unnecessarily, and the teacher or their family could be removed from their home. All of these civil rights violations would have no purpose, as the test was actually a false/positive. This can also happen to a student who is tested and registers a false/positive, and will likely have the most dramatic impact on households experiencing economic hardships.
Has anyone thought through the consequences of this?
The NYC Department of Education has picked Fulgent Genetics as the company that will provide the tests used on students and staff in the NYC DOE. The tests are RT-PCR tests – that stands for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction tests; commonly referred to as PCR.
Fulgent describes their PCR testing as “the gold standard” of coronavirus testing. However Dr. Sin Hang Lee, director of Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory has shown PCR testing can produce 30% false/positive results and 20% false negative results.
According to Dr. Lee the true gold standard of testing – which he uses to verify PCR test results – is Sanger sequencing; a process not widely used to test for coronavirus infection. It appears Sanger sequencing will not be used when testing NYC Teachers or students.
(Note — All of the flaws in CV testing mentioned in this report refer specifically to PCR testing, which is the most widely used CV test technology).
Early in the CV pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health authorities were worried about “silent spreaders” and asymptomatic transmission. However today the WHO says asymptomatic transmission is “extremely rare.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the WHO is wrong in this statement, and that they do not have evidence to support this claim. Fauci has stated, “the evidence we have…which is about 25% [to] 45% of the totality of infected people likely are without symptoms.” However this statement does not take into account how incredibly flawed the CV testing is to begin with, and that those being assumed to be infected may in fact be false/positives.
The above CNN report that quoted Fauci also stated the following:
“Detailed contact tracing from Taiwan as well as the first European transmission chain in Germany suggested that true asymptomatics rarely transmit,” said Babak Javid, a principal investigator at Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing and an infectious disease consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals. (emphasis added)
Fauci seems to contradict, or disagree with, Javid’s statement:
According to Fauci, “(W)e know from epidemiological studies that (an asymptomatic carrier) can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they are without symptoms.”
However epidemiological studies are not clinical trials, but rather they are a scientific “look-back” at what has transpired, attempting to determine how a virus spreads throughout a population, or a scientific “look-forward” to determine how a virus will spread, how many deaths may occur, etc… Such data is not viewed with as much confidence in the scientific community as clinical studies.
Fauci also said there is a difference between asymptomatic and presymptomatic carriers, and this is 100% correct. Someone who is presymptomatic is going to soon show symptoms and therefore may be able to infect others in the short 1 to 2 day period prior to becoming symptomatic. That person’s immune system is in the process of losing the battle against the virus, and thus the viral load is building up in their body. As viral load increases, the possibility of transmitting the virus to others increases.
But this presymptomatic phase lasts only a day or two before the individual becomes symptomatic. In contrast, asymptomatic means you are a “virus carrier” but you never show symptoms of being sick. Thus far there is no valid scientific evidence to support this so-called “silent spreader” theory. There has been some science published trying to make that connection, but none of it has held up well to scrutiny from scientists, doctors and clinicians who have critiqued those studies.
There has been one clinical study on the infectivity of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers, where 455 people were exposed to an asymptomatic “virus carrier,” and not one of those people contracted the virus. This study in-and-of itself does not prove that there is no asymptomatic transmission of CV, but when taken in conjunction with the rest of the evidence presented here it is extremely compelling.
Back in June in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak first began, there tests found that of 300 asymptomatic carriers of SARS CoV-2, none were shedding the virus. “Officials told reporters in a briefing that there had been no new confirmed cases, and said the asymptomatic carriers had been found not to be infectious; masks, toothbrushes, phones, door handles and elevator buttons that they touched had no traces of virus.”
So if we begin to randomly test teachers and students in NYC the likelihood of finding a presymptomatic individual has only a 1 to 2 day window. That window is nearly impossible to hit, and even if it is miraculously found in a random test, the short window is completely lost in the turnaround time for getting the test results back. What is far more likely to happen is we will see false/positive results for perfectly healthy people who will be removed from the school building and possibly even their own homes.
Since CV testing can be up to 90% inaccurate, the WHO recognizes that asymptomatic transmission of CV is “extremely rare,” and the scientific evidence proving both of these statements is substantial, requiring mandatory testing of teachers and students in NYC public schools is not only unnecessary, it will likely have profound negative impacts on families throughout New York as well as the public school system as a whole.
For more information contact NYTeachersforChoice @gmail.com