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No, the CDC is not collecting your DNA from PCR test samples

A flurry of false information spurred from a recent Tweet by the CDC about PCR test samples and genomic sequencing.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — You've heard a lot of talk about genomic sequencing: It's the process used in labs to detect variants of COVID-19 from PCR test samples.

Some social media users falsely claim it's also used to collect samples of your DNA.

Lindsey Mills takes the claim to the experts to verify why that’s not true.

The claim: 

The CDC is using PCR COVID test samples to collect your DNA.

The answer: False.

The sources:

  • The CDC
  • OhioHealth Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Joe Gastaldo

Here’s what we found:

This is the Tweet from the CDC that sparked a flurry of false information in a thread.

It says: "Remember that #COVID19 nose swab test you took? What happened to the swab? If it was processed with a PCR test, there's a 10% chance that it ended up in a lab for genomic sequencing analysis."

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene retweeted it and wrote: "Did the @CDCgov get permission from people to take their DNA???" And there are replies like this: “Do you have signed consent forms for every single DNA sample?"

One day after the original Tweet -- the CDC followed up with another to clarify.
It says in part the "CDC and our partners conduct genomic sequencing analysis of the VIRUS that causes COVID-19."

"Our cells contain DNA, not RNA, you could do genetic sequencing on DNA or RNA but in the context of genetic sequencing, on a COVID test, it's genetic sequencing only for RNA of the virus, and not the person's DNA,” explained Dr. Gastaldo.

We can verify: the claim that the CDC is collecting your DNA from PCR COVID test samples is false.

"This is an RNA virus, not the DNA virus. And that's what a PCR test does, it detects a piece of the RNA," Dr. Gastaldo said.

Have something you'd like us to verify? Send us an email to verify@10TV.com.

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