Brickbat: Made in China


Officials in the Czech Republic report that 80 percent of rapid tests for the coronavirus provided by China were faulty. One official was quoted as saying the tests were giving both false positives and false negatives.

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  1. “quality Chinese” an oxymoron

    1. To be fair, I don’t think Chinese manufactures give a whit about quality. Their goal is to make things cheap, cheap, cheap, so people buy the stuff because it’s the least expensive thing on the shelf.

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      2. Their goal is to make their communist overlords happy. Boss says make production numbers look good, you make production numbers look good.

        Yes, China is still communist. Yes, they are trying to mix in some market capitalism. But they still mostly operate under the communist model of centralized authority, five year plans, and party control.

  2. Emperor for life Pooh bear had no comment.

    1. Pooh bear is in his thoughtful spot… It SHOULD be over there in the corner with a dunce cap on his head, but instead, it is in his palace!

  3. There will be a reckoning with China, once the KungFlu has abated. Depend on it.

    1. I sure as hell hope so; just lost an immediate family member to this fucking virus and another [my sister] not out of the woods yet; I am writing congress from my State and theirs. There is a WSJ article just yesterday:

      That gives a thorough and quite damning summation of China’s obfuscation, deflecting, and outright lying on the matter.

      1. But everyone tells me it’s no worse than the flu.

        1. Absent a comorbidity it probably is.

      2. Bad URL?

  4. Damn! I had a 20% of coupon for a box of these at Harbor Freight.

    1. Was in Harbor Freight the other day, and noticed a big empty space on the shelves with a sign that said they donated all their latex gloves and masks to local hospitals. Do those face masks come with Coronavirus pre-installed? And if a doctor is getting ready to do some kind of exam and snaps on a pair of Central Machinery rubber gloves, I’m going to start having some second thoughts…

  5. But at least China had good intentions. They were trying to help with the problem, weren’t they? The Chinese government has been shipping supplies all around the world in the midst of this crisis in one of the most kind and considerate acts I’ve seen since the US Army gave all those blankets to the Indians.

  6. As much as this site screams at the FDA for their extreme slowness, this is often the result of using rushed measures. Faulty tests are worse than no test at all.

    1. Does one really need six months to determine if tests are reliable or not? And six months is crazy fucking fast for the FDA.

      I work in the medical sector. The truth is that the FDA doesn’t test a damned thing. The manufacturer and independent testing companies test the shit out of a product, all the FDA does is audit that the a million different signatures are in place to verify that procedures where followed.

      Private industry does a damned good job of testing for quality. There are ISO standards for this.

      1. Does one really need six months to determine if tests are reliable or not?

        Yes. A test that goes bad randomly or drifts indeterminately within the first 6 mos. after production is worse than no test at all. Depending on the reagents a shelf-life study should run a minimum of 6 mos. both as good diagnostic/treatment practice and business practice.

      2. ISO 9000 is an over glorified documentation standard. Yes, if you are a robot and follow the procedure exactly, the chances of you messing up are significantly reduced. However, if the procedure doesn’t spell out a step, or concern or quite frankly if you have a procedure that make a pile of crap…. you still end up with a pile of crap.
        Proper system engineering takes into account the full life cycle of a product – from design, to manufacturing, to distribution, to use and ultimately to disposal.
        But it is still up to humans to be smart about it. Somewhere along the line someone has to say that lead paint is not acceptable on children’s toys. Hopefully at the design stage, but enforced at the manufacturing stage as well.
        The biggest problem with China is they are essentially an outsource country. They design nothing of real value in house (it is changing, but slowly). So if you don’t write it down, it will be missed. I worked for a company that outsourced air-line baggage labels. I was surprised to find in the specs – “food safe adhesive”. Make sense IF you think about it. But you have to think about it and write it down and get it signed off on etc.

  7. …the tests were giving both false positives and false negatives.

    I’m sure it all averaged out.

  8. So if the Chinese were using these tests at home, they really don’t know how many people had, or died of, coronavirus (as if they’d tell us the truth anyway).

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    1. Oh good, this enforced quarantine has made me so horny.

  10. Have we all forgotten our digital communications coursework? The worst error rate a binary signal (i.e. positive/negative) can have is 50%.

    Flip the result. Now the 80% error rate is 20%.

  11. I don’t know anything about the quality of these tests but the article’s tone is pretty deceptive. All tests produce both false positives and false negatives. The goal is for both those ratios to be as low as practical but lowering one almost always raises the other (for the same level of cost and technology). There is no such thing as a perfect test.

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