If you took a COVID-19 PCR test, there's a chance your swab may have been sent to scientists around the globe for genomic sequencing analysis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In a tweet, the CDC said five to 10 percent of COVID PCR tests are sent to labs for mapping "genomic sequencing." Genomic sequencing is a process used to analyze the genetic makeup of viruses. However, the announcement made by the CDC has sparked human DNA privacy questions.
"Its' [PCR tests] being used by scientists all around the world to track the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants," the CDC said in the video.
People took to Twitter Wednesday questioning the CDC's motives, alleging that people's DNA is being taken without consent.
Another person alleged that conspiracy theories surrounding government DNA harvesting are true.
"OMG they're admitting they stole your DNA using the nose swabs & it's now being used in labs to study genome sequencing," @USRising1776 wrote on Twitter. "Yet another "conspiracy theory" that was 1000% true. Class-action lawsuit there for the taking of labs using your genes without your consent or compensation."
However, people are misunderstanding, says professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard Albert Ascherio. In this case, scientists are analyzing the sequencing of the COVID-19 virus for variants like Delta and Omicron. Sequences from collected tests can be compared to help scientists track the spread of a virus, how it is changing, and how those changes may affect public health.