Report: Why Everything You Have Read About Warren’s DNA Test Is Wrong

The results that Elizabeth Warren released were immediately misinterpreted.

elizabeth warren
Elizabeth Warren on Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show.' (YouTube/CBS)

On Oct. 15, Sen. Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test, which she took after being egged on by President Trump, that indicated she had a Native American ancestor. However, the results, which identified Native American DNA from six to 10 generations ago, were immediately misinterpreted, reports The Washington Post.

The first misinterpretation came from a Boston Globe report, which initially said the test showed Warren was between 1/32nd and 1/514th Native American. The report was corrected to between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American. This means between 98.44 percent and 99.9 percent not Native American, writes The Post.

The RNC issued a news release with a New York Times report that “European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American.” This made it sound like Warren had less Native American DNA than the average European-American.

But The Post says reporters and politicians were all wrong. “The most important point is this: The results in Warren’s DNA test are static,” The Post writes. “The percentage of Native American DNA in her genome does not shrink as you go back generations. There could be one individual in the sixth generation — around the mid-1800s, which is similar to Warren family lore — or possibly a dozen or more ancestors back to the 10th generation, which would be about 250 years ago. The results are consistent with a single ancestor, however.”

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