The flu cases are much lower this year since (most) people are wearing masks and social distancing. As for flu-like symptoms and COVID RNA, you would test positive for COVID unless the viral load in your sample was strong enough that you must actually have the illness. If COVID tests worked this way we'd have an 80-99% false positive rate and wouldn't bother with testing. (I say this as someone who recently took a nasal covid test to get cleared to enter my office)
Also for your first sentence, I admit to reading only a portion of the article, but that's because of this website's bias and mixed factual reporting rating (according to https://mediabiasfac...ust-the-news/).
I worked in a scientific setting for a long time (albeit not biological research) and I just get irritated when someone with credentials spouts off nonsense because they think they know better than 99% of the scientists in their field.