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Horowitz: Colorado antibody testing proves the CDC’s remarkably low fatality rate for coronavirus

Conservative Review

Now that the media is fixated on fanning the flames of racial tensions, watch for them to completely drop all news about the virus. But the evidence against lockdowns continues to mount, whether the media discusses it or not.

On May 22, I publicized groundbreaking data from the CDC’s website suggesting that the bottom-line infection fatality rate of COVID-19 is just 0.26%, even assuming a likely low estimate that 35% of all infections are asymptomatic. What was viewed by the political and scientific “experts” as hearsay from right-wingers was confirmed by their own gold standard agency. Now we have corroborating evidence from a very large sample size in the state of Colorado.

Until now some have criticized other serology tests as having too small a sample and perhaps inaccurate. But nearly all of them converged on an infection fatality rate (IFR) of roughly 0.2%. Now, Colorado has published the results of ongoing antibody tests with a massive sample size of 56,000. The study found, as of Thursday, that 7.75% of the entire state has been infected. That means that an estimated 489,500 Coloradoans have already had the virus. If you divide Colorado’s 1,135 deaths by the number of infections, you get a 0.23% IFR – almost exactly what the CDC pegged as the IFR nationwide!

As has been the case across the nation, the larger urban counties seemed to have a higher prevalence of positive tests. Denver was 11.9%, Arapahoe County was 15.9%, and Adams County was 16.2%. Most of the rural counties, with some exceptions, were well below the 7.8% state average.

The CDC, for its nationwide projection, assumed a 10.5 percent infection rate nationwide because most states are more urban than Colorado.

If you further divide the Colorado numbers by age group, you get a 0.03% IFR for everyone (sick and healthy together) under the age of 60. Even if you include all those under 70, the IFR comes out to 0.07%.

This is why it’s utterly insane for the media and politicians to continue to use the discovery of more infections as a pretext to continue lockdowns. If anything, it shows that this is more widespread and less deadly that the baseline premise they used to justify the lockdowns. Take a look at these charts showing an inverse relationship between the growth of confirmed cases and the number of hospitalizations and deaths in Colorado, as presented by one local commentator.

What the Colorado data suggests is what we’ve been seeing everywhere all along – that this virus has been around longer than we thought, is more widespread than we thought, is therefore less fatal than we thought for all but the most vulnerable people, and that no degree of human intervention seems to work. When the virus is rampaging for those several weeks of the peak curve, no lockdowns work to tame it, and when the peak is over, a reopening doesn’t spike hospitalizations and deaths. Focusing on testing rates at this late stage is therefore ridiculous.

It's also very likely that because some people who get the infection don’t need antibodies to ward off the virus, we are missing a large number of people who were really infected but tested negative for antibodies. This would drive down the infection fatality rate even lower.

Scientists at Rockefeller University conducted an immunological study of blood plasma samples from 149 people who have recovered from COVID-19. After attacking those cells with a sample of the virus, they found that in 33 percent of donor samples, “the neutralizing activity of plasma was below detectable levels.” They concluded from this observation, “It’s possible that for many in this group, their immune system’s first line of defense had resolved the infection quickly, before the antibody-producing cells were called in.”

If this is true, the number of people who already have the virus could be up to one-third greater, thereby dropping the lethality of this virus even further. Furthermore, a large percent of the rest of the population might already have immunity from previous coronaviruses, as a recent study from Singapore suggests.

Defenders of lockdowns can move the goal posts all they want, but had they been truthful about the IFR from day one, nobody would ever have gone along with the lockdowns, even if they could somehow work. The failure of government to be honest about the true likelihood of dying from the virus also caused many people to panic and not get treated for life-threatening illnesses.

Shockingly, even though Stanford and other international institutions showed early on how low the fatality rate is, our government continued – and still continues – to drive panic that is killing more people. From day one of the lockdowns in mid-March, the University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine pegged the IFR at somewhere between 0.1% and 0.36%. How many of you heard of the Imperial College of London as opposed to Oxford before this crisis? Still, our government chose to go with the Imperial College model, which led it to needlessly free up hospital space by sending sick patients into nursing homes. This caused the majority of deaths from the virus.

Yet our own National Institutes of Health just announced that it will not finish its study of the fatality rate until early 2022! We need the proper information to tailor our strategy so that those who are truly vulnerable are shielded. As one article from a British epidemiologist recently published in the British Journal of Medicine presciently observed, “Such targeted approaches would, however, require a shift away from the notion that we are all seriously threatened by the disease, which has led to levels of personal fear being strikingly mismatched to objective risk of death. Instead, the aim should be to communicate realistic levels of risk as they apply to different groups, not to reassure or frighten but to allow informed personal decisions in a setting of necessary uncertainty.”

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