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Horowitz: New analysis shows infection from asymptomatic cases incredibly low — even within households

Op-ed

But politicians remain fixated on their life-destroying policies

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Prior to this year, few people have ever used the term "asymptomatic," and many never heard of it, but today, it governs our lives. Despite Dr. Fauci and other experts saying from day one that asymptomatic spread "has never been the driver of outbreaks," we have upended our lives for nine months under the premise that any one of us — regardless of whether we have symptoms — could be a silent killer who needs to be isolated, monitored, and masked. Yet, as the months wear on, evidence continues to mount that asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers contribute less to the spread than previously thought, not more.

A new meta-analysis published in JAMA by researchers in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and the Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, found that the secondary attack rate from symptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2 is nearly 26 times greater than from asymptomatic carriers. The analysis pooled together 54 studies with a total of 77,758 participants. These studies collectively observed the chances of one infected person in a home with multiple occupants infecting others in the household.

Not surprisingly, the authors found that the household attack rate for SARS-CoV-2 was relatively high compared to other pandemic coronaviruses like SARS and MERS. Overall, they estimated the household secondary attack rate was 16.6%. However, they found a massive gap between primary transmitters who were symptomatic and those who were asymptomatic. Those with symptoms wound up transmitting the virus to household members 18% of the time, while those who were asymptomatic transmitted to just 0.7% of household contacts.

Also, in line with the findings of other studies, "Critically severe index case symptoms was associated with higher infectiousness in 6 studies of 9 in which this was examined." Meaning, the more severely ill you are, the more contagious you can be.

It's truly hard to overstate the significance of this finding relative to the perception of the public based on the lies we've been told concerning asymptomatic spread. To begin with, the death rate for those under 70, according to Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis, is 0.05%. That means that your chance of dying from the virus after meeting with people who have no symptoms is 0.00035%, or 1 in 285,714, if you are under 70! That is essentially most of America's workforce. They are upending their lives because someone without symptoms might give them a virus that is rarely deadly for them.

Also, keep in mind that this low rate of secondary attack among asymptomatic carriers of the virus is taken from household transmission, which is much more prevalent than attack rates in stores or businesses. This means that your chances of being infected and dying from someone who is asymptomatic by simply passing them in a restaurant or store (much less outdoors) is so infinitesimal, it's well below the risk we assume in taking every step in life.

Yet the politicians refuse to pry themselves loose from this fixation on stores and restaurants as if they are responsible for transmission, especially when patrons are showing no visible symptoms. It's not just the purveyors of panic pornography who will never let go of the myth of mass asymptomatic spread. There is an entire testing-industrial complex behind the fixation with testing people for asymptomatic infection that is too big to fail with the state health bureaucracies.

My former colleague, Jordan Schachtel, researched the cost of these tests and found that, at 2 million tests performed per day, the current median cost for COVID testing in America is "approximately $254 million dollars per day, $7.6 billion per month, and $91.4 billion per year." That doesn't include all the sundry costs engendered by the testing that benefit the broader health care-government complex, such as the cost of specimen collection and amplification, extra doctor's visits, and endless opportunities to milk the federal trough, which continues to dump billions of dollars into the testing regime.

What is so disconcerting about the politicians refusing the rethink their stance on asymptomatic spread is that this will not end with the vaccine. So long as we continue testing with 40 layers of amplification, it's very likely that we can still detect trace levels of the virus, even in people who already recovered or have been vaccinated. This is likely true of most viruses, but because we've never tested 2 million people a day with super-sensitive tests, we never focused on the "reinfection" of those with vaccinations.

Thus, until we restore constitutional rights and a modicum of non-flat-earth scientific acumen, business owners will continue to be threatened with jail time, all for a lie.
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