A new study out of Germany is the strongest indicator yet that the U.S. COVID-19 infection fatality rate could be far lower than what has been projected.
After testing 80% of the population of the community of Gangelt, the German study (info here and here) found that 14% tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies, indicating they already had contracted and recovered from COVID-19. This is extremely good news and indicates that in that community there was a very high rate of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people. The significance for America is this...
As of April 9, 16,691 deaths were reported in the U.S. If as of April 9, 14% of the U.S. population had already contracted COVID-19, the infection fatality rate would be .04% (16,691 / (331,000,000*.14)).
Since we do not have widespread, random antibody testing in the U.S. (the testing we urgently need), we have no basis for assuming or even guessing that 14% of Americans have already contracted COVID-19 and have the antibodies.
- If the U.S. antibody rate is about ONE-THIRD of this German test (5%), the U.S. COVID-19 infection fatality rate falls to .1% -- the same as the estimate for the annual flu (16,691 / 331,000,000* .05))
- If the U.S, antibody infection/immunity rate is just 2%, the U.S. infection fatality rate is just .25% -- less than one tenth the original SCARE number and one fourth what Dr. Fauci used to "seal the deal" on the lockdown/shutdown.
- If just 1% of Americans have already had COVID-19, confirmed through antibody testing, the U.S. infection fatality rate would be .5%.
It is doubtful or at least arguable whether the U.S. would have gone into lockdown if it was known at the outset that the infection mortality rate was .5% or less. Especially since mortality is largely confined to those with co-morbidities (98%) and over 70, the mortality rate for healthy American would have been confirmed to be so low, few would have yielded their freedoms.
So what is a reasonable "guesstimate" for the antibody infection/immunity rate in America? Well, with TRILLIONS being spent on this crisis, WE SHOULDN'T BE GUESSING! But here's what we do know...
- 50-80% of those with COVID-19 are ASYMPTOMATIC. They have NO SYMPTOMS.
- In China, 81% of those coming in for testing and testing positive had mild symptoms
- One analysis suggested that only 12% of U.S. COVID-19 cases has been reported on March 31
- A study in Europe estimated these % infected rates as of 3/31 for these countries: Italy, 9.8%; U.K., 2.7%, Sweden 3.1%, France, 3.0%
- And in the one solid antibody test we have in the U.S., a small rural town in Colorado found it had a .8%-3% positive antibody rate. Since that community is much more rural than the general population, it is reasonable to assume the national rate will be higher than this community, meaning the absolute floor is likely 1-2%
And let's remember that the doomsday model that got us into this mess was built on a 80% infection rate, so the idea that a few months into this crisis, 2% or even 5% have been infected is not unreasonable.
The best thing that could happen for America is to get serious random sample antibody testing and determine what our nation's infection fatality rate actually is! If even 2% already have been infected, we think GAME OVER on the shutdown/lockdown and we move immediately to a targeted approach to protect the elderly and those with co-morbidities. If 5% test positive for the antibodies, then someone owes us back March and April.