When will the White House Task Force Heed the Multiple and Varied American Antibody Test Results?
For the ‘Slow the Spread’ aficionados — the two California studies findings that there are about 50 times more unknown infecteds for every known infected or yesterday’s study announced by Gov. Cuomo that one in five residents of New York City shows antibodies from the Wuhan virus, or the multi-city, multi-state study of the 19 homeless shelters in California, Massachusetts, Washington, and Georgia that found 25% of the homeless have antibodies or have been infected and recovered — these antibody studies have been dismissed out-of-hand.
Two-thirds of the homeless in one shelter had antibodies — plus the study in Germany showing 15% of one town have been infected or the study showing one-third of a town’s residents have been infected and have antibodies.
This level of infected Americans means the total number of infected is far higher than the known (tested) number of infected.
Add in these unknown infected into the mortality rate of the Wuhan virus and it means the mortality rate drops like a stone.
A 5.8% mortality rate drops to about 0.1% — or roughly the mortality rate of influenza in the United States.
So why hasn’t President Trump talked about this in his daily press conferences?
Who wants to keep the myth of a 5.8% mortality rate alive?
Here are the standard dismissive, discrediting lines about the antibody testing:
One California recruited test subjects over Facebook, so the same was skewed, said doctors, who want ‘slow the spread’ to continue indefinitely.
But their go-to-line is that the tests are only 95% accurate — as if for some reason, this margin of error is unacceptable.
95% works extremely well in other tests — pregnancy tests are not completely accurate.
Those who insist that this margin of error is unacceptable — repeatedly insist that antibody testing at scale, say, for example, 20 million antibody tests with a 5% error rate mean that 5% of 20,000,000 people will be told they have antibodies when they do not — meaning 1,000,000 people will have the impression they have antibodies when they do not — of course, some of those 1,000,000 will be told they do not have antibodies, when they, in fact, have antibodies.
But even in the highly unlikely situation that all 5%, all 1,000,000 people are told they have antibodies and they do not — the most likely outcome with 800,000 of these people is that they will be infected and either has virtually zero symptoms or mild ones.
Among the 200,000 remaining who become more seriously ill, 2,000 will die, about one percent. It is very likely that these people would have been infected once the country opens up regardless of whether they received an incorrect result from their antibody test. The question is, what is the cost of keeping the reality of the widescreen infection rates unknown.
But 19,800,000 people who have the antibody test will be perfectly well equipped to fly on planes, help at labs, doctor offices, hospitals, with critical infrastructure industries like food supply or power generation or in the communications or retail industries.
This is exactly what all those who are handwringing about — they are imposing a massive cost on the economy by denying 19.8 million people the opportunity to rejoin society without concern about the Wuhan virus.
With regard to the concern that a 5% margin of error is too high, that can be solved easily by running two tests per blood sample — if both tests results are the same, the confidence in those results is very high.
But the reality is that including those with antibodies into the denominator of the mortality rate calculation will drop the mortality rate close to that of the flu.
Can those who are so committed to ‘slow the spread,’ pivot with this new evidence of widescreen infection?
Every piece of the available evidence points to the fact they can not pivot and adjust their strategy based on new information — which is very dangerous to the country, indeed.
For example, the Miami Herald reports:
About 6 percent of Miami-Dade’s population — about 165,000 residents — have antibodies indicating a past infection by the novel coronavirus, dwarfing the state health department’s tally of about 10,600 cases, according to preliminary study results announced by University of Miami researchers Friday.
The study, spurred by Miami-Dade County officials, will be an ongoing weekly survey based on antibody testing — randomly selecting county residents to volunteer pinpricks of their blood to be screened for signs of a past COVID-19 infection, whether they had tested positive for the virus in the past or not. The goal is to measure the extent of infection in the community.
…Gimenez said the UM survey of Miami-Dade reflects a national trend showing African Americans are disproportionately impacted by the novel coronavirus. “African Americans are more than twice as likely to be infected with COVID-19 than other racial groups,” he said.
The survey findings also indicate that Miami-Dade is far from the 60% or higher infection rate needed to reach herd immunity, when enough people are infected to stop the spread of the virus by slowing transmission.
UM researchers say their findings are more robust than most because they used Florida Power & Light to generate phone numbers in targeted demographic areas, leading to a more randomized selection of participants.
Results from a serological survey in Santa Clara County, California, released last week, estimated between 2.5% and 4.2% of the population was infected, but the survey came under widespread criticism for, among other limitations, recruiting participants through Facebook ads, which scientists say could skew results by including people who think they got sick and want to confirm their suspicions.
That survey found an infection rate that would be 50 to 85 times higher than the official number of confirmed cases, while UM’s more randomized study indicates an infection rate about 15 times higher than the official case count.
Natalie Dean, a biostatistician and assistant professor at the University of Florida, has been following serological surveys across the country. She said UM’s preliminary results show a level of under-detection that is roughly consistent with the New York results and other estimates — aside from the more controversial Santa Clara study.
“I would expect this factor to be somewhat stable across the U.S., although it will vary due to differences in testing capacity,” Dean said.
How long with Dr. Brix, Dr. Fauci and the White House Coronavirus Task Force ignore the data from multiple studies, that show at least 50 unknown infected for each known infected?
If the current conventional wisdom about the tremendous difficulty in finding a vaccine for the Wuhan virus is accurate, because, for example, after four years of work on the SARS vaccine researchers simply gave up, then there are only two pandemic options left: one, quarantine, or two, herd immunity.
And quarantine will not work long-term, plain and simple.
That leaves herd immunity.
We all had better get used to that idea.