A study by researchers at Stanford University suggests between 50 times and 80 times more people have had COVID-19 than previously thought. If they are right, then the death rate for COVID-19 is significantly lower suggesting it’s not nearly as dangerous as once thought. Previously reported high death rates played a role in calls for lockdowns.
According to an article on ABC, Stanford researchers broke up into two teams and conducted voluntary drive-through testing of 3,300 people in California’s Santa Clara County looking for COVID-19 antibodies. This would indicate they either had the disease and successfully fought it off or have it and showing no symptoms.
It is estimated that 80% of the people who come down with COVID-19 show minimal or no symptoms, and don’t require medical attention.
One Stanford team reported that 2.5% tested positive for the antibodies and the second team 4.2%.
On April 1, 2020, the day Stanford ran its test, Santa Clara County had 958 people with COVID-19, but based on Stanford’s study, with a population of two million, Santa Clara County may have actually had between 48,000 to 81,000 people with the virus.
Former New York Time‘s reporter Alex Berenson tweeted:
The @stanford antibody testing is out – it estimates ~3% of people in Santa Clara County (CA) have been infected and recovered, 50-plus times the estimate of confirmed active cases. More evidence #SARSCoV2 is far more widespread and thus less dangerous than expected. pic.twitter.com/wWw7M6RXfM
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 17, 2020
These results are similar to random tests for COVID-19 antibodies in the Netherlands where 3% tested positive, suggesting the country’s death rate for the virus is only .6% instead of the previously recorded 11.3%.