Did you hear the news? Random testing in California reported a big spike in Covid-19 infections. You may be troubled by that, but let me explain why it really is good news.
The tests were conducted on more than 3,000 people in Santa Clara County. Researchers discovered that as many as 4% of those tested had Covid-19 antibodies. That means that at some point in the past few months, they had the virus and recovered.
Prior to the random testing there were 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Santa Clara County. But Dr. Eran Bendavid of Stanford University says, "Our findings suggest that there is somewhere between 50 and 80-fold more infections in our county than what's known by the number of cases reported by our department of public health."
In other words, between 50,000 and 80,000 people, not 1,000, may have already had Covid-19. And the Santa Clara study is not an outlier.
- Similar testing in Germany found the infection rate was as high as 15%.
- About 16% of pregnant women in New York City tested positive in one random study. Of those who tested positive, 88% had no symptoms. They not only didn't die, they brought healthy babies into the world.
- Two antibody tests (here and here) have been conducted in Massachusetts. Both found Covid-19 infections to be far greater than the number of known confirmed cases.
One local politician who heard the results said it was "really sobering news." Wrong. This is great news, and it gets at the core of the growing debate taking place across the country.
We were told by the experts that we had to shut down the entire economy because this was so much worse than the regular flu. Some figures out of countries like Italy make it seem like that is true. But all those mortality percentages are almost certainly wrong.
If millions of additional people have had the virus and didn't even get sick enough to go a doctor, then the number of people who have died is a much smaller percentage of the total number of people who have gotten sick. Meanwhile, typical news programs are treating Covid survivors as if they have survived Ebola.
When people say this is not the regular flu, they are right. It could end up having a mortality rate lower than a bad flu season.
Pelosi Fiddles While Businesses Burn
Over the past week, demonstrations by angry Americans who want to go back to work have swept the country. Part of it is because more and more of our fellow citizens are coming to the realization that they were financially crushed over a virus that isn't that dangerous to the vast majority of the population.
But in most cases, the motivation for the protests are far simpler. Many people can no longer afford to feed their families and pay their mortgages.
Entrepreneurs are watching businesses they have sacrificed for and nurtured over many years be starved to death in a matter of days. Construction workers and laborers can't work from home like the chattering class can.
Frankly, I'm surprised that the demonstrations aren't larger and angrier.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked on "Fox News Sunday" if she understood why so many people were demonstrating. She shrugged off the protests, and insisted that we isolate ourselves. She just doesn't get it.
As we reported, Pelosi adjourned the House of Representatives and left Washington over a week ago. Just as the money to help small business owners keep employees on their payroll was beginning to run out, Nancy refused to add extra funding to the payroll protection program.
Then she channeled her inner Marie Antoinette and essentially told struggling workers to go eat ice cream. If you missed it, she proudly showed a late-night comedian all the premium ice cream she had stored up in her $20,000 twin refrigerator/freezers in order to get her through this tough time.
This is the same woman who has battered the president for not moving fast enough and for tanking the economy, as she hangs small businesses out to dry.
Quote Of The Day
One frustrated demonstrator in Colorado was asked why she joined the protests against the state's "stay-at-home" orders. She answered: "Because I want someone to explain to me why abortion clinics and pot shops are open, but my church was ordered to close!"
Days Of Remembrance
Tonight, Israelis will begin to observe Yom HaShoah, a national day of remembrance for the heroes and martyrs of the Holocaust. President Trump issued a proclamation calling on Americans "to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution by remembering the lessons of this atrocity so that it is never repeated." Tomorrow, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a virtual event on Facebook live.
I have made fighting the evil of anti-Semitism a major priority of my work on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. At my urging, the Commission held a seminar and a hearing on Capitol Hill. We heard from multiple witnesses about the growing threat of anti-Semitism and how to combat it.
In our upcoming annual report, I was able to get my fellow commissioners to agree not only to condemn Iran's treatment of religious minorities, including Christians and Jews, but for the first time to condemn Iran for its international activities promoting virulent anti-Semitism.
While we remember the first Holocaust, we must never forget that the Islamic Republic of Iran is insisting on another one. Iran's leaders have repeatedly called for a second Holocaust through the "annihilation" of Israel and its eight million Jewish citizens.