Stanford Study: Covid-19 Infection Rate Up to 80 Times Greater Than Official Tally

A recent Stanford University study estimates that the rate of Covid-19 infection in Santa Clara County could be much higher than suggested by current test results.

The study, led by infectious disease specialist and Associate Professor of Medicine Eran Bendavid, aimed to estimate how many people in the county have been infected with the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.

By measuring who among 3,300 test subjects presented SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, researchers determined that the number of infected people fell somewhere between 2.5 and 4.2 percent of the county’s 1.9 million residents as of April 1.

At the higher end of the study’s estimate, this would mean that nearly 80,000 people in countywide had already been infected with Covid-19 by the first day of April, at which time the county had only reported 956 confirmed cases.

The results suggest that by April 1, the county had only confirmed 1.1 percent of actual Covid-19 cases. This discrepancy can largely be attributed to the fact that most testing has been performed on people who were already very ill and presenting with symptoms.

The 3,300 study participants recruited through targeted Facebook ads were intended to represent cross-sections of the total population of the county based on ZIP code, age, sex, and race and ethnicity. White women were overrepresented in the study, so researchers adjusted the analysis to give more “weight” to underrepresented populations of Asian and Hispanic people who represented smaller portions of the testing pool.

While the study does have certain biases that cannot be adjusted for (for example, it only tested people with cars and internet access and gathered no information on the local homeless population), its data can help generate a more complete picture of the spread, severity, and fatality of Covid-19. 

Because the population of total infected people in Santa Clara County could be up to 80 times greater than current testing reflects, this would mean that the rate of death could be up to as many times smaller that widely assumed.

The study’s findings could have ramifications concerning shelter-in-place practices as well as treatment of current COVID-19 patients. Antibodies from the plasma of recovered Covid-19 patients could help patients fend off the virus.

Another implication: If a significant portion of the population has already been infected, and their antibodies can actually protect them against reinfection, shelter-in-place measures may be able to be lifted sooner

However, at a press conference Friday, the World Health Organization warned that no evidence exists that antibodies can in fact prevent reinfection or cause immunity. In South Korea, 163 recovered patients have tested positive again for COVID-19, tempering hopeful analysis of the Stanford study.

By the latest local tally, which was updated on Saturday, Santa Clara County had confirmed 1,870 cases of COVID-19 out of 18,887 people tested, and 71 deaths. Meanwhile, 200 remain hospitalized, with 82 in ICU.


  1. > Another implication: If a significant portion of the population has already been infected, and their antibodies can actually protect them against reinfection, shelter-in-place measures may be able to be lifted sooner

    Another implication . . .

    COVID-19 is FAR, FAR less deadly than the fear mongers have been claiming.

    The mortality rate is likely similar to the seasonal flu . . . OR LESS!

    The whole stupid lockdown AND the 4 TRILLION DOLLARS in emergency government spending was UNNECESSARY.

    The “war on coronavirus” was a “wag the dog” war.

    Time for some war crimes tribunals. First in the dock: war profiteers Nancy Warbucks Pelosi and Chuck Warbucks Schumer.

    (How do you think Little Orphan Annie’s kindly step dad Daddy Warbucks got his name? Hmmm?)

      • > Too bad you can’t read.

        Weil, I can press my forehead against the screen and figure out most of what’s going on with mental telepathy.

        Then I can tell my social worker what to post on SJI.

        I should get an award for overcoming my handicap.

      • Politics aside, the conclusion that the mortality rate is lower than previously reported is an accurate conclusion from this study, at least. Seems to me he read just fine.

  2. Looks as if Donald Trump was right. Him and every other person who thinks for themselves and doesn’t instinctively kowtow to the opinions of “experts”.

  3. At very least what has happened has been Criminal Negligence. I think the CDC and the WHO should be investigated. It’s so bad it almost seems it was foisted purposefully upon us in order for someone to achieve some nefarious goal?

    NONE of this adds up. Open the economy and investigate ALL of this!

  4. Wow, wow and wow! The Trump monkeys display their lack of common sense! This is much more dangerous than any CORONA VIRUS! The symptoms of this virus are more significant than those of other viruses in previous epidemic 1918 to present even for those experiencing mild symptoms. The most significant part of this virus is its ability to spread quickly overwhelming health services and institutions. Trump has a bigger lesson coming to him. This so he will learn to appreciate human life which belongs to God. If the Trump monkeys what us to believe their stupidity, they should protest without masks and make a barbecue together! Hey Cinco de Mayo is coming up! I personally know people fighting this virus and few that have died. They contracted the virus while celebrating an event early in March at a local San Jose restaurant. The male owner is dead from the virus. Go and volunteer at local hospitals and groceries stores Trump’ monkeys. The wolves are out hunting for lives. As I said before. For California this coming week is the worst in terms of death. Then we need three more weeks to recover. Interstate and international travel should be banned for longer. People will continue to become infected for the next two years but at a slower rate which is the goal.

    • Who are you calling a “stupid” “monkey” Fexxnist?
      How is does that even get past the screener San Jose Inside???
      Open your mind Fexxnist, “coexist”.
      And why do Liberals like yourself keep wishing death on others???

      • WORK90, if the jacket fits you, put it on darling! As Trump does and says so his monkeys. My God lives in heaven, and he gave me freedom of thought and behavior. What about opening your heart to the suffering of others? I am not a Liberal or Conservative. I am a pro-life Christian feminist. CALL ME THAT! Muto Obrigada…

        • > My God lives in heaven, and he gave me freedom of thought and behavior.

          Why does God give some people smart brains and some people dumb brains?

          Why did he give you a smart brain?

          You got one of the smart brains, right?

          • Bubble, God does not choose the bright but the fearful. He is the knowledge, and he gives it as he pleases. The knowledge created by mankind can be learned. The knowledge of God, comes from him. This is what Jesus did. The chosen were the fearful. He then taught them his knowledge. This has not changed. Life will pass even for our planet. The word of god will last forever. The fear of God is to hate evil, and wisdom is moving away from it and towards the light. I am a follower of Yeshua and no other one!

        • Call yourself what you will Fexxnist, but in my opinion your ignorance (on pretty much every subject you comment on) proves the Liberal jacket fits you just fine.

    • Fexxnist,
      I’ve gathered from reading several of your posts that you’re a devoutly religious individual. And as such I know you’ve devoted your life to your Savior. I’m just surprised to find out that your Savior is Dr. Sara Cody. Do you not understand that worshiping false idols is a sin?
      Repent, sir or madam. Repent.

    • FEXXNIST, you may want to seek medical/psychological help ASAP. More deadly than the COVID-19 virus to those around them are those who have TDS. Although there is no cure and masks don’t prevent venom spewed by those affected, they can maybe provide you with a padded wall on which to bang your head. Get well soon.

  5. One question for San José inside and Amani: Why do you always late on the news? This information has been there for at least a week! You guys do it all the time!

    • Fealix ,
      As usual you leave me confused, you claim to follow the word of God, but then you swallow the word of Government.
      False idols, then you hate Trump and don’t believe anything he says. “The fear of God is to hate evil”.

      I thought to love God is to hate evil.

      • Empty gun and brain, you are also a Trump monkey. I am NOT wasting my time here. I give a sh!t about democrats or republicans’ political games. I am my own mind. I learn from history. The evidence is there for people to learn.

  6. This “study” has been widely criticized by other scientists. Most notably by Andrew Gelman of Columbia who wrote on his blog:

    “I think the authors of the above-linked paper owe us all an apology. We wasted time and effort discussing this paper whose main selling point was some numbers that were essentially the product of a statistical error.

    “I’m serious about the apology. Everyone makes mistakes. I don’t think they authors need to apologize just because they screwed up. I think they need to apologize because these were avoidable screw-ups. They’re the kind of screw-ups that happen if you want to leap out with an exciting finding and you don’t look too carefully at what you might have done wrong.”

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