By “herd immunity,” the Trump administration means people should be encouraged to catch the coronavirus.
There are two things to understand about the “herd immunity” strategy the White House has reportedly “embraced” in the past month. The first is that the term, which originally refers to the protection a community gets from high vaccination rates, in this case is being used as shorthand for letting the coronavirus rampage through the nation until those who haven’t died have developed antibodies. The second is that health experts hate it.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the approach “simply unethical” earlier this month, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has called it “ridiculous” and “total nonsense.”
“It’s barbaric,” Dr. Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor in epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine, told me. “You’re going to let millions die for some notion of herd immunity?” It’s a particularly bad strategy with coronaviruses, he said. “Who knows how potent and how permanent antibodies are to the disease.” Read more at The New Republic.
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