Trump has said it is ‘terrific’ so many Americans have caught COVID-19, and it seems that the president is referring to the concept of herd immunity.
Donald Trump has made headlines throughout his presidency for the things that he is said. Perhaps most notably, the president of the US seemingly suggested the highly dangerous idea of ingesting disinfectant to combat coronavirus.
The president now has another take on how to combat the virus, but once again it appears to be misguided.
Trump told reporters at the White House coronavirus vaccine event that ‘the vaccine was our goal’. Many would agree with this initial statement, but in typical fashion, the speech took a slightly obscure turn.
In a press conference yesterday, December 8, the president added to this statement:
Plus, you do have an immunity. You develop immunity over a period of time, and I hear we’re close to 15%. I’m hearing that, and that is terrific.
The president appears to be referring to herd immunity, but he would be doing so prematurely. Herd immunity is a concept that relies on a readily available vaccination, as there needs to be a threshold of vaccination reached before it is effective.
While vaccination measures are coming about, it would be unwise to throw caution to the wind before any distribution in the country. Furthermore, ignoring the advice of medical bodies about how herd immunity works would likely lead to more people getting coronavirus and potentially dying.
The UK originally opted for herd immunity in the early stages of the pandemic, before the realisation came about that millions would die. Similarly, the suggestion that a natural immunity will develop in the US could lead to countless deaths on top of the 286,000 people who have died already.
The Independent noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has already branded the concept of herd immunity as ‘unethical’, as it has stated:
Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.
While Trump is seeing the appeal of letting COVID-19 become more widespread, his successor plans to take a different approach.
Joe Biden has stated that his focus will be, ‘Masking, vaccination, opening schools, these are the three key goals for my first 100 days’.
Many will hope that the public ignores the ‘terrific’ claims of the president, and continue to take precautions to maintain their health and the health of others.
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