Today's enraging news story is the revelation that Paul Alexander, a science advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services , advised assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo to pursue a 'herd immunity' approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's where I shout to the rafters that the very concept of herd immunity is meaningless without a vaccine... from the WHO website:
‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached.
Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.
Vaccines train our immune systems to create proteins that fight disease, known as ‘antibodies’, just as would happen when we are exposed to a disease but – crucially – vaccines work without making us sick. Vaccinated people are protected from getting the disease in question and passing it on, breaking any chains of transmission. Visit our webpage on COVID-19 and vaccines for more detail.
With herd immunity, the vast majority of a population are vaccinated, lowering the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population. As a result, not every single person needs to be vaccinated to be protected, which helps ensure vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated are kept safe.
Without a vaccine, herd immunity is not achieved, contagion is.
Getting back to the ghoulish Paul Alexander:
“There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD."
"Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…"
COVID-19, this disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is not well known, and the acute and long-term risks of infection are a mystery. Children infected with the virus occasionally developed a multisystem inflammatory syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease, and "characterized predominantly by shock, cardiac dysfunction, abdominal pain, and markedly elevated inflammatory markers". Among a small number of young adult athletes, COVID-19 caused myocarditis and an elevated risk of cardiac arrest. The pandemic has killed over three-hundred thousand Americans, and it may very well permanently impair the physical fitness of millions more. When Alexander stated that young and middle aged individuals with no conditions have zero to little risk, he probably wasn't considering the college basketball player who loses his cardiovascular health and his scholarship, or the pharmacy clerk who has trouble walking up the stairs to her second-floor apartment.
The phrase 'we want them infected' is horrific, inhuman, the utterance of a ghoul devoid of compassion, of public virtue. The pandemic could have been checked by a strategy of testing, contact tracing, social distancing, and the use of PPE... if a proper strategy had been enacted rather than a reckless plan to infect a majority of the population, masquerading as 'herd immunity', perhaps we could have reopened the economy with a minimal loss of life. Paul Alexander, like many another Trump Maladministration appointee, really needs to spend some time behind bars.