White House Finally Announces Coronavirus ‘Plan’: Let ’Er Rip
Giving up on prevention is a death sentence for hundreds of thousands more Americans
Lest there were any doubts about the White House’s pandemic response plans, President Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, made the approach clear over the weekend. The apparent “plan” is to give up on prevention efforts and allow the virus to spread as much as possible — rip off the Band-Aid and see what happens.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said Sunday. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigations.”
Because therapeutics have yet to offer any “cure” for Covid-19, and given that widespread deployment of any successful vaccine is months away, the “let ’er rip” strategy is a capitulation to the coronavirus and a death sentence for 500,000 to perhaps 2 million Americans, according to the scientists who study the spread of the virus.
The White House has embraced an idea called “natural herd immunity,” whereby enough people have been infected and supposedly have immunity to a disease so that it dies out. But some 40% to 70% of the population would have to be infected before herd immunity might significantly slow the spread of the coronavirus, and that assumes infected people developing lasting immunity, which is not known.
Along the way, hospitals would be inundated — many already are — and already exhausted doctors and nurses, angry and frustrated by federal inaction, will be overwhelmed.
“Proponents of natural herd immunity never seem to spend much time on this part of it: What happens when there are so many Covid-19 cases in a given community that health care has to be rationed?” says Angela Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “I’ll tell you what happens. People die.”
Already the pandemic has killed thousands more Americans than the official count. Total deaths are fairly consistent from year to year, but so far this year compared to the past, an excess of deaths has been revealed in two separate studies. Only about two-thirds of these excess deaths have been…