Frieden responded to recent efforts to promote herd immunity in response to Covid-19. The idea is being pushed by those who want to stop the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
Senior White House officials in a conversation with reporters on Monday discussed a controversial statement written by scientists advocating such an approach.
But the idea is a “dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence” that risks “significant morbidity and mortality in the entire population,” 80 scientists from around the world wrote in an open letter.
“Any infection everywhere is a potential threat elsewhere, because even if you feel good and overcome it without problems, without long-term consequences, you can spread it to someone who dies from it. And that̵
It is impossible to protect only the vulnerable from proliferation, Frieden said. And the release of the virus is likely to lead to recurrent epidemics, as there is no evidence that humans are protected long-term after being infected, the letter said.
The best way to achieve widespread immunity, Frieden said, would be through a vaccine.
“The concept (of herd immunity) really comes from vaccines,” Frieden said. “When you vaccinate enough people, the disease stops spreading and it can be 60%, 80%, 90% for different diseases.”
Strong impacts throughout the country
In recent days, a large number of new cases have been observed in the country, which suggests that a forecast second wave has arrived.
South Dakota reported its highest increase in a day with 876 new cases on Wednesday, according to the state health department. And Pennsylvania reports at least 1,000 new cases a day for nine days in a row, according to Secretary of State Dr. Rachel Levine.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Bashir told reporters Wednesday that he believes the country is in its “third escalation” of coronavirus.
And along with rising cases, Missouri reported a record 1,413 hospitalizations from the virus on Tuesday, according to the Missouri Department of Health.
As cases in Tennessee have increased, the virus has a greater impact on older people and people in rural areas report twice as high mortality as in urban areas, Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Pierce said Wednesday
“This means that it is no longer limited to younger people or college students who are out and about, it is now hitting those of us middle-aged and those of us at higher risk, so I think it is important to note, ”Pierce said.
“I want people to accept the fact that those of us who just live and go about our daily lives are at risk and need to pay close attention,” Pierce added.
Political leaders and other officials at risk
The daily relationships of some politicians have been affected as they have been exposed to the spread of the virus.
President Donald Trump no longer poses a risk of transmission after being infected with the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday, but people around him may still be.
“I can’t vouch for anyone else who’s there – whether they’ve been tested or been careful when interacting with people,” Fauzi told CBS Evening News host Nora O’Donnell on Wednesday.
He also warned that just because the president performed well after his illness did not mean that others would have the same experience.
State leaders in Tennessee and Indiana are now approaching their own interactions with the virus.
Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Christina Box said on Wednesday that she, an elderly daughter and a 23-month-old grandson had tested positive for Covid-19. The health commissioner added that she was involved in tracking contacts, but explained that she had not been in close contact with anyone but her close family.
And Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Wednesday that he expects to be tested “regularly” in the next few days after news that a member of his security detail was positive.
Sacrifice Day of Thanksgiving
Gathering around the table for Thanksgiving may be a “sacred part of the American tradition,” but Fauzi told O’Donnell that this year’s celebration may look very different.
“You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice this social gathering, unless you are almost certain that the people you are dealing with are not infected. Either they have been tested recently or they live a lifestyle in which they have no interaction with anyone but you and your family, “he said.
Small gatherings are becoming an increasing source of coronavirus, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during talks with the country’s governors on Tuesday. Audio of the conversation was received from CNN.
“What we see as a growing threat right now is actually acquiring an infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield said. “In particular, as Thanksgiving approaches, we believe it is very important to emphasize the vigilance of these ongoing mitigation steps in the household.”
Dr Jonathan Rainer, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, said Wednesday that he would advise people to consider not spending Thanksgiving dinners indoors with other people who are not in their immediate household.
“If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where the weather will be moderate in November, make Thanksgiving outdoors. (But) I think in … places in the country where winter comes early, I think you have to be really careful, “Rainer told CNN’s New Day.
“Next year will be much better. Let’s go through this and let’s go safe.”
CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman, Steve Almasy, Christina Maxouris Raja Razek, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jennifer Henderson, Rebekah Riess and Gisela Crespo contributed to this report.