The White House is reportedly susceptible to a group of doctors who are proponents of the controversial herd immunity approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, although health experts warn that the method will be deadly, dangerous and unethical.
Herd immunity occurs when a large part of the population becomes immune to a virus. This can happen either because people have been vaccinated or have already been infected and are building antibodies to prevent new infections.
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The Washington Post reports that senior White House officials cited a statement called the Barrington Grand Declaration during a Monday briefing with reporters.
Infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists argue that allowing the virus to spread naturally among young, healthy people while protecting vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and those with basic health conditions, would build sufficient population immunity. to stop the virus from spreading widely, while avoiding blockages and other mitigation measures that have a negative effect on society.
The paper was prepared last week by Martin Culdorf of Harvard University, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Jay Batacharya of Stanford University.
“Current blocking policies are having devastating effects on short-term and long-term public health,”
“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of achieving herd immunity is to allow those at minimal risk of death to live a normal life in order to build immunity against the virus through natural infection, while at the same time better protect those at highest risk. “
During a conversation Monday, a White House official said the administration did not “approve the plan,” but said the proposed approach outlined in the Great Barrington Declaration had supported President Trump’s policies for months.
“The plan has been supporting the president’s policy for months. The president’s policy – protecting the vulnerable, preventing hospital overcrowding and opening schools and businesses – and he was very clear on that, “the official said, according to the Washington Post.
The plan has been signed by more than 447,000 interested citizens and more than 9,500 doctors, but has been widely criticized by public health experts. Last week, Sky News reported that dozens of fake names had signed the declaration, including Dr. Johnny Bananas and Dr. Person Fakename.
On Monday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called the herd immunity approach “simply unethical.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreesus said most people who become infected with COVID-19 develop an immune response, but it is not known how long immunity lasts and how powerful it is.
“What I’m worried about is that it’s presented as if it’s a basic alternative point of view, supported by a large number of experts from the scientific community. That’s not true, “Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told the Washington Post.
“This is a borderline component of epidemiology. This is not the basic science. It is dangerous. It fits into the political views of certain parts of our confused political establishment, “he told the publication.
The country’s best infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, warned in August that the United States would see a staggering death toll from coronavirus if the country allowed infections to spread uncontrolled in an attempt to gain immunity to the herd.
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