Having basically surrendered to the coronavirus, Republican President Donald Trump has increasingly said that he’d like to stop focusing on COVID-19 prevention measures and instead go for “herd immunity.” The White House is even backing a petition signed by thousands of doctors around the world who support the idea.
The only problem: Many of the petition’s signers are fake, using names like “Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename and Dr. Johnny Bananas,” according to TruthOut.org.
Herd immunity is a term often applied to widespread vaccine use, in this case means “allowing the virus to spread in the general population … so that allowing those least likely to be killed by the virus to return to normal life” while protecting those most vulnerable to the virus’ lethality.
While that might sound appealing, the Trump administration has shown how poorly it protects the most vulnerable—the lack of a national prevention strategy, widespread affordable testing, and Trump’s refusal to use the Defense Production Act to get manufacturers to make widely available personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers are just its most glaring failures.
Dr. Fauci says herd immunity through widespread infection—w/ vulnerable populations protected—is “really problematic.”
Up to 30% of the population is at risk and we're not suddenly able to magically protect them, he says.
“You’re going to wind up with a lot of dead people.” pic.twitter.com/BxIcqJitLh
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) October 16, 2020
To promote the idea, which Trump has repeatedly mentioned on the campaign trail, the White House has shared a petitioned called The Great Barrington Declaration, promoting the idea. However, anyone can sign the petition and declare themselves as a doctor, including people who work as massage therapists, psychotherapists and homeopaths, a practice with no proven medical benefits.
Furthermore, on Monday, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the herd immunity strategy “scientifically and ethically problematic” because scientists don’t know enough about how much immunity a person gains after catching COVID-19 and how long it lasts, especially since some people have been infected by the virus more than once.
“Letting the virus circulate unchecked therefore means allowing unnecessary infections, suffering and death,” he said.
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Trump’s Super-spreader Events Have Left 40 Advisers and 300 Secret Service Affected By COVID-19
Outbreaks of COVID-19 amongst Trump’s inner circle has left nearly 350 people close to him either infected with coronavirus or actively quarantining.
That includes 40 people close to Trump, including his family, aides, and staff who attended White House events like the September 26 party celebrating Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and the Election Night party, both of which featured people not wearing masks or social distancing.
Amongst those infected were Trump’s racist policy advisor, Stephen Miller; his rabidly dishonest press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany; his birther conspiracist wife, Melania Trump; his dishonest political advisor, Kellyanne Conway; his transphobic Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson; the Republican National Committee chief of staff, Richard Walters; the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows; and Trump political director, Brian Jack, among others.
Additionally, 130 Secret Service officers who helped protect Trump during his largely maskless and thankfully ineffective campaign rallies have also either tested positive or are currently in quarantine after having close contact with infected co-workers, effectively sidelining “roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team,” according to The Washington Post.
“Trump went on a travel blitz in the final stretch of the campaign, making five campaign stops on each of the last two days,” the publication wrote. “On Nov. 2, Trump’s campaign schedule required five separate groups of Secret Service officers — each numbering 20 to several dozen.”
“Some Secret Service personnel have privately complained to colleagues that they were instructed by presidential detail agents and White House staff not to wear masks in his presence, according to two people who heard the complaints,” the Post continued.
“The number of officers who have been pulled off duty creates a major stress on an already overworked team and will force many officers to forgo days off and work longer hours to compensate for absent co-workers.”
The publication also stated that 300 Secret Service officers overall have had to quarantine or have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of March.
After White House Super-Spreader Event, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and 7 Trump Staff Get COVID-19
Following the recent revelation that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tested positive for COVID-19 and attended a White House election party on Tuesday, coming into close contact with members of the president’s family and not wearing a mask for days afterwards, Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, 6 White House workers and one Trump campaign worker have all contracted COVID-19 as well, according to Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for The New York Times.
Furthermore, Bloomberg News reports that other White House and campaign employees are upset that Meadows didn’t publicly issue a statement or tell other workers after testing positive for coronavirus, but rather just told a few close individuals within his personal circle.
While the White House Medical Unit suggests that anyone who has 15 minutes of exposure with an infected individual should be notified as a means of contact tracing — that is, tracking the virus’s potential path of infection from one person to the next — none of the upset staffers were told of Meadow’s diagnosis until much later.
After Republican President Donald Trump contracted COVID-19 near the start of October, at least 34 individuals connected to him contracted the virus soon after.
Trump Rallies Have Led to 30,000 COVID Cases and 700 Deaths, Study Says
A new Stanford University study estimates that 18 of President Donald Trump’s recent rallies have led to 30,000 COVID cases and 700 deaths.
We should also mention that Friday marked the highest ever one day toll of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. with 98,583 new infections reported as well as 978 deaths.
The analysis looked at each county where Trump held rallies between June 20 and September 30 2020. Researchers compared “post-event outcomes and pre-event characteristics” of counties of similar size elsewhere in the country. They did this to determine the differences between COVID cases and deaths in counties where Trump held rallies and those in similarly sized counties where he didn’t.
“Our estimate of the average treatment effect across the eighteen events implies that they increased subsequent confirmed cases of COVID-19 by more than 250 per 100,000 residents,” the study states. “We conclude that the rallies likely led to more than 700 deaths (not necessarily among attendees).”
Three weeks before this study was released, Minnesota health officials announced that nine attendees of Trump’s September 18 rally in Bemidji had tested positive for COVID-19. Trump regularly flouts municipal ordinances requiring masks and social distancing at his events by calling his rallies “peaceful protests.”
Trump downplayed the pandemic’s lethality in its early stages, has recently said that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” in the pandemic, and a Tuesday White House press release created his administration with “ending the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump says COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu, but statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that’s total bunk. In less than a year, COVID-19 has killed more people in America than the military conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and World War I combined. Flu killed 34,200 Americans in 2019. COVID-19 has killed over 230,000 Americans in less than a year.
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